As a rule, people like being something they are not. We like to pretend. We play make-believe when we are little. We dress up for Halloween. We wear Cover Girl. I am not going to say that all of this is somehow inauthentic or wrong. No. I am not going to get all Holden Caulfield on your ass. Actually, I am going to celebrate this aspect of being human, as best exemplified in the Kristy McNichol film Just The Way You Are. She plays a young girl who was born with a "crippled foot," and uses crutches to walk. She goes on a ski weekend and decides to dress up like someone who has a broken leg, instead of someone with a permanent disability. She puts on a fake cast and stands back and lets the romance blossom. It is supposed to be a feel-good made-for-TV-movie, but it's a pretty depressing message overall: If you have something wrong with you physically, no one will love you, so you have to fix it or die alone. However, the film shines as low camp, and that is really all that matters anyway.
I've been thinking a lot about the Land of Pretend and Make-Believe, because I am at Disneyland for three days. I also knew I was going to write about my favorite S.F. restaurant, the Sausage Factory, and I realized that both places have something in common: They have created alternate universes. They are pretending. When we go to them, we get to walk into surroundings that are far different from the usual...
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