I am not a girly girl. I have never been a big fan of romantic movies with happy endings. Couldn’t really tell you why, I suppose we could lay down on the couch and psychoanalyze the “why’s” but I’m pretty sure it’s because the happy endings never leave me happy. I’m far too jaded. Or so I thought.
Last week we were supposed to get our 845th Nor’easter of the season and I invited my coworker, Annie, to stay at my place so she wouldn’t have to drive from the south shore into work through blizzard conditions. She got to my place and we got to talking and she wanted to watch “How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days” starring the obnoxiously perky Kate Hudson and Mr “Alright Alright Alright” himself, Matthew McConaughey. The premise is that they are both in a bet – he to make a girl fall in love with him, she to get dumped – in ten days. It’s funny, it’s heartbreaking, but in the third act they realize they are in love and everyone lives happily ever after. I wanted to hate it. I think I do. But goddam it if I didn’t find myself smiling like an idiot while the credits rolled. I wanted to punch myself in the face. But it didn’t stop there. Nope, she wanted to watch “He’s Just Not That Into You”. This is where I got shook.
It’s a movie about a group of people who’s lives intersect and the goings on in their relationships. The main girl is Gigi. Gigi believes in love. She believes every guy she meets is “the one”. And, when faced with a guy who doesn’t call her back after a week, she STILL looks for signs that he is still interested. She finds a way to believe that even if he’s giving her every sign he’s no longer interested, she can still make it work. I. AM. GIGI. And I hate myself.
I have been a serial monogamist my whole life. And I have stayed in bad relationships because I believed I could make them work. And I have stayed around after getting dumped one, two, three times by THE SAME PERSON because I believed we were “meant to be”. I sent cleverly worded emails that I would agonize over for hours before hovering my finger over the “send” button and then closing my eyes and clicking. I would mail cards, drop things off in the mailbox, anything to keep me top of mind in his mind to let him know that I’m still here and that the Universe wants us to be together.
I realized I’m a psychopath.
Gigi’s point is that every girl wants to be the exception. You know, after a breakup you always hear the stories about “they broke up, but after a year he knew he couldn’t live without her and they are now married with 10 kids”. And no matter what the depth of your black heart, we still want to believe. We still want to be the exception. I want to be the exception. Is this wrong? Am I too old to believe this? I mean if Ben Affleck is gonna put the ring in those awful pants and marry Jennifer Aniston there is hope for us all, right? Yeah, no.
So, what did I learn? I’m rethinking the holding on to what has gone, but I’m not letting go of what could be.
Also, that Erin McCarley song. Gets me every time.