The flamboyant, outsized, self-destructive deluded female is everywhere. But until Woody Allen gave us the character Jasmine in "Blue Jasmine," we usually had to milk our memory bank to connect the dots. It took that for us to decide and write off so-and-so as that sort of nuisance. Tennessee Williams' character Blanche DuBoise from "A Streetcar Named Desire" belonged to a different time. She wasn't part of our gestalt.
No surprise, last night at my 12-step meeting, I had no trouble finally putting an acquaintance in the Jasmine box. Since she hadn't been with the group for ages, I asked another member about her. Sure enough, he told me that the last time he had heard from her she was calling from the federal building in Hartford, Connecticut. ICE had apprehended her for deportation back to her homeland. Obviously, someone had ratted her out.
Over the past few years I was among the ones who dropped our version of Jasmine. What had initially attracted us included her striking tall beauty, the names she dropped, elite manners, creativity, and the promising commercial projects she was engaged in. But all the theatrics finally wore us out.
Those Jasmines, it seems, always wind up stuck - or worse. Unlike the rest of us screwups they don't seem to have a second or third or fourth act in them.