Psycho Bitches – The Borderline
The best depiction of a borderline personality disordered individual ever committed to screen is Glenn Close’s Alex in Fatal Attraction. This Cluster B disorder (of which women are most afflicted) is marked by poor boundaries, impulsivity, and a violent reaction to any real or perceived rejection. At first these seductive femme fatales appeal to a man’s fantasy of the no-strings attached hot affair. The borderline’s lack of boundaries and amorality are a turn-on in the bedroom, but when the man tries to return, sated, to his wife or move on to a more appropriate girl (as in the case of Mormon boy, Travis Alexander), the borderline psycho bitch just won’t let go. She may, as in the case of Jodi Arias, at first subject herself to her lover’s diminishing returns and lack of respect (he famously referred to her as his three-hole wonder), but a girl can only take so much abuse. Her already dangerously damaged ego lies coiled like a cobra ready to strike. She shows up at his house looking cute and breezy—I drove from California to Arizona, but I just happen to be in town. He lets her in—hey, what’s one more lay? I can get her out of here in time for my trip with my new “virginal” girlfriend. Sorry lover. While you were showering off her stank, petite Jodi struck, and struck hard.
If you have the stomach for it, google the crime scene photos and you’ll be amazed at how much damage one small woman can do to a muscular young man who was caught unawares and unable to fight her off; a horrific testament to the power of psychic rage.
The brilliant dynamic on display in Fatal Attraction is that crazy Alex, living alone in her whitewashed loft above the slaughterhouse in Manhattan’s meat-packing district (great foreshadowing) wearing her chic white outfits, does garner some sympathy. Michael Douglas’ Dan is a dick. He not only cheats on his wife, but he treats Alex shabbily by expecting the affair to be on his terms only. This is where the male lover makes his fatal mistake.
I do feel sorry for Alex in the iconic scene when she’s turning the light switch on and off all alone in her white world listening to Madame Butterfly (Dan’s little speech about the opera earlier makes her feel that they have a special bond; for him, perhaps just a seduction technique). This vignette is a brilliant piece of acting by Close and directing by Adrian Lyne, the man who brought us the 80’s joys of Flashdance and 9 1/2 Weeks.
I don’t think there is any woman who hasn’t had a moment of despair over a lover’s rejection, but most of us (hopefully) don’t include a knife in our wardrobe kit to play out an affair’s sad final scenes.
No man deserves slaughter by psycho bitch. Still, one should never mess with a person’s emotions just to get in that last lay. If you tango with a borderline, you may find yourself at the end of a stiletto. As these true and dramatized cases prove, even if you wear a condom, there is no such thing as safe sex.