Single-Minded: On the Making of a Superhero
There's a fine line between ''superhero'' and ''villain.'' I should know. I've been both.
The making of a superhero is hard work--there's the toxic waste-soaked meteor shower when Mercury goes all retrograde and the cost of cape cleaning to consider. Whereas the demotion to super villain seems pretty easy--just add absentee father, too much free time and delusions of grandeur.
On Wednesday during Nightline's celebrity ''face-off'' to figure out why the BLACK WOMAN can't find A MAN, comedienne Sherri Shepherd spoke about all the time it takes to validate a superhero but not the half hour it takes to typecast a villain.
Because if there's a good guy, there just has to be a bad guy. There can be no hero without a heel and with so many stiletto-clad single ladies stomping down Lonely Street, the scapegoat seems dangerously obvious. Problem is, so many of us become the baddie unbeknownst. I know because a long time ago I was once--inadvertently--a villain, too. According to my then-beau, this meant that I was a ''girl'' who assumed super-perfect powers in order to, perhaps, someday, force perception into reality and instead was eventually vanquished by that mighty weapon called timing.
He might have meant it as an insult.
Maybe if he called me a stuck-up jerk whose sadistic obsession with a mythological black male would inevitably leave her childless, maybe then I could've slapped him like a monochromatic movie star before slinking off to the boudoir to be ''ahvown.'' Instead, he called me Perfect Girl--able to dice onions and dodge commitment without crying.
First you have to know that this guy already had a growing urban harem of ''girls.'' There was hotel girl, club girl, 7-month girl, law school girl, London girl, and a girl whose secret identity I knew, but whom I refused to refer to as anything other than Prom Shoes.
Actually, back then I knew the secret identity of each girl, because thus far, I'd been losing at a little game I play called, ''Super Cool,'' in which I pretend to be the super coolest girl in the history of the universe, so cold, in fact, that it's totally cool for us to chat about all your other so-called relationships because it's cool, my baby, and we both know that in the end you'll choose me, the coolest. Despite totally sucking at all things sports-related, I kept at it.
The toughest part of my favorite pastime was making sure the other player never caught on to how I really felt. Keeping secret that one more word about Prom Shoes' complete lack of moral authority as evidenced in her choice of rhinestoned footwear might send me over to the dark side Red Rover-style--sweaty, pissed and eventually submissive.