It always happens this way.
I’m wandering along, content with my life, when I happen across a romantic comedy on tv and I, being the slow learner that I am at times, sit down to watch it because gee, I could really use a laugh.
And before I know it, I’m crying instead of laughing and there isn’t enough chocolate and beer in the house to cure me of the RomCom blues.
It’s my fault, really. Each and every time. I should know better by now. Almost twenty-nine years of constant romantic disappointment should have taught me to scroll past the romantic comedies and settle on something decidedly British and sarcastic.
I select 27 Dresses or Two Weeks Notice or Sleepless in Seattle and I sit still for two hours and by the end of it I’m no longer content but am instead distressed and moving quickly into melancholy.
The big joke in psychology is that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results each time. Haha. Hoho. Hilarious. I am, in this instance, by definition, insane and I’ll tell you why. I watch these movies expecting to not feel the tug of loneliness in my chest, to not experience the want for something unreal and available only in scripted plots, but by the time the credits roll I’m a mess of doubt and desire and crankiness.
Oh, the crankiness.
Nothing leaves me crankier than a damned romantic comedy. I’ll never have an apartment like hers, or a closet full of clothes like that, and I’ll never just accidentally bump into the hot guy in town with a tough exterior and a heart of gold. It’s like walking into Anthropologie without my credit cards and being forced to try clothes on that not only fit, but look amazing. It’s cruel.
I want a movie where the ending isn’t necessarily happiness and rainbows, where the leads understand each others faults and fall in love in spite of them, where the closets are full of clothes from Target and the lighting is never soft and perfect.
I want a life that works that way, where I’m not constantly left standing on a metaphorical curb while my romantic lead drives away into the sunset with someone else. [Sorry. That was melancholy.] Most of all, I want to stop whining when that happens, because it has happened and it will happen again.
Maybe. If I ever decide to date again.
Two months into that, by the way. Two months sans the awkward hellos and stress of finding the perfect thing to wear that doesn’t make me look fat. So far, so good. I’m vaguely content; not quite happy but not unhappy, either. I’ve fielded a few questions from confused friends, mostly the same question over and over again: But why? I’m often tempted to answer with the most childish response I can think of: Because. That’s why.
May was easy. June was…not. You’ll notice I didn’t post during June…and while I apologize for that, I’ve decided to just leave it be. I do, however, have high hopes for July, despite its beginnings. And then there’s August. Looming in the summer shadows, waiting for me. Hopefully by then I’ll be able to better explain my experiment to my confused friends, or at the very least come up with a slightly more mature answer.
Most of all, though, I’m going to stop watching romantic comedies. No more Hugh Grants and Colin Firths and their dashing good looks that make the ladies swoon. No more Kate Winslets and Cameron Diazes, whose characters I identify with far too often. I’m giving them up.
Now will someone please remind me of that the next time they see either The Holiday or Bridget Jones’ Diary playing on tv? Thanks ever so much.