with Lynne and Leslie
Category Archives: brides over 35

Engaged and Abstinent? Not Wanna Look Like a Freak AND be on TV?

by SweetMidlife

 

It’s Lynne! Okay, I waited too late to send this out because I have had quite a week and these people are wrapping casting on this project by tomorrow BUT we were approached by a casting director who is working on a new reality show about engaged couples over the age of 35 who waiting to have sex for a myriad of reasons. They will send you on a retreat with relationship experts and such, and it sounds rewarding.

Now, the last time a major network did a show about people who waited until they got married to have sex, they came off looking like crazy freak people. And as someone who waited to have sex until she was married, at 39, I know we aren’t all freak people. We made conscious decisions that honored us. I asked the casting director if this was a respectful look at this choice and she said YES. So read below. Maybe be on TV.

Here’s the casting announcement:
My name is Stephanie Lewis and I’m a casting director in NYC. I wanted to reach out because we are working with a major cable network on a new series about committed couples ages 35 and over who have yet to consummate their relationships.

Each couple will have the opportunity to go on a weekend-long intimacy retreat with world renowned Christian relationship experts as they work together on their journeys. Whether you have chosen abstinence for spiritual, medical, or emotional reasons, we will work with two committed people who are interested in taking the next steps in their relationship. The goal of this retreat and the ultimate series is to build a strong foundation as each couple embarks on a new and exciting chapter. If you would like the chance to work with the best sexual therapists in the country to enhance your emotional and physical life with your partner, this opportunity is for you.

For more information and to talk to a casting director, please email RelationshipRetreatCasting@gmail.com.


When Weddings Attack….And Love Fights Back

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here! The following is the personal account of the activity and, well, craziness that surrounded the nuptials of our best friend/kinda triplet Nikki Turner Lewis and her now-husband, Sam. It really was like something out of a movie, except you couldn’t really write the stuff that happened. But darn it if it was not one of the loveliest weddings I have ever been to. The love that these two have? Well, it outweighed everything that went wrong. Which is good. Here is Nikki telling her story.

1. Sam had a stroke-like episode and couldn’t work for a while, so we had to re-plan the wedding in about a month.

2. Due to his medical problems, he couldn’t fly, so there was some worry about whether the groom would get there in time for the wedding (I had to go to Texas and drive him back to Baltimore). But it was lovely bonding time.

3. The day before the wedding, my mom had to get rushed to the hospital with low blood sugar (she was okay!). In addition to being extraordinarily scared for my mom, I missed my hair and spa appointment. I had to find another hair dresser at the last minute (cuz the one doing my hair was going out of town later that day which is why my hair was scheduled for early the day before).

4. While getttin’ my hair did, and only having in half my tracks (she was getting a weave, y’all) ), my doc calls and tells me my routine blood work came back and OMG! and I had to rush to the hospital and get re-tested, because if the results were right, I was a ticking time bomb and needed to be admitted.

5. At hospital checking blood work, I get two idiots who didn’t understand what STAT meant and tried to tell me that my wedding rehearsal wasn’t important enough for them to rush results. Fortunately a female PA came in, listened to me and my sis cry about what was going on and got me out of there with CORRECT and NON-LETHAL blood work so I could get to my wedding rehearsal on time where I found out…

 6…that the photographer had a heart attack on the plane on the way from Austin to Baltimore and was in a hospital in Chicago (where the plane had a layover)
7. Fortunately, Sam’s friend Myq (who is also a photographer) came to the wedding and he stood in for us. We also had the mom of the flower girl taking pictures (and she did a really great job!).

8. I had to leave my own wedding rehearsal dinner to go the the nail place at Owings Mills Mall to get my nails done. That was my spa time.

