The other day I think I MIGHT have seen two people Model Behavior-ing, which means that I saw two people who looked very much alike (apart from their outfits) switching lives, potentially. Probably it was not really happening. But maybe! Here’s what I saw from my table on the deck of a restaurant about 20 feet away (I asked my friends to confirm or deny but somehow none of them even REMEMBERED Model Behavior?):
Two young guys, both blond and tallish and lean, stood between their cars, which they had parked in a row alongside the curb in front of the restaurant. One was dressed like a nerd, or that’s how he’d be designated in a movie: he was wearing glasses and a polo shirt tucked into corduroys. The other one, who would be the bad boy, had on a white tank top and baggy shorts and a chain necklace! I’m serious! So anyway I was gaping at them because it looked to me like they were conversing about their plan, and what they’d do if anyone suspected they weren’t the REAL Jeffrey or Damian or whatever, and when they’d plan to meet back up and switch back. The one in the tank top put a duffel bag in the other’s backseat, and then he walked into the restaurant next to mine. A few minutes later, a girl came out of somewhere and got in the car with the nerd (or WAS he the nerd, really??) and they drove off! And I thought, that girlfriend thinks she’s with her soft-spoken math whiz boyfriend Jeffrey, but really she is seated next to rebel without a cause Damian. What they do not know yet is that they will actually be so much more in love than she and Jeffrey ever were.
The boy in the tank top didn’t resurface before I left so I guess it’s hard to say what happened for sure. But, relatedly, I think it’s important to note that a lot of people (well, some people) use Freaky Friday or Parent Trap as a reference or a verb when they’re describing two people switching lives, and it bugs me, because what they’re really talking about is more of a Model Behavior-type situation. It’s important to get this vocabulary straight:
To Model Behavior with someone is to switch lives with someone, preferably a twin or near-twin, whose life you envy, allowing each of you to realize that the grass IS always greener, but also ultimately resulting in cool boyfriends for you both.
To Freaky Friday with someone is to involuntarily switch BODIES with someone you previously assumed to be much different from you, with the ultimate result that you learn a thing or two about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.
Finally, to Parent Trap with someone is to switch households with your estranged twin in order to trick your divorced parents into loving each other again. Nuances! OK, all set.