“You know what your problem is, it’s that you haven’t seen enough movies – all of life’s riddles are answered in the movies.”
– Steve Martin
So, last night, I made my honey watch a movie with me.
Ok, I didn’t “make” him. That’s a total lie. But it made me sound powerful, right? Like I’m one of those “I am woman, hear me roar!” types. I figured that sounded better for the blog than the actual truth. You know – to help with my whole ‘online persona’ thing I got goin on. Because honestly? Well, honestly, it went a little more like this…
Me: “Honey, is there a game on tonight or anything?”
Me: “Oh, ok, never mind. It’s fine.”
Him: “What were you going to say?”
Me: “Oh, nothing. It’s fine. Really.”
Him: (*sigh*) “Melissa. What. Were. You. Going. To. Say?”
Me: “Welllll….I have this movie I was wanting to watch…”
Him: “Ok, that’s cool.”
Me: “Are you sure? We can watch the game if you want. It’s fine.”
Him: “No, let’s watch the movie.”
Me: “But it’s kind of a chick movie…are you sure?”
Him: “Yep. Let’s watch the movie.”
Me: “If you were really wanting to watch the game….”
Him: “Melissa. Go. Get. The. Movie.”
(See how this works? I laid down the law, right? I’m badass.)
Ok, so anyway, back to the topic.
So, we watch the movie and something about it just resonates in me. I can’t really explain it. I’m sitting there watching what is supposed to be a comedy (which it was, with some laugh-out-loud moments that you may not want to have your kids around for…), but yet somehow the underlying meaning of the whole thing was just hitting me like a ton of bricks. And so what do I do?
No, I don’t just cry. I SOB. The waterworks would. not. stop. I mean it. The tears, the hiccups, the snot….we’re talking the whole nine yards, people. I mean, what the heck was up with that?! And poor Richard….
Him: “Why are you crying?”
Me: “I’m fine.”
Him: “Is something wrong?”
Me: “No…” *hysterical sob* “…really, I’m fine…” *hiccup*
Him: “Melissa, what is wrong?”
Me: “Nothing!” *sniff* “I’m fine!”
(Thank God I don’t date women. That crap would drive me crazy.)
Ok, so for poor Richard’s sake (and for mine too, I suppose), care to join me as I try to figure out what the heck was going on with me? (This should be interesting…)
So, the movie is “The Five-Year Engagement.” Heard of it? Seen it? From what I’ve read, the reviews weren’t all that great, but I don’t really understand why. I thought it was a great, real look at a couple trying to figure out what the heck they’re doing together. What was supposed to be a quick wedding after a short one-year relationship, ends up turning into a five-year long “planning” session that just can’t quite seem to come together. You know – that pesky little thing called life just kept getting in the way of their plans. (Pssssh. That never happens, right??) What was supposed to be a happy time, ended up turning into a real, gut-wrenching look at the question, “Who the heck are we and is this really what we want?”
Over time, the two are starting to discover that life is taking them in somewhat different directions. Their best-laid plans of what they thought their future would be aren’t exactly working out like they had hoped. And as new things enter their lives (job switches, location changes, new ‘acquaintances,’ etc.), they start to feel like they’re no longer compatible. Like they are totally different people.
Hmmmm. (Ok, maybe now this is starting to make sense to me….)
So, not to give anything away if you haven’t seen it (which I’m sure it won’t take you long to figure this out as you’re watching it anyway), the two decide the differences are too much and they decide to take a break. During this break, “Tom” (the main dude) has a somewhat uncomfortable, hilarious discussion with his parents as they divulge tidbits of their relationship from over the years that no child ever wants to hear. But during the hilarity, a little snippet of wisdom spills out from his mother: “Your father and I weren’t 100% compatible, heck we weren’t even 60% compatible. But he’s the love of my life.”
Ok. I think I’m on to something now. Let me share with you one of my favorite writing quotes of all time.
“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”
– Flannery O’Connor
This is so incredibly true for me. Sometimes I’ll just sit down at the computer with a random idea in my head and just let my fingers do the talking. I’m often just as surprised at what it is here as the readers are. Somewhere inside of me there is a knowledge that I only know how to tap into while I’m writing. This time is no exception. As I sit here and describe this movie to you, this relationship to you, I realize why it touched me so deeply.
It hit home.
Richard and I are very, very much in love. But buddy, let me tell you something. We are about as different as night and day. This second year together has been a trying one for us. New jobs, moves, you name it…we’ve faced it. And sometimes, we haven’t done such a great job of dealing with it. Sometimes we get frustrated and feel like what we want in life and who we are as people are so far apart that they stand no chance of being on the same page. But then.
Oh, but then.
He looks at me. I look at him. And my heart melts. It really does. I’m not kidding. This isn’t one of those sappy love stories (you people know me by now – I tell it like it is, no sugarcoating). This is a real relationship, filled with hard times left and right, and yet – still. We look at each other, and those butterflies are still there. After all this time. This man is the one I want. He is truly the one I want. And you know how that makes me feel?
Friggin scared to death.
Thus, the tears. The sobs. The hiccups. The emotions.
Like the couple in the movie, we don’t know what the heck we’re doing either. I mean, we are absolutely CLUELESS, people. Picture someone handing a rare, precious, fragile object to two people – telling them to hold it in their hands and keep it from breaking – and then strapping them into an open-air Jeep and sending them on a 100-mile-an-hour cross country trek across boulders and ravines. Yeah. That.
That’s us trying to keep our relationship going in this crazy world. And if I were a betting woman, I’d say that probably pretty aptly describes each and every one of your relationships too. Am I right? This crap ain’t easy, man. Trying to blend your life with another person – another person who has their own thoughts, their own habits, their own ways of doing things – just can’t be expected to be easy. But you figure it out. Why?
Love. That’s why.
Another quote from the movie:
“I don’t think we can figure out all of our problems before we get married, but I promise you that I will just love you every step of the way.”
That’s all we can do, right? Just love each other through the mess. Cry when we have to. Scream when we need to. And then…
Hold on tight and laugh and smile through all those great times that remind you why you’re still hanging on. They are worth it.
So very very worth it.
“I believe that two people are connected at the heart, and it doesn’t matter what you do, or who you are or where you live; there are no boundaries or barriers if two people are destined to be together.”
– Julia Roberts