Like every other boy, I had a crush on my babysitter. I had a crush on her without even knowing what that meant, really. I just liked her and wanted her to like me.
This feeling is something that is cultivated in our society, in our nice guy art written by nice guys who believe they deserve love, they deserve sex from the girls they’re into simply because they think they’re nicer than the stereotypical jock or “bad boy.”
For my adolescence, I was one of those “nice guys” and I was always stuck in the “friend zone.” I remember (and wish I could forget) the awkward voicemails, the painful letters I wrote to express my love, to convince the many women I was somehow IN LOVE WITH SIMULTANEOUSLY of my affections, of my rightness for them.
I thought I just needed to keep expressing my feelings, keep proving how nice, cool, funny, supportive, wonderful I was, and eventually, She would realize the truth. That I was the guy for her. On most occasions, I never considered that she just didn’t like me that way (and there’s nothing wrong with that). Instead, I believed that she just didn’t know me enough. She didn’t know what she was missing, and it was my job to prove it to her. This dangerous toxicity was compounded by loneliness, by the fear fest that was high school and puberty, by the pressures of sex and misogyny everywhere I turned. At 18, I was a loser running out of time to lose my virginity, let alone kiss someone for the first time.
Better Watch Out is the Christmas-themed depiction of what that kind of society shapes our boys into and what everyone else has to contend with. It’s Home Alone if Kevin McAllister was a sociopath, a disturbingly small leap to make.