When the title of a movie, becomes synonymous with a certain type of crazy in everyday language, it’s a sign that the film must be worth watching. Although, I have vague recollections of having watched Single White Female as a kid (it dates back to 1992 when I was young and innocent). I just remember being eww’d that there was so much ginger going on there. But recently, due continuous SWF references made to incidents in my own life, I was inspired to re-watch the movie.
While the film is a bit far-fetched but the story is timeless and touches on something many have experienced. It tells the tale of an incredibly needy women taking advantage of her flatmate who has just gone through a (partial) break-up. As it goes, the two chicks get on pretty well to begin with…hanging out, doing DIY, even getting a puppy together (doesn’t end well for this fur ball). But trouble strikes when the prettier, more confident girl, Ally, starts to get her life back on track – getting back together with her man, landing a good job, etc. Suddenly, Heddie (the needy one) loses her purpose in life (which basically revolves around being Ally’s BFF) and BOOM she becomes the ultimate frenemy.
Rent the movie to see what happens, but it’s a pretty grim tale. But what I find even scarier is that SWFs exist in real life (although they are not restricted to being Caucasian in anyway) and I’ve had my share of run ins (yup, plural) with them. It all starts fairly innocently, usually after some sort of trauma, such as a break-up or losing your job. The SWF swoops in like the female equivalent of your knight in shining armour – she becomes your everything; shoulder to cry on, wing-woman, relationship guru, career coach, chauffeur – she can literally morph into anything your heart desires. Her goal – to see you ‘happy’ (and under her spell so she can keep you close). But then without you even noticing she muscles into to all areas of your life. She’ll become buddy-buddy with the security guard at your complex and be waiting outside your flat with groceries one day when you arrive home after a hard day’s work. She’ll take up the same hobby as you, even investing in a state of the art bike and cleats (death wish!) and basically follow you around like a love sick puppy.
In some cases, you’ll get wind of her girl crush at the early stages and the ‘friendship’ will be easy enough to end. Sometimes you can even do this gently in a rather tactful way, maybe palming her off onto some other unsuspecting soul. But it most cases, SWFs don’t get the hint so easily and you’ll have to resort to more hostile tactics. Maybe enlist the help of a new, younger, more vibey BFF which’ll simply serve to send SWF’s jealousy levels through the roof. Or better yet (as we discussed in relation to frenemies) allow her to reveal her true colours by innocently hanging out with a man she LOVES (in her eyes you are sleeping with him). But regardless, of the approach to use to rid yourself of the SWF, be sure to understand that her attitude towards you will change as soon as you show the slightest sign of recovering from your trauma and becoming independent.
OK, so all of you, go watch the movie. It is an important reminder for us all to be careful when we’re at our most vulnerable. Remember that there really is no such thing as free lunch and for God’s sake beware of the SWF. And share your SWF stories in the comments below.
P.S. While its unlikely that your real life SWF will get the same god-awful hair do as you, if anyone suggests purchasing matching clothing LOUD alarm bells should go off!