Friday, October 14, 2011

Rom-Com Bomb

     I recently had a day off from my day job.  One of those rare, jewel-encrusted, splendiferous days that makes living seem worth while again.  I sent Buttercup off to school, shuffled The Yankee out the door to work, and surveyed my surroundings.  My house was reasonably clean, the laundry was basically done thanks to a laundry marathon over the weekend, and there were no real errands to run.  I had the day all to myself and I was so thrilled, I did a happy dance in the kitchen.  After creating a gourmet 6-cheese and pancetta macaroni and cheese for a late breakfast/early lunch, I was off to watch some of those romantic comedies I’d been saving up for a time when I was alone.  Most rom-coms take place on Planet Earth so that assures me The Yankee will never be caught dead watching one.  I’ve seen my share, but this was going to be a marathon of all the ones my girlfriends keep telling me I just have to see.  I settle down with my killer macaroni and get on with my marathon and day of relaxation. 

      Boy, oh boy, did I learn a lot about relationships.

      First of all, rom-coms are fairy tales for adults.  The characters are the envy of the audience: their problems are light, their relatives are endearingly nutty, their friends are enduringly loyal, and their “messy hair” still manages to look sexy.  Somehow, even single secretaries make enough money to afford a swanky apartment and trips to the local pub every weekend.  The “chubby” friends are a size 10 and that annoying guy who just can’t get the hint would be the envy of most average women. 

      Secondly, I learned that there are three different types of romantic movies: the ones that have a happy, albeit predictable, ending; the ones that have a surprise twist at the end but it works out anyway; and the ones that really have no ending at all.  This last category is the one I hate the most.  I came to watch a story.  A story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  Running out of ideas does not qualify as an ending.  Forgetting to turn in the last few pages of the script does not immediately qualify it as a “cutting-edge drama”.  You were paid to write a story and you are making me do half the work by writing my own ending?  Shoddy writing, my friend, shoddy writing. 

      Thirdly, the men in these movies are not from this planet, I am sure of it.  The instant I heard a man say, “I was insensitive to your feelings.  I didn’t consider you in my reaction.  You are the most amazing woman on earth and I don’t deserve you”, I would be looking around for a hidden camera or a space pod.  I think I would just speak quietly through my teeth and a fake smile, “Ih ve are veing vatched, just vlink your eyes a hew tines.”  (Admit it.  You said that through your teeth with a pasted-on, toothy grin.) 

      The last thing I learned is that no one, and I mean no one, ever eats.  Even in restaurants they order a bottle of champagne, barely get the glass to their lips with something “unexpected” happens and they have to leave.  I realize it is difficult to allow for chewing, swallowing, and savoring when under a movie’s strict time constraints, but come on!  Real people eat.  I know that would come as a shock to most of Hollywood, given the requisite “Three C’s” diet of coconut water, cardio, and colonics, but someone really should send these directors a picture of normal people seated around a dinner table with food they cooked for themselves. 

      I finished my movie marathon, washed the 6-cheese pancetta macaroni and cheese pan and started working on a dinner devoid of champagne, coconut water, or drama.  The Yankee would be home before too long, Buttercup bouncing at his heels, and they would be looking for food.  I set out the ingredients for mushroom smothered steak and sautéed collard greens, knowing it’s a family favorite.  I look around my house, my kitchen, my decidedly non-sexy bedroom and smile.  I guess in a way my life is a rom-com.  My hair never looks sexy when I wake up, I never have enough money for trips to the pub every weekend, I am the chubby friend.  On the other hand, my relatives are endearingly nutty, my friends are enduringly loyal, and whether or not The Yankee is from planet earth is still undecided. 

      I hear the car in the driveway as I set the table and light a few candles.  My life is a romantic comedy.  And this is one ending I don’t mind writing.

© Bertha Grizzly 2011.  All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or distribution.

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