The Lisa Principle: Everything I Ever Wanted*

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Art & Life

Lisa from Weird ScienceMost of the definitive 80s movies I saw, I didn’t see until they hit cable or video. So, I was always at least a year behind the curve.

I do remember seeing the ads on TV for Weird Science, though, and I remember wanting oh so badly to see it. Just the basic premise spoke loudly to 10-year-old me: there were kind of dorky guys, computers, wild times and that pretty girl. Little did I know then just how much life would parallel art for me… or the kind of impact the film would have on my view of things, in retrospect.

A year or so later when I did finally see the movie, my personal life was well on its way to being utter hell. I was, for all intents and purposes, some odd hybrid of Gary and Wyatt. Not exceptionally notable in the social structure, the target of more than a few harassing peers, and desperate to find love.

What I didn’t have was a fancy computer program that let me zap a doll into a real live sexy and wild woman.

But, man, did I want one. Even if I had to wear a bra on my head to make it work.

The wild times that Gary and Wyatt have once they summon Lisa from the aether fit well with the fantasy of big-deal social gatherings I’d been taught to expect popular people in high school would go to. People crowded into every nook and cranny, loud music from a live band, and free-flowing alcohol. All while the parents were out of town.

Not something I could ever organize, that’s for sure. And not something that Gary or Wyatt would do themselves, either. They, like me, were too scared to really step out of their comfort zone. They wanted the wild life, but weren’t confident enough in their abilities to get it.

Lisa changed all of that for them. She pushed them past their comfort zone. Way past their comfort zone. In fact, she pushed them so far, they had to eventually push back in order to keep things from really going overboard.

Through that journey, though, they discovered they did, indeed, have the balls to stand up for themselves–and the brains to do it in ways that didn’t require just pushing other people around. (A show of force did come in handy when the mutant raiding party rode into the party, but that’s mutants for you…)

In the end, they boys are closer to being men. Not because they saw naked women or because they threw a party that would still be talked about decades later. They were closer to being men because they discovered the difference between fantasy and reality. They discovered what it meant to take action.

They discovered how to be themselves. Proudly.

And that was all summed up in what they told Lisa as they asked her to stop pushing and go somewhere else.

“You’re everything I wanted in a woman,” Wyatt tells her, “before I knew what I wanted.”

That right there is something we all need to learn.

Fantasies are good things–they help us learn who we are, explore things we wouldn’t otherwise do–but when it comes down to it, what they are are tools for getting to what’s really important.

For becoming ourselves.

And that’s what we really want, even if we don’t know it.

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  • Weird Science! That is one of my ALL-TIME favorite movies. Heck, Lisa is everything *I* wanted in a woman too, before I knew what I wanted. 😉

  • Weird Science! That is one of my ALL-TIME favorite movies. Heck, Lisa is everything *I* wanted in a woman too, before I knew what I wanted. 😉

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