I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I can’t overstate how much of an affinity I have for High Fidelity. While other movies may rank higher on my “all time favs” list, I doubt any of them have been as influential.
1. It remains the only movie I’ve forced every. single. woman. I’ve been even somewhat serious with to watch. The Wire doesn’t even get that treatment from me, and if The Wire was a woman, I’d (happily) hold its purse in public, go rock climbing with it, and drink its bathwater after we finished said rock climbing.
2. It’s at least 27% responsible for me creating lists out of everything—I swear Buzzfeed just straight up jacked VSB’s 2008-2010 steez—and maybe 53.7% responsible for me creating arbitrarily exact percentages when making a point.
3. It’s also 13.8% responsible for my steadfast belief that the music, movies, books, and TV shows a person likes—and why they like it—matters. It’s not the only thing that matters. But it’s definitely one of the only things.
4. I’ve included Lisa Bonet before when people have asked me to name actresses I thought were very attractive. This is a lie. I’ve never really been attracted to Lisa Bonet. But, I am totally, completely, head over heels in love with “Marie De Salle.” This also matters.
Still, while all the other tidbits about it make it cool, what makes High Fidelity High Fidelity—basically, what makes High Fidelity good—is the concept behind it.
What would happen if you had an opportunity to speak with each of your exes?
How would it go? Would you be cool? Cordial? Antagonistic? Would you still be attracted to them? Would you be surprised that you were actually attracted to them at one point? Would you be upset if they weren’t attracted to you anymore? If single (or not), would you try to sleep with them? Would you recognize them? Would they recognize you?
Whether you have two exes or 32, I’m sure you can think of dozens of questions you’d ask them, and High Fidelity gives us an opportunity to vicariously do something everyone has thought of but few of us have actually done.
But, while this is a thought we’ve all had at some point, it only tells half the story. And, it only tells half the story because it’s a self-centered thought. Of course we fantasize about having that type of conversation with some of our exes, because that conversation would be safe. Sure, they probably wouldn’t feel the same pressure to be “nice” that people in relationships with each other often adopt when sharing feelings so they won’t hurt each other’s feelings, but they probably won’t be exactly forthright either.
If you really want to go there, there’s only one question that needs answered:
What would your exes say about you…when they’re not talking directly to you?
I’m sure every one reading this has at least a couple stories about “the batshit chick” you dated or “that stalker-ass n*gga” who still randomly shows up to your family reunions or even the “emotionally insecure idiot” with “daddy and mommy issues” who you swear is going to ruin the next person they date.
But, when that person you dated from 2003 to 2007 is talking about you to their friends, are you the batshit chick? When they happen to come across your Facebook profile, do they shudder, cross themselves, and thank God they were smart enough to delete your number? Do they take it upon themselves to warn other people about you? Do you think they think of you as “the one who got away” when you’re really “the one who’s the reason why I caught the gout”?
Interestingly enough, as “self-aware” as I say I attempt to be, I have absolutely no interest (NONE!!!) in knowing what a couple of my exes would say about me. Not all, but a couple. I can only imagine that, if I heard the inner thoughts of one ex in particular, my memory of a “considerate, witty, but slightly immature” 27 year old me would be, um, contrasted with “f*ck that big head, big toothed, limped d*ck, analog-ass n*gga. F*ck him as a staff, a record label, and as a motherf*cking crew.”
And, I’d (probably) deserve it.
Anyway, people of VSB, I’m curious. What would your exes say about you? Do you even want to know, or would you prefer to stand beside me with your head in the sand?
—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)