Death of Hollywood actors happen often.

For some reason, Brittany Murphy’s passing really hit me to the core.

When I was 16 years old, my parents moved our family to Israel. I was in the 10th grade and started attending my cousin’s high school. She was (and still is) one of my best friends- so I was excited about my new life. Up until that point, I had attended all-girl schools and this was my first co-ed experience.

The school administration refused to place me in the same class as my cousin, even though we were in the same grade.

My plans to win over my classmates with my wit and American Mystique shriveled and died pretty quickly. I made NO friends with each painstaking attempt I made. I was seated next to Meely, the class SUPER NERD- And she didn’t even want to be my friend!!!!

My shining light was always my cousin. She was SUPER DUPER popular and had her own clique. I was attached to her hip, and she was amazing about it- never making me feel less than. I would often hang out with her and her popular clique and feel the odd man out. I was in no way pretty (ugly duckling during those years!) and I still think that girls that age should NOT look that perfect- it’s against nature I tell ya.

Me circa 10th grade

The girls one day decided to nickname me “Tai” referring to Brittany Murphy’s character in Clueless. I asked them why, and they said that I reminded them of her(i.e I had curly hair, I was chubby, I could draw cartoons, I had a good singing voice.)..but what they failed to actually mention was the main reason they called me Tai- it was because I was the uncool kid that they were doing a favor for by hanging out with. I was their charity case.

They made me cool by association.

It was BY FAR the most difficult teen year of my life. I never felt that I fit in there. And I didn’t. My family ended up moving back to my hometown a year later.

During my first semester of college, I decided to RUSH Greek Life on my school’s campus. I was one of the only girls from my school who attended that college and so I thought a sorority was the best way to meet friends. I pledged Kappa and half way through the pledge period, I was given my pledge name:


My mouth dropped when I heard it.

How the heck was I given the SAME.EXACT.NAME???

This time around, I was told that the name was given to me because I had curly hair, was from Brooklyn, and seemed somewhat boy crazy (you know, due to my all-girl schooling). I knew that the name was given to me that time around NOT because I was unpopular.

I guess I was just “Tai” and that was all.

I was actually one of the popular girls in my sorority, and that was the time in my life when I started coming into my own.

Every time I saw a movie with Brittany Murphy over the years, or flipped through a magazine and saw her there.. it was like looking at my alter ego.

Of course, we all know how she drastically changed over the years- to unfortunately conform to Hollywood’s impossible standards….

She suffered  a heart attack at the age of 32, most likely due to mixing prescription drugs (and possibly anorexia). 

I pray she finds peace, if not in this life than in death.

I hope she knows that she was perfect just the way she was.

I will always hold a special place in my heart for Tai. 


2 thoughts on “Tai

  1. edenland

    Oh I hear you.

    She was outstanding in Girl, Interrupted … had so much talent and potential. Then she lost herself, and kept getting engaged to all those different guys. I wanted to tell her she was beautiful already, she was enough.

    Such a shame.


    PS Maya did you go back to those girls in Israel and run circles around them with your glossy hair and true beauty? I hope so.



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