Today, The Daughter and I are going to see the movie Pitch Perfect 2. I have not seen its predecessor, Pitch Perfect, but I assume it doesn’t matter. The plot appears to be that old chestnut; a group of loveable misfits enters a contest and comes out on top. Instead of catchy tunes playing over the action, the catchy tunes are the action. Oh, they might actually lose the Big Contest itself, but they will all be Winners. Someone will find the Love of their Life. Someone will discover hidden talents. Someone will summon latent courage. Someone will make the cover of Time magazine.
The Little Rascals, The Dirty Dozen, Star Wars, Bad News Bears, Major League, Ghostbusters, Cool Runnings, Harry Potter, Toy Story, Oceans Eleven, Slumdog Millionaire, Over the Hedge, Glee, and, in a reversal, Legally Blonde, the story of a beautiful rich girl whose goodness is thwarted by jealous people who are even more beautiful and rich. They’re humans, animals, toys, children, adults, felons, wizards, time-travelers, athletes, rich and poor, from all cultures, real and fictitious.
They all suffer and endure and become memorable characters with inordinate amounts of hope and do great things, because that kind of hope does not disappoint.
Who can’t relate to at least one of the characters in a misfit movie? At some time, we have all felt ourselves to be The Other. If you haven’t, then you probably don’t have a heart. These stories have a Smart-Ass. A Genius. A Shrinking Violet. A Cool Kid. A Privileged Kid. A Really Poor Kid. A Kid with a Unique Physical Attribute. Everyone has a crucial talent to contribute. Their equipment is dilapidated, but their key to success is threefold: They’re smart. They persevere. They have Principles.
I’m sure I’m the Smart-Ass, because my mouth gets me into trouble. All. The. Time. In trying to be truthful, I am all too often blunt. For all my verbal acuity, I have a lot of trouble with tact. I also have trouble with the arrogant, the liar, the fear-monger, the cheat. (The honestly stupid, not so much. They try my patience but get my pity.)
The other day, I got into an argument in a clothing shop, the “cheaper” version of a major women’s retailer. I saw a sign hanging on a rack of denim pants that said, “Denim – $39.99.” I checked the tag. The pants were normally $69.99, which is ridiculous for a pair of non-descript, white denim pants. They probably weren’t worth $39.99, but they were a petite-size, which is hard to find these days. I tried them on. I even verified with a clerk in the dressing room that these pants were on sale.
“Oh, yes,” she said. “All denim is on sale.”
I got in line at the cashier. The pants rang up as $69.99.
“Excuse me,” I started, “these are on sale.”
“No, they aren’t,” the clerk replied curtly.
“Well, the sign says ‘Denim – $39.99.’”
“Not all denim is on sale,” she continued. The other cashier side-eyed us. The customer behind me stepped away from the counter.
“The clerk in the dressing room verified it when I asked her,” I pressed.
“These pants are NOT on sale.”
I marched to the rack and flipped the sign in her direction.
“The sign is on the rack with these pants!” I complained rather forcefully. “How can these denim pants, hanging directly beneath the sign, not be the denim pants that the sign says are on sale? If these aren’t the denim pants on sale, which ones are?”
Now, people all over the store were staring at me, the crazy misfit Smart-Ass.
“Ma’am, the company sends us the signs and tells us where to hang them. It doesn’t mean that those pants are the pants that are on sale,” she said loftily.
“That’s false advertising. I don’t want the pants.”
“You don’t want the pants?”
“No, I certainly do not, and, you know what? This is the second time in a month that this has happened in this store. I won’t be shopping here again.”
I picked up my handbag and walked out. Behind me, I heard laughter. Morons.
I should have whipped out my cellphone and photographed the sign on the rack of pants and posted it on Facebook. The Daughter, who had some experience in retailing in a better women’s clothing store, said I should have asked to see the store manager. She pointed out that a smart clerk or store manager would have sold me the pants at $39.99 and moved the sign.
Coulda. Shoulda. Woulda. I’m not going to be ripped off either by overpriced pants, deceptive retailing, or snarky clerks. I’m not going around pants-less. I own other pants. It’s the principle that matters. I shall persevere and be a better person for it.
142 views this week and only one scammer, a woman from Delaware allegedly writing on behalf of her boss in Reno, Nevada, who said that I was “the only woman that caught his attention…” I always feel bad reporting the people with the profiles, because they’ve obviously had their photos and profiles hacked. Still, it’s the principle that matters. I see myself as a one-woman avenger, in my crazy misfit Smart-Ass way.
On match, you can see some of the men/women who have viewed your profile. Lately, most men have bought the “Hide your profile so you can look at women without their knowledge” option. I find this creepy. It’s like being stalked by a peeping Tom. At best, I envision spies in restaurants peering over the tops of menus. At worst, I envision perverts photographing women on the beach for nefarious purposes. (I saw that on Inside Edition last week. What is our world coming to?)
Out of 142 views, only 12 profiles were visible to me. Only five of those followed up their viewing by expressing an interest. That’s kind of depressing. Of the five, only one was even remotely appealing. Some of the 12 were attractive, and, assuming that there was something in my photo that grabbed their attention, I wrote to them anyway. I decided to be less picky, just to engage men in conversation, but it’s hard for a woman of character to endure men of no principle. I also changed my profile to say that I would write to anyone who winked, interested, or favorited me. It seems only fair to answer someone who summons the courage (or the chutzpah) to flirt with a complete stranger.
Which brings me to Pitch Perfect 2. It’s really not giving anything away to say that the misfits overcame a humiliating disaster. More than one character found love. More than one character exhibited hidden talents. Someone summoned courage when it was needed.
Goodness always wins. Beat it up. Steal its toys. It may wear dilapidated pants, but it’s still going to be good. And that gives me eternal hope, so, who am I to complain? Life is good (mostly). Soli Deo Gloria!
 Romans 5:3-4. Yeah. Even for cartoon characters.