9. The day of the wedding, the make-up person was 45 minutes late, which put me behind schedule. Then…

10. The flowers were late because some drawbridge in Baltimore got stuck open and the florist couldn’t get them delivered on time. So I wound up getting to the ceremony an hour late.
11. Oh!! And because the flowers were late, my two best friends couldn’t even ride with me in the limo (cuz they had to get the flowers to the menfolk at the church), which was something I REALLY wanted to happen.
12. Somehow, my mother didn’t get walked down the aisle by my brother-in-law (which totally wasn’t his fault) like she should have – which honestly STILL bothers me. Mom should NOT have to walk down the aisle by herself.
13. There was some mix-up with missed song lyrics and arrangements, and there was no music playing when the wedding party left, which was kinda eerie.
BUT….

1. It was a beautiful sunny day.

She is so pretty, says the writers of this blog, and everyone with eyes.

2. We all got to witness the ring bearer be coaxed down the aisle by my brother with candy. Everyone should witness this once in their life.

3. Our mothers both spoke and gave advice that made everyone cry.

4. The ceremony was full of love. (Says Lynne. Who was a bridesmaid and could see everything)

5. There were tears all around, including the Groom, the Mother of the Bride (who is NOT a crier), and the singing bridesmaids.

6. The pastor based her message on “The Princess Bride”, and that is awesome.

7. We have beautiful memories of people we love that aren’t here anymore, like my mother-in-law and Uncle Butch.

8. The reception was a tea, and my beloved Sam prepared most of it, and all of our friends pitched in to set it up, including the wife of our eventual photographer, who happens to be a chef.  (And it was BEAUTIFUL and lovely and comfy. -Lynne)

9. There was eating and laughing and loving.

10. Everyone enjoyed the beautiful cake. Look in the bottom corner.

11. But most of all, this happened….

So it was a good day.


5 To Do’s for the bride at 35 (or older)

by SweetMidlife

Hi! Wedding Week Continues with advice from guest blogger Jocelyn Warren, who we grew up with in Baltimore. Jocelyn knows what she is talking about: she is the owner of A Paradigm Shift, LLC, an event planning firm in Raleigh, North Carolina, AND also got married recently in her early 40’s. Enjoy!!

5 To Do’s for the bride at 35 (or older)

by Jocelyn Warren

Jocelyn on her wedding day!!

At the age of 38, I met the man of my dreams. He was handsome, strong, a great father, and a wonderful person. He asked me to marry him 3 years later (officially—he actually told me we were going to get married 2 weeks after we met). So at 41 I found myself a bride-to-be. So along with his proposal came a barrage of advice from others. Out of it all, this is what I wish someone had told me!

  1. Do what you want

We did. We had the wedding we wanted. I wore a princess ball gown. He wore a chocolate tuxedo. We had our three tiered wedding cake, over 100 guests from all phases of our lives, the traditional dances, but we made it our own. We are known for the games we play when we entertain and love of sports so both were part of our wedding day and celebration. We had it our way. We put aside the expectations of others and incorporated our personalities from our engagement pictures to the music we used to enter the reception. Click here to see our entrance at 1:00 – 1:45 min of this video clip.

  1. Do wear what you want

Once we decided to have a traditional wedding, I decided on a traditional gown. This was not my first marriage and I was over 40, so people tried to tell me all kinds of things about what older brides should wear. In the end, I wore a strapless DaVinci ballgown. I compromised with my 70 year old mother who thinks brides should not have bare shoulders. I wore a beautiful organza shrug. Do not wear a matronly gown if you don’t want to! Wear what you are comfortable in and what looks good on you. It will show in the pictures!

  1. Do invite who you want

I did not do this and I regret it. We invited about 197 people and 137 RSVP’d and 123 showed up. Yes. I am still annoyed that people RSVP’d and did not show up but that’s a blog/rant for another day. But I wish we had really sat down and ONLY invited the people we absolutely without a doubt could not imagine our day without. That is who you want in your pictures, who you want in your energy and space. Ask yourself, would I buy this person dinner for $XX (whatever your per plate cost is). If the answer is “No,” nix them from the guest list.

4. Do trust your gut

Brides over 35 are wise. They have managed to navigate lots of life’s pitfalls and come out in love. Amazing! So all the instincts you have in other aspects of your life, put them to use in regard to your wedding. If you don’t get a good feeling about a location, a vendor, a contract. Trust your gut. Don’t do it or at least ask more questions. Run your ideas by others and get input, but if you can’t put your finger on why you don’t want to do something, don’t dismiss it. You will be thankful later! Trust me.

