When I saw “One Day” the movie with my best friend, I thought to myself that I had to read the book, regardless of its tragic ending.
Call me masochistic, but there’s something about tragedies that draw me in—maybe I am equally incredibly tragic, I don’t know. That or I just felt incredibly drawn to Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew—my tragic self thinks there’s something that’s just so relatable about them.
Dexter Mayhew reminds me of the guys I (have) love(d)—self-confident, world explorers, and despite having accomplished exteriors, they are the types to have a part of themselves that don’t really know what they want (yet would not ever dare admit such). And of course (I’ll begrudgingly admit this), the types who seem to have a ridiculously schoolboy-ish charm about them. (Perhaps, secretly, I wished I were more like them—the ones that got what they wanted and got away with murder.)
That said, I always felt that I was a bit more like Emma Morley—self-deprecating, self-righteous, everything self-whatever, except self-confident. it is probably a surprise that I admit this, given that I’ve been branded as intimidating more than once and in different periods of my life (to which I reply, “How is that so? I’m such a dork!”). I’m the kind that felt forever in limbo, forever waiting for her big break, forever waiting—
Sometimes I think I’ll never be in a genuinely functional relationship (Lord knows I’d rather be a spinster than end up with someone un-funny like Ian Whitehead) until it’s too late. While I don’t have premonitions of dying unexpectedly and too early, I just think that for the most part, I’ll be someone like Emma to (perhaps more than) one person—the shoulder to cry on or perhaps, in a night of debauchery—well, I wouldn’t dare go there.
What I do find redeeming about Emma is that despite her self-deprecation and lack of self-worth, she goes into a metamorphosis in a span of about 15 years—perhaps growing into the best version of herself for that period in time. It’s as if she reached her dreams—just not in the timeline that most people would probably have imagined. And yes, she was Dexter’s redemption. At the end of it all.
I didn’t intend for this piece to be a book review. It’s just funny that I saw One Day at a time when I was at my happiest in recent months—I just thought it mirrored a few things in my life and that it grounded me back to reality—that all good things must come to an end, eventually.
Yes, I guess I really am like Emma Morley that way.