With the "It Happened To Me" column, Jane has been giving writers and not-exactly-writers the opportunity to tell the tales of the their most intriguing personal experiences -- agonizing, ridiculous and everything in-between -- for over 20 years. I've written a few myself, both in Jane magazine and here on xoJane, and I have a few more up my sleeve; some I've been holding back and a few I probably haven't even gone through yet. (I am in a constant state of bracing myself for my next IHTM-worthy experience.)
The stories told in these articles have been some of the most heartbreaking and riotous I've ever read, but what really draws the reader in is the title: "It Happened To Me" followed by a confession or revelation of some sort (usually the WTF sort). It's become such a famous formula that IHTM titles even became a game on Comedy Central's show, @Midnight.
Personally -- and I'm sure this is true for other XO editors and contributors -- I've started seeing "It Happened To Me" titles everywhere I go: song titles, ad copy, random snippets of conversations with friends. It's...a problem. But it's also a perfect opportunity for a roundup! I've put together a list of eight movies with titles that would make perfect IHTM titles. (I'll help you envision them by putting "It Happened To Me" in front of each one.)
IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Married a Monster from Outer Space
I would read the hell out of that!
IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Walked With a Zombie
The comments would inevitably be filled with "Why didn't you do anything besides walk with the zombie?" questions.
IT HAPPENED TO ME: Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!
Phyllis Diller could never be a wrong number.
IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Was a Teenage Werewolf
IT HAPPENED TO ME: So I Married An Axe Murderer
Are we sure this hasn't actually been an IHTM?
IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Died a Thousand Times
Oddly enough, when Jack Palance died, I could've sworn he had died before.
IT HAPPENED TO ME: Honey, I Shrunk The Kids
Ideally, we'd get the daughter to write "It Happened To Me: My Scientist Father Shrunk Me With A Machine He Invented."
IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Was a Male War Bride
This would click so well!
Have you ever heard someone say something and thought, "That should be an 'It Happened To Me'"? Have you been sitting on a story you've been thinking of submitting? You should most definitely send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!