Reel SexOver two days in the winter of 2010 I read Julie Klausner’s hilarious and intimate memoir, I Don’t Really Care About Your Band. As someone who spends just as much time loving guys as I do movies, Klausner’s welcome invitation to her past dalliances touched me in a way I so craved at the time. When I wasn’t conflicted over the similarities between her love choices and mine, I was laughing because “thank god!” she experienced some of these situations and not me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read my fair share of twenty-somethings struggles with love and life creative non-fiction offerings. But with each turn of the page I wondered if Klausner and I were the same person, each separately living the same life experiences. By the time that book ended up in my hands, I had suffered through two consecutive heartaches and was stumbling headfirst into a year of life changes I wasn’t sure I could handle. With a year’s perspective, I can assuredly say the life lessons in I Don’t Really Care About Your Band directly contributed to me not losing my boy-crazy mind.

Early in the book Klausner shares her first relationship “ah-ha” moment. She reflects on the personal damage of her first celebrity crush and how that man unconsciously embodied all the men she would shack up with through her formative teen and adult years. This man wasn’t the conventional Brat Pack heartthrob frequently fantasized on by ladies of the 1980s, but rather a tiny green Muppet named Kermit the Frog. And she quite seriously fancied herself his Miss Piggy.

“As a kid, I took my cues from Piggy, chasing every would-be Kermit in my vicinity with porcine voracity and what I thought was feminine charm” (Klausner 14).

She idolized Miss Piggy, and it’s easy to understand why. The pig-Muppet was a tough, no-nonsense beauty. Miss Piggy never allowed anyone to step on her toes (multiple dance partners were fired due to their inability to keep up with the queen pig), she never allowed others’ ambition to get in the way of her own, and most importantly she was a woman who had an entire company invested in her success. In the 1970s, Miss Piggy represented everything a modern woman wanted: equal career opportunities, a rich lifestyle, and the love of her dream man. In essence, she had it all.

Miss Piggy and Kermit The Frog

As a child I never thought of Miss Piggy as an ideal example of a powerful woman, although I had always envied her karate chops and command over the stage. To me she was always a pig who loved a frog, something surface level I just couldn’t understand. It wasn’t until I revisited the Muppets films and television catalogue during college that I recognized the amazing nature of this lady pig. Her strength and love of her frog paramour both amused and saddened me. Couldn’t she see that she was better than some love-silly girl who had to work just as tirelessly to keep the attention of her boyfriend (husband?) as she did on keeping her career relevant? The moment you take off your rose-colored child’s glasses, the out-of-favor the sexual politics between the two lovers becomes painfully obvious. Piggy loved Kermit, Kermit loved being loved.

This isn’t to say Kermit was an emotional succubus. On the contrary, as Klausner points out, there is “so much about Kermit the Frog [that] 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” (Klausner 15). He is a man made of and for loving, however his discomfort with being loved so emphatically by Miss Piggy was both a hilarious running gag and an outdated reminder that no matter how much you love someone you will still have to trick them into eventually marrying you. Both Kermit and Piggy were cartoon versions of real life commitment, but the moment you start looking at them as role models (let’s be honest, who hasn’t at one point fantasized about a child’s hero or heroine?) is the moment you allow yourself to think one person should be held up on a pedestal, while the other is only around to worship an idolized figure.

Klausner mentions near the end of her essay that “Kermit never wanted to devote his life to making Piggy happy,” and up until this week that was true. However writer Jason Segal, in a tribute to his own childhood obsession with the Muppets, gave Miss Piggy back her voice (Klausner 16). The Muppets (out today) features multiple scenes where Miss Piggy not only knocks Kermit off his pedestal but also expects him to change for the better. She makes a point of letting him know that she was wrong to trick him into marrying her during The Muppets Take Manhattan, and that she would love him forever even if he couldn’t do the same.

Miss Piggy wanted to make him happy, both onstage and off, but she also wanted his respect and love in return. She finishes her apology/confrontation by saying that it’s never been about what was good for him and her, but what was good for all the Muppets. Kermit doesn’t really understand what she means at first, but eventually he realizes he can’t expect romantic love if he’s unable to give it in return. Kermit may be able to survive without Miss Piggy in his life, but recognizing that he doesn’t want to is probably the most romantic act our amphibian hero could ever bestow upon his lady love. And his hopeful turn of opinion encourages our own wishful thinking that we, too, can change a man’s outlook on love.

For more sexy things, check out the Reel Sex Archive. For more Muppety things, check out our Guide to the Muppets.

Citation: Klausner, Julie.  I Don’t Really Care About Your Band: What I learned From Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I’ve Dated. New York: Gotham Books, 2009. Print.


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