Bletch to The Notebook

I was reading a book about true love and started throwing up.

Now I am pretty sure the two things were entirely unrelated… probably a reaction to consuming been-in-my-fridge-just-a-bit-too-long yogurt or your overeager winter 24 hr flu bug making an early appearance. No matter the actual reason, the two elements are connected in my mind… book about unlikely love overcoming all = puke.

Sometime in my slightly delusional with nothing in my system napping, I had a random dream about my ex. You know, THE EX. My Carrie Bradshaw version of Mr. Big. I think by the time you reach your thirties, most people have had a first love, a big love, a relationship that changes you, fills you with love and breaks your heart. My experience is no different. However, unlike Sex and the City, I absolutely do not think we should end up together.

Our relationship was a pretty simple story with a beginning, middle and an end.. not the stuff songs are made of. It was a positive, healthy relationship that ended when life pointed us in opposite directions. There were no deep-seeded betrayals, no bad guy. There was no big plot line, no epic “if only they had called/texted one another that huge misunderstanding could have been avoided” moment, no “crazy antics by well-meaning friends backfire and goofy debauchery ensues.”  It was not A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. It was not Shakespeare. It was a good story, just not a tale meant to last til death.

Maybe that is the root of my general dislike for most romantic stories and rom-coms… that there must be some epic calamity to break two lovers apart. There has to be a huge misunderstanding to progress the plot. And then of course there is the inevitable happy ending, the reconciliation, the “finally those two crazy birds realize they are meant to be no matter what life says” moment. That doesn’t sound like a good relationship to me… that sounds exhausting rooted in bad communication. That kind of dysfunctional bond isn’t sustainable or healthy. The thought of that being our society’s only definition of true love makes me nauseous.

It’s not to say I am not a romantic… heck three of my all time favorite movies are classic rom-coms; Princess Bride, Amelie and The Rock. (And don’t tell me that The Rock is not about the budding bromance between Nick Cage and the greatest man of all time, Sean Connery, fighting for their love, hand-in-hand, in the face of impending chemical warfare. Pretty positive that is the direct wikipedia synopsis.) I adore a good romance, an epic love story, a heartwarming tale of a true connection.  Maybe I am just more a believer in Casablanca than The Notebook. Some loves are not supposed to last forever. Sometimes true love is quiet and simple and easy. And sometimes true love has a timeline.

Once I had recovered my health, I ended up enjoying the book. It was a bit joyous and a bit heartbreaking with a beginning, middle and end. It was a story that I could get behind though… just because the finale wasn’t conventionally happy doesn’t mean the story wasn’t beautiful. And I will take a heartfelt, beautiful story without your happily-ever-after any day over an unhealthy, unrealistic expectation of what Hollywood thinks love is supposed to be.

P.S. I did clear my palate by watching The Rock… true love PLUS explosions? Count me in.


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