SOn lazy Sunday mornings, I like to hang out on the couch and have marathons of my favorite TV shows. Every Fall, I get an overwhelming urge to devote at least 8 hours to "My So Called Life", the beloved 1994 series that launched the careers of Claire Danes and Jared Leto. I don't know what it is about the fall, exactly; maybe it's the desire to rock some warm flannel or dye my hair a lovely shade of Crimson Glow. But when the leaves begin to slip from the trees and the air fills with cinnamon and cider (clearly, I live in New England), I find myself putting on My So Called Life episodes and reminiscing about the first time I watched the show, when I was 14 and madly in love with Jared Leto's character, a beautiful but blank young man who went by the name of Jordan Catalano.Jordan Catalano is everything a 14 year old girl could want: he's pretty, and he's "mysterious", which, as we find out when we're older, is just teenage boy code for "kind of shady." Jordan Catalano is the kid in your math class who never looked at you, who never looked at anyone, even though everyone in the world was admiring him. He had a pained expression on his face at all times as he leaned up against the lockers and put Visine in his eyes. When I was 14, I thought, "Look at that, he's so numb he has to use artificial tears!" I now realize Jordan Catalano was just high. Often. Over the years, I've uncovered some other unpleasant truths about the Jordan Catalanos of the world. Yes, he was lovely, and yes, he had a way about him, but sometimes, that's all there is. There isn't a great mystery in everyone, though we like to think so, and sometimes behind a wall like Jordan's, there's just another wall, or another, the kind that never ever wants to come down. Angela Chase went out of her way to connect with Jordan Catalano, helping him open up, helping him learn how to read, and he repaid her by sleeping with her best friend and then winning her back through a manipulative letter that he had poor emo-tastic Brian Krakow write for him. When I watch the show now, I want to warn Angela, to tell her to run run run and keep on running, to tell her to dance with poor Krakow at the World Happiness Dance, but I know it wouldn't do any good, anyhow. Everyone meets their Jordan Catalano in this world; everyone falls for someone who isn't what they seem. The love I carried around for Jordan Catalano has officially dried up. He's just another mistake, another almost, another lesson learned. Still: don't you love the way he leans?
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