This will ring bells for anyone who’s read Scarlett’s Fidelity is a Virtue, If It’s OTP article and Jennifer’s Sam Carter’s Cheating Heart. It’s a theme I, frankly, never even really noticed much before.
Another good example of this trope has arisen on USA’s The 4400. Basic premise to the show: people who vanished suddenly reappeared, with special abilities. Diana Skouris is an NTAC (government agency that oversees the 4400 phenomenon) agent who has adopted a little girl who was one of the special returned abductees. The girl, Maia, can see the future. Handy!
Anyway, in a recent episode, Diana’s flaky sister April stopped by for a visit with her latest boyfriend, Ben. Chit chat occurred, with Diana and Ben talking about travel or photography or something. Diana noncommittally suggested she’d like to see his photos. After April and Ben depart, Maia announced that Diana was going to get married soon and wasn’t it exciting? Diana asked to whom she’d wed. Maia told her that her new daddy was going to be…Ben. April’s boyfriend.
This freaked Diana out. Life went on…and some days later there came a knock on her door. It was April’s boyfriend, with the photos. Diana was still wigged and blurted out “Look, this isn’t going to happen.” Her sister’s boyfriend wasflummoxed – rightly so. What the hell?
It would have been fine had they ended it there…Diana told Ben why she had the freak out on him and they agreed not to push their luck and just not see each other in passing ever again.
Which didn’t happen, naturally. They were meant to be, you see. They ran into each other in the grocery store and proceeded to innocently shop together. At the end, both confessed it felt like a date…and kissed each other, just to see what it was like. Fireworks, baby.
I started getting more than a bit irritated here, but I think they eventually wound up sleeping together at least once before they fessed up to sister April, who was devastated…and get this: she didn’t hate Ben or hate Diana (after all, they were fated!), she hated herself for being so wholly unloveable that the only decent guy she could snag ended up being better with her own sister.
Say it with me, folks: WTF?