Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Girl, You'll Be a Woman... Eventually

A few days ago, I read a funny and very thought-provoking article by Mindy Kaling, the actress that plays Kelly on "The Office." It was an excerpt from her new book, and in this particular passage she disperses relationship advice in her familiar sing-song cadence. (Click here for the article.) The intent is satiricial, demonstrating the disparity between what constitutes a man as opposed to a overgrown child, but something about the article left me with a strange taste in my mouth.

Granted, I'm no relationship expert and I'm sorry if this sounds misogynist, but it really comes down to one thing: Girls date boys. Women date men. Kaling writes about the opposite sex as if dating "upward" of your maturity will bring you to their level via some type of osmosis. Regardless of looks, women don't date guys that can't hold down a job or live in their parents' basement, and in turn men seldom seek relationships with trixies that have made the pilgrimage to Bonnaroo six years running. Ultimately, the people you connect with best are usually on the same level of maturity as you are. I'm 27 and often find myself straddling that line, and I suppose I'm looking for a woman who seeks the same thing.

I've been taking improv classes for nearly 2 1/2 years now, and the female performers I have encountered and performed with have run the gamut between "girl" and "woman," and the disparity is not limited to age. The characters they play and the decisions they make onstage are greatly affected --almost to the point of transparency-- by their own personal goals and responsibilities. The 31-year-old married professional works well with the drifting 22-year-old college student, though they don't have much in common off-stage. The kids play kids, the grown-ups play grown-ups. Sometimes being the man or woman means being a complete ass, but it can also symbolize assertion and conduct. My advice relates to life and romance in unison: sometimes maturity is thrown upon but most often you grow into it, and that's nothing to freak out about.

Other TV-related notes:

+ Outside of SNL, I've barely had a chance to watch any new shows so far this season. Heck, I'm still catching up on episodes from last season, which is pathetic. Luckily, my roomie and I have similar tastes in TV shows, and he's been gracefully letting me borrow some of his DVDs. On a side note, I caught about five minutes of "Last Man Standing" last night and I wasn't that impressed.

+ As much as I like "Conan," for some odd reason Big Red and his cohorts have been missing something since they moved from New York to LA. Luckily, they spent a week of shows (that's all?) back in the Big Apple, and this nine-minute clip encompassed what somebody might call "classic Conan," right down to its usage of a beloved recurring character we once thought was lost to the ages.

+ Finally, belated congratulations to my former improv classmate Jason Andre Smith on his walk-on role as "the stupid new guy" in an episode of "Whitney" last month. Smitty moved to LA halfway through the iO program late last year, but I tip my hat for finding a TV gig so quickly.

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