I learned about “character arc” back in 10th grade, when my English teacher, Mr Beck, delivered a REVOLTING, scathing review of my favorite, the most holy, most exhalted movie I’d ever seen in my young life up to that point, and frankly, I’m shocked my mom let me see that filthy thing, now when I try to watch it again, but at the time, who knows, she had a temporary lapse in whatever… my sheltered little childhood.. but Mr. Beck didst disparage heartily the movie “Saturday Night Fever” when he opined that he hated it, loooooathed it, because the protagonist, Tony Manero, never developed as a character, never had that arc, never learned anything, was the same at the end of the movie as at the beginning. Oh, the outrage I felt well up from my very soul!! And I never stopped to think about was he right, was he wrong. Did the character have an arc? I didn’t care! Tony Manero had a white suit, and the coolest moves EVER. But as much as I’d love to have been able to UNHEAR Mr. Beck’s words, there they stayed, and so did so many more of his words and his phrases and his lessons and his very image, pear-shaped physique, rumpled 3-piece suit, beady eyes behind horn-rimmed, coke-bottle glasses, shiny balding pate, burned to my psyche forever… Whether I wanted to or not, I sure learned to look for character arc.
well I think I’ve been needing confirmation of the fact that I have changed and grown in the past few years, I needed to know that it was working, that it’s all been worth it, that I was affecting some sort of “character arc”… but I got it tonight. Because tonight when my husband said and did something so… ridiculous and over-dramatic and wayyyyyyyass uncalled-for and stooopid… it was… I’m still shaking my head over it… but when he did it, I just took a deep breath and got up off my butt, and DIDN’T, I said I DIDN’T do that passive-aggressive stuff I used to do, ya’ll who know me, you may know what I mean, I can be a real pain in the ass, especially when I’m right… but I didn’t do that tonight. Instead, I got on my phone and called my husband BACK INTO THE DAMN HOUSE out of his stoopid car, and I figured, if he was man enough to walk back in the house after acting so friggin’ … WHATEVER… then I had to be man enough to just GET OVER IT. I fixed my stoopid over-reactive family some chicken dinner and I called ’em to the table and we ate it and we talked and we laughed and it’s over.