Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I am Ryan Gosling.
Love Solo and his company though I may, there are things I miss doing when we're together.
Things I typically do alone.
& so, this weekend, I resolved to do those things;
sleep in late,
stay in bed after sleeping in late and read,
watch romantic movies on netflix.
& with these plans in mind, I watched: Blue Valentine, Like Crazy, and Take this Waltz.
These were not the romantic films I was expecting, instead, they were realistic conversations about what happens to relationships over time.
That reality is: they become stale.
There's a scene in Take this Waltz that I feel really sums up the central concept I'm getting at.
The central character is a married woman who, though she loves her husband, is intrigued by a budding flirtation with a neighbor. This character has attended an aerobic swim class, primarily frequented by elderly women, with two other young friends.
When the class is over, the three young women wash themselves at the opposite end of the community showers from the cluster of older women. The three young women are talking about marriage, and talking about the feel of new relationships. One of the women says, "I like new things, they are shiny." An older woman across the room says, "New things turn into old things." & the camera pans between the young women showering and the old women showering, the movie-watcher can't help but draw a paradox between the young bodies and the old bodies.
I should mention there is full frontal. Not because I liked it so much as because I want to warn anyone who might think, "What a cute movie to watch with my parents/grandparents/children I'm babysitting."
I don't want to ruin anything for you if you are planning to watch any of these movies so I won't say too much.
I will say: as the central relationships in these films struggled, I found myself rooting for reconciliation.
"They're made for each other, they have to work it out!"
& that's when I realized something; I am a hopeless romantic.
It's a secret I've always been ashamed to admit not only out loud, but even to myself: my whole life I've been looking for the right guy.
& while you're sitting there judging, you filthy shit person (& my apologies if you weren't), understand: I am fully aware that the right guy isn't going to complete me. I believe that feeling complete comes from within. I don't think my life will be better or perfect or that I'll somehow be better simply for having found the right guy. I just want to find him, for whatever it's worth.
Of these 3 movies, I really felt a personal connection to Dean from Blue Valentine (played by Ryan Gosling--hence, the title). He is a character who falls hopelessly in love and is willing to give anything for it. He is someone looking to polish his tarnishing relationship. & the movie asks the viewer: what do you do when it's lost for the other person? When you can't polish anymore & polish is all you want to do?
I wondered whether I watched the movie whether I wanted to find someone like Dean or whether I felt like I am Dean.
In particular, I've been turning this quote from Blue Valentine over in my mind:
"I feel like men are more romantic than women. When we get married we marry, like one girl, 'cause we're resistant the whole way until we meet one girl and we think, 'I'd be an idiot if I didn't marry this girl; she's so great.' But it seems like girls get to a place where they just kinda pick the best option... 'Oh, he's got a good job.' I mean they spend their whole life looking for Prince Charming and then they marry the guy who's got a good job and is gonna stick around."
In what has become a vicious cycle, I've been obsessing about whether my propensity to try to polish relationships, my desire to make things work, makes me the kind of girl described in that quote.
Where do you draw the line between compromising and settling?
I have no idea, that's why I've been twirling this around in my brain for so many days.