A friend of mine who is reading my memoir has also started reading the Twilight series. Someone she knows commented that Bella is the anti-Buffy – whereas Buffy is an active, kick-ass vampire killer, Bella is extremely passive, and basically spends almost the whole series pining after Edward and getting rescued.
Reading my memoir, my friend said, “Gosh, I hope Angela has a Buffy moment soon.”
I think my next memoir post from earlier this week is indeed a Buffy moment.
I guess you could say a lot happens to “the character” in my memoir – she’s swept up by her first love, she endures all the shit that Joe’s going through, she endures the sleights from his family. Even in China, stuff is happening around her.
I don’t think I’m a passive person. I’ll speak up about bad service, or if I think an idea is dumb (at least with my current cool boss). But I’m more passive than aggressive. Saying directly that I don’t want to do something is relatively new to me. Before I’d hem and haw, but now I say, “No, I don’t want to do that,” without shame of feeling unadventurous, and lemme tell you, it feels so much better.
But I wonder if we all wrote our life stories down, if we’d more often be the ones in the eye of the storm, we’d be the Bellas simply enduring the shit that’s thrown at us. I wonder if those “Buffy moments” are rare for any of us.
Maybe that’s also why fiction is in some ways easier to write than memoir. In fiction, the main character is separate from the writer and easier to put into action. That character says and does things you might never do. “I wish I had told that shoe salesman off!” In fiction you can.
In memoir the challenge is to make yourself seem like a character, and to remember that you do things too, you’re not just an observer. At least that was the challenge for me.
But if I had my choice, I’d be neither Bella nor Buffy. I’d totally be Willow, at least when she was bad ass enough to destroy the world. ;)