Monday, January 7, 2013

The Eponine Complex

By now a lot of people may be even a little bit knowledgeable of the plot of Victor Hugo’s classic, “Les Miserables.” However, I am not going to be talking about the story’s contribution to classic literature or its contribution to the success of most Broadway productions (Yes, Lea Salonga, I hear you girl). I want to talk about the second most popular female character of this story, right after Fantine and that is Eponine. I don’t really have to describe Eponine or even narrate her background, what I want people to know is how a lot of girls in the whole world kind of relate to this seemingly proverbial character whose fate ends up literally dead.
Eponine is essentially part of the bitter end of the love triangle. In my own opinion, this thing between her, Marius and Cosette does not really resemble a love triangle, rather it resembles something like this:

It’s plainly obvious how every single girl in this world thinks she is Eponine because each one of them thinks that the man (or woman) that they are in love with will never love them back. Consequentially, these girls who think themselves as social pariahs end up crying over this predicament and sing their emotions out right out in the silent streets, at midnight while every drop of rain is hitting their faces. The last bit may hold not true to some accounts—I, myself, sing “On My Own” in the bathroom while the water from the shower is poorly substituting what is supposed to be actual raindrops. But the bottom line is—we all do this, maybe not the singing part but the self pity part. Admit it, you think you’re Eponine, I feel like Eponine, we all feel like Eponine. It is like all our menstrual cycles are in sync, our Estrogen-ridden brains always hit that Eponine note and activate it like a highly sensitive nerve synapse whenever we feel like this guy (or girl, I have no problem with gayhood) is not noticing us and hell, will never ever notice us. EVER. Story of our lives.
 It is a global phenomenon-- why are we so susceptible to self pity to the point that we immediately resort to this conclusion whenever we are friendzoned? I don’t blame people who feel like this because I, too, torture myself sometimes with questions like,

 “Am I too ugly?”
“Am I too loud?”
“Am I too hideous?”
“Am I too fat?”
“Do I sound dumb?”
“What’s wrong with me?”

But this was years ago and no, there was nothing wrong with me it’s just that I lacked a bit of honesty and determination. The problem with that situation was that I never really told the guy that I fancied him, like, immensely! I only dropped him subtle hints and told all my friends about my supposedly heartbreak. Why the lack of romantic cheesy declarations of love in my life? I had no idea at that time but I guess now, looking back, it was an amalgamation of the fear of rejection, my overflowing pride and (surprise, surprise) my teenage shyness. I mean, can you really blame me? I was seventeen! Being honest is never easy for those people who are not accustomed in putting their figurative hearts in their respective sleeves. Honesty is a bare-all action, something that a lot of us are afraid of because this makes us vulnerable human beings that a mere slight exposure could actually sting us. The things that bring the honesty out from underneath us will sting like sunburn-- it will hurt and that is what we are all afraid of.

However, we must not always blame ourselves when we are loveless, sometimes the many Marius-es in our lives should make an effort to look the other way and notice us for a change. DANG IT. However, maybe Marius just needs a push, maybe he just needs to know how we feel minus the subtlety. Maybe, just maybe, Marius is just too oblivious and he needs to see the light (spoiler alert: the light is us, yes we’re fabulous like that). Maybe the fact that everybody hates Cosette could actually boost your confidence (Yey!).

I don’t really know much about love and relationships, it is something that will perpetually remain a mystery to me. It is normal to pity ourselves once in a while but we must not reach the point of no return, in this case we must not become Eponine who martyred herself by taking a bullet for Marius. When we get sad, the whole world never really stops for us and that is the way that the universe is trying to tell us something—go on, move on and carry on. It is definitely okay to listen to the saddest songs, devour a pint of ice cream and drink bottle after bottle until our blood becomes alcohol when we feel left out from all this love business but we must never forget to promise ourselves that we will go on, move on and carry on tomorrow... or eventually.

As I sit here in my room, writing this bit of reflection, simultaneously scrolling past my facebook account’s newsfeed, the boy who I thought I was so in love with is online. And I thought, “You will never know how much alcohol I ingested because of you... and I hope to God you will never know.”

Cackles. Cackles everywhere.

I hope you all will drink not for heartbreak, but for happiness.

Happy 2013.


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