At not-quite-thirty years old, I am part of the sitcom generation. You know us; we wore flannel in high school and elected a president based on a saxophone solo on Arsenio. And we grew up on sitcoms. From Family Ties to The Cosby Show, from Roseanne to Will and Grace, we formed our lives' expectations around laugh tracks and slapstick. Our parents were the game-show generation, and our children will probably be the reality show generation. (Insert horrified scream here.)
So what do I do now when I look at my best friend/sidekick and realize that she is the star and I am the comic relief? Dr. Phil says to be the star of your own life story, but I am the dull one. Jame, the previously mentioned friend, is the Kate and I am the Allie. She is Alex P Keaton and I am Skippy. She is Grace while I am Nadine. It's depressing. She became my best friend, way back in the 8th grade, by being the rebellious tough one I wanted to be. She wore black eyeliner and tight acid-washed jeans and could get her hair to stand straight up in front without the acne headband I always got from hairspray. So now, ALMOST 17 years later, I look at her and see not the supporting role in my life story, but the starring role in a much more interesting one. She's the proud struggling single mother with the romantic and attentive soon-to-be-divorced boyfriend; I'm the stay-at-home mom pretending that picking up dog crap in the back yard makes my life busy and fulfilling. Either I need prozac (the housewife's REAL best friend) or I need to find someone somewhere who's maybe a little more boring than me to make myself the interesting character in the movie.
I want to be played by Shirley McClain, not Jessica Tandy, celebrity death notwithstanding.