  1. Do hire a planner

Most of us do not plan weddings routinely. If we are fortunate, you only plan one! Many brides at 35 are working professionals and don’t have time to conjure theme options, know how to “brand” a wedding, research venue options, develop timelines, coordinate vendor arrivals, or even know what is reasonable to have in a florist contract. Wedding planners do all that and more. Hire one. They are often much less expensive than you think and the money you save in the resources they have, will often pay for their cost in the end. If you simply cannot hire a planner sign up for email lists and blogs of planners so that you can, a least, get some of their words of wisdom.

 

If you have questions or need more help with your wedding planning, call me at 919.701.9556, see our webpage, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.

 

Jocelyn Warren, a Baltimore native, is the Owner and Event Designer for A Paradigm Shift Event, LLC located in Raleigh, NC. A Paradigm Shift Event, is a full service, boutique wedding and special event planning company committed to fundamentally changing the event experience.

www.AParadigmShiftEvent.com 

Phone:  919.701.9556

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AParadigmShiftEvent

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/aparadigmshift

Twitter: https://twitter.com/A_Paradigm_SE

 


Wedding week: Be a cheerful giver…and getter

by SweetMidlife
There is no ticket price on a wedding invitation. 

Leslie here!

I remember being blown away as a young adult when I found out how a bridal gift registry worked.

“So you’re saying that I go into a store, look up things I want, write them down and then people buy me what I asked for?”

“Yep.”

“What sweet madness is this?”

By the time I got to fill out my own gift registry, it was almost two decades later, and I’d been on the other side of that sweet madness many, many times. I thought that having experience buying gifts for people made me pretty judicious in what I asked from other people, as in: I felt that my job as a wedding guest was to buy you a gift, preferably one you had asked for, that did not make me look cheap without putting my rent in jeopardy. I learned, especially when I was younger, that you had to jump on the registry and buy the less-expensive nice gifts first or someone was going to beat you to it. And if a bride ONLY had high dollar items on the registry, I either bought a $50 gift certificate or went in with friends.

So as a bride, I was very careful to have a range of things I registered for, in price and in fanciness. I was almost 39 when I got married, so while I already had towels and plates, I registered for some that could establish us as a new household. However, I didn’t go crazy and say “Y’all better buy me $50 a piece towels,” because it is not anyone else’s responsibility to buy my fancy towels. Of course, the registry is just a suggestion, as far as I was concerned. While there were a couple of things we got where we were like “Uh, OK!” we accepted everything cheerfully and gratefully.

Because they were gifts.

And not legal obligations.

Or compensation or reimbursement for the money we spent on the wedding.

I’ve read some horror stories online on sites like HellsBells, where people submit hideous stories of bad wedding etiquette, about wedded ingrates who start email battles with guests whose gifts they consider unworthy of the money they spent on their meal, or of one idiot who tried to return a beautifully presented “wedding cake” made of the towels HE AND HIS FIANCEE HAD REGISTERED FOR to the co-worker who had painstakingly assembled it, because they didn’t want “artsy crafty” gifts.

And expected her to buy them something else.

What?

Nobody had to buy me crap. But they did. And when they did, we thanked them and moved on, particularly because we got enough cash to buy our own towels if we decided to. A wedding invitation should not have a dollar sign on it. All you need to do is RSVP in time to ensure that I don’t pay for your dinner if you’re not gonna show, and then just show up and not start a fist fight in the buffet line or cuss out my grandmother. That’s it. Gifts are usually expected, but if you don’t give me one, the wedding’s already been paid for so while it’s not the custom, it’s not like I need your check. And unless your gift is a rotting bag of oranges, illegal substances or something I gave you with the price tag scratched off, it’s cool.

Feeling this way does not make me perfect or a martyr. It just makes me a grown-up, I hope, because my wedding didn’t roll out the way I’d planned, requiring me to adjust my definition of gift. After my husband and I had paid the