I am sick. It’s official. I have caught the bug that my son has and it’s NOT FUN from this end.
The last two nights I’ve been having trouble sleeping (yes, again) so I’ve put in the head phones and stayed up playing around on my computer. Night before last, I decided to go on YouTube and watch video clips of Big and Carrie’s relationship by season. Last night I did Lorelai and Luke’s. Gilmore Girls and Sex and the City. Two vastly different shows that I LOVED, two very similar story lines.
In both cases, the couples had extremely obvious chemistry. Not just the characters, but the actors as well, which makes it much easier for that suspension of disbelief thing. In both cases we’re rooting for them to find each other and in both cases, they eventually do. And then lose each other, and then find each other, you get the picture.
I found myself feeling new things about these beloved characters of mine though. Frustration, even anger. WHY do they act this way? I know, it’s actually brilliant because we self sabotage like this all the time, but JEEZ!
The thing that got to me the most while watching my beloved couples through clips, was the double-talk. Where they have a conversation, seemingly about something innocuous, but in actual fact is about themselves and their relationship, and no one will say what they’re really talking about. Oh, they will exchange “looks” and maybe their bodies will touch briefly in what I can only say is a dance of foreplay, but even though the (usually) girl will come SO CLOSE to flat out asking the guy to clarify, or come straight out with what he really means, either he will brush it off or laugh it off, or she will drop it, most likely preferring not to get hurt by him brushing her off.
The writers are actually geniuses because with this they keep us actively interested, panting on the edges of our seats, praying week after week, and losing our minds with the endorphin rush that comes when they finally get together. Or kiss. Or have sex.
But I’ve lost my taste for all this double speak, side speaking, talking in circles, not saying what you truly mean when you truly mean it nonsense. I actually feel that it’s doing young viewers a total disservice as well. It’s modelling toxic relationships to them as the “romantic ideal” or even the norm, which is so not how real love is or should be at all.
Remember that moment in Love Actually (of course you do, it’s the Holidays and they play it at least once a week) when zombie Rick’s character shows up at Keira’s house with the signs? I know, right? Yeah, I love that movie too. He uses signs with things like “to me, you are perfect” and “my wasted heart will love you”. And we all swoon and wish that we had that kind of love in our lives and no one says “Hey, hold the phone, isn’t she MARRIED to his BEST FRIEND??” Dick move, zombie Rick, dick move. No wonder you have to move to America in time for the zombie apocalypse and spend the rest of your life killing undeads. Karma.
Real love is nothing like the movies or television, and it’s not supposed to be. No one would watch a show where the couple argued about mundane things like how much toilet paper to buy, how smelly the other one’s feet are at the end of the day, who left hair on the shower wall and things like that. No one would watch a struggling couple sit tense at the table and discuss whether or not they have to go bankrupt. Or watch thirty episodes of: he pecked her cheek on the way to work and she spent the day doing laundry and job hunting. It’s not exciting. But it’s real. And those hundreds and thousands and millions of little mundane things are the reason why when you’re out at the restaurant, he’ll ask the hostess not to seat you near a draft because he knows you get cold easily. And why at night when he rolls with his back to her, she will scratch it for him because she knows he loves that. It’s why the words I love you mean so much more. They mean I know you, inside and out, up and down and I will make your life my priority if you make mine yours.
I have seen, even partaken in the double-speak, say something that is obviously completely about something else, conversations. I have even seen, and been a part of the dick move scenario (without the zombies or the signs). Because sometimes people lose their footing. But. I have also been blessed to be a part of the greatest love story I have ever known. The best part is, it’s not over yet. There is still so much yet to be written.
Now, in the time it’s taken me to come in here and play around with my words, my cold pills have kicked in and my orange juice is finished. So I’m going to lie down, get some rest and maybe watch a video. Who am I kidding? I’m a sucker for punishment. Especially the romantic kind.