Danny Castellano is Not My Boyfriend; My Boyfriend* is Not Danny Castellano
I'll admit it, I'm addicted to The Mindy Project.
In some ways, this should not be a surprise-- I think Mindy Kaling is brilliant and all things wonderful. I love the character she has created, though were I to watch TMP with my parents, I'd blush and turn it off and be embarrassed at just how dirty it is. I don't know how often I've thought, "Seriously? This is on TELEVISION?" But maybe it's not shocking to folks who have had access to broadcast television for the last eight years.
Anyway, right or wrong, I adore the show. I love Mindy Lahiri, and I love Mindy Kaling even more. She is my spirit animal.
Just watching the show is invigorating. Call me Stella, I've got my sassy groove back. My speaking pace is faster, my comebacks are zingy-er, and my clothing gets brighter after watching some Mindy.
But there's also been this weird side effect. I have to keep having this little conversation with myself. It's a weird pep-talk, but a necessary one. My inner voice occasionally nudges me and says, "You do know that Danny Castellano is not a real person, right? And you DO realize he's not your boyfriend?"
Here's the thing-- I think Mindy is so lovable and relatable to women like me because this whole dating/marriage thing? Yeah, we sassy, single 30-somethings all assumed it would just take care of itself last decade. And one day you wake up and say, "Oh yeah-- maybe I should try to check that off the list." But the abundance of options from your younger days are gone. And then your choices are limited to that awkward guy from your graduating class who has never kissed a girl and maybe the reformed drug addict who still thinks marijuana is no big deal. It's a little discouraging. Add in articles on Facebook shared by your single friends filled with statistics on female to male ratios in (especially LDS) singles populations (Hint: at least 2:1) and you're in a depressing mess.
So Mindy's monologue at the beginning of Season 3 rings pretty true. "After years of dating losers and sociopaths, I'm now happily dating the man of my dreams-- a devout Catholic divorcee with some pretty serious dad issues, which, for a single 30-something woman, is not too shabby."
In that vein, I have a confession.
I thought I'd found my own Danny Castellano. We'd been out all of three times, and though this guy isn't a doctor (which isn't really my thing anyway), he hit several of the other descriptions above. I liked him-- no, let me rephrase that-- I like him. As in currently. But truthfully, I'm afraid I let Mindy get in my head, because I kept expecting this very real person to act like a very made-up character. And just because I happen to speak like I was created from Neil Simon's imagination does not mean that's normal.
Fortunately, I have my mantra and use it as a little bit of a reality-check, and I *THINK* I've kept my weirdness in check. But sometimes I'm not sure. And I have a feeling there could be major complications if I forget.
So in the future if I refer to "Danny," it's me talking about someone in my current social rotation-- not the character-- just to be clear. Of course, renaming him Danny probably isn't going to help me keep all this straight in my head.... oh, who cares?!? Just call me Mindy from now on. That's my life ambition anyway.
*"Real Danny," meaning the real-life guy I'm calling Danny (confusing as all get out!) is also not my boyfriend. Three dates does not a relationship make, haters. But I think I should still try to find him some of those red glasses.