Right Name, Wrong Girl
In a shocking turn of events, I will not be the Margaret marrying Jack Antonoff
By Margaret Davenport
I reposted the Instagram on my private story with the caption, “It’s hard to see others living your dream,” first thing on a Tuesday morning. Margaret Qualley had posted a few selfies of her and Jack Antonoff—her boyfriend, but the love of my life. I didn't think much of it beyond my moment of morning jealousy; I woke up in my parents basement while successful actress Margaret Qualley snuggled with my dream man on what looks to be the streets of New York. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, but thou shall Insta-stalk thy celebrity crush’s girlfriend. It was all too easy for me to release my envy with the delusional mental promise that one day, Jack Antonoff will once again be single (after an amicable breakup, I wish Margaret the best) and I will be a famous writer who happens to integrate herself seamlessly into his social circle. He will realize he was meant to be with a Margaret, just not of the Qualley sort. I was peacefully ready to move on with my incredibly mundane day. Then, I noticed the engagement ring.
In all actuality, I never believed I would end up with Jack Antonoff. Despite the few panicked texts I sent out and even more condolences that I received upon realizing their engagement, I am very happy for Jack and Margaret. Knowing there may be a Margaret Antonoff in the world after all is enough for me to live happily ever after. But why does this all genuinely hurt my heart just a little bit? The rockstar’s girlfriend is a trope you’re supposed to leave behind in your Tumblr, Wattpad, revenge-bedtime-procrastination nights in high school. I’m not supposed to be upset over Jack Antonoff’s engagement or impulsively jump into a freezing lake at age twenty-four because I found out Harry Styles had a girlfriend (true story). The simple answer is because I truly do love Jack Antonoff. So maybe I’m not in love with him, but I am who I am because of his impact on me. He has written and produced some of my favorite albums and performed one of my favorite live shows. When I think of things that bring me genuine happiness, Jack Antonoff is on that list. I have felt seen in this world because of lyrics he has written. I understand that it’s cheesy. But it’s also true.
Society loves to idolize young love, the kissing by the lockers and the heartfelt college breakups. The type of romance that happens to you. Pop songs croon about a relationship you fell into not by choice but through stolen looks and awkward kisses. But what about the painful love? As I’ve unwillingly discovered, there are mornings in your early twenties where you look in the mirror and think, “God, you're an asshole.” Jack Antonoff has written songs, particularly for his band Bleachers and through the albums he’s produced with Lorde, that remind me that everybody’s kinda an asshole. There’s no way to fully avoid being one. And that’s okay. You can try your best and still fuck up. My love for Jack Antonoff may not be reciprocal, but it’s emotionally intimate.
I have fallen in love hundreds of times and I will fall in love hundreds more. Maybe it will be with Jack Antonoff’s next project; maybe it will be with someone I haven’t heard of yet. It is a distinct plight of the young woman to be embarrassed for loving what is popular. Thousands of fans will cry when Harry Styles gets engaged, and I am honored to be one of them. In a fucked-up time, there is no reason to deprive myself a single morsel of love. And if I pretend that Jack’s next Margaret-inspired album is about me, who’s to judge?
Me crying at a Harry Styles concert