I mentioned this book before, and I want to share another little excerpt that I thought seemed quite fitting from Julie Klausner’s “I Don’t Care About Your Band”...
The chapter begins with a discussion about Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy’s relationship dynamic…
“Miss Piggy was hugely feminine, boldly ambitious, and hilariously violent when she didn’t get her way, whether it was in work, love or life. And even though she was a pig puppet voiced by a man with a hand up her ass, she was the fiercest feminist I’d ever seen.
I took my cues from Piggy, chasing every would-be Kermit in my vicinity with porcine voracity and what I thought was feminine charm. I was aggressive. I’d find a crush and press my hoof to the gas pedal. I wasn’t the girl who couldn’t say no - I was the girl who wouldn’t hear it. But looking back, I realize Kermit was, for lack of a better term, just not that into her.
So much about Kermit the Frog is intrinsically lovable: his sense of humor, his loyalty to his friends, his charm and confidence in who he is, despite the challenges of being green. But at the same time, Kermit has a distinct indifference to the overtures of his would-be paramour that I came to expect from the boys who crossed my path from grade school on. I think watching Piggy chase Kermit gave me an odd sense of what men and women do, in real life, when they’re adults. I figured that if you – glamorous, hilarious, fabulous you – find a boy who’s funny and popular and charming and shy, and you want him, you just go and “Hi-Ya” yourself into his favor. Piggy and Kermit represented the quintessential romance to me. And I don’t know how healthy that was.
Watching The Muppet Movie recently gave me a feeling of deja vu, and not in the way you expect when you watch a movie you loved as a kid. As I watching Kermit haplessly biking down the street without a care in the world, about to be smushed between two steamrollers, I thought, “Oh my God. I know that guy. I’ve dated him.” Kermit, beloved frog of yore, suddenly, overwhelmingly, reminded my adult self of vintage-eyeglass-frame-wearing guys from Greenpoint or Silver Lake, who pedal along avenues in between band practice and drinks with friends, sans attachment oblivious to the impeding hazards of reality and adulthood. “Oh my God,” I thought. Kermit is one of those hipsters who seem like they’re afraid of me.
It all came together.
Remember how content Kermit was, just strumming his banjo on a tree trunk in the swamp? That’s the guy I’ve chased my whole life, killing myself trying to show him how fabulous I am. Remember how, on The Muppet Show, Kermit used to politely laugh at Miss Piggy’s earnest pleas for some kissy-kissy, or fend off her jealousy after flirting right in front of her with one of his pretty guest stars? Because she loved him, Piggy would always take whatever he felt like giving her.
Kermit never appreciated what he had in Piggy, because she was just one thing about his awesome life. He had the attitude women’s magazines try to sell to their audience: that significant others are only the frosting on the cake of life. But everybody knows that cake without frosting is just a muffin.
I wonder how many guys from my generation looked to Kermit as an example of the coolest guy in the room. How maybe they think it’s OK to defer the advances of the fabulous woman they know is going to be there no matter what, while they dreamily pursue creative endeavors and dabble with other contenders. And how maybe they figured that if you’re soft-spoken and shy, and you know how to play a musical instrument, girls will come in droves. That you don’t have to learn how to approach women or worry that she’ll do anything but fly into a jealous snit if you talk to other girls in front of her.
Sometimes I suspect that Kermithood may be the model for modern masculinity. If it is, it doesn’t match the matehood expectations of a generation of Miss Piggys who, at least eventually, want more. After all, since we were little, we were taught that the only point of chasing frogs is the hope that they turn into men when you kiss them.
Maybe Piggy would have been better off with Fozzie. Gonzo was a pervert and Rolf, another musician, would have been beholden to the demands of the road. And Piggy probably could’ve stood a chance to feel a bit dainty next to him, too, Fozzie being fuzzy and barrel-chested and all. There’s nothing like a spindly-legged, amphibious boy who weighs less than you do to make you feel like a real hog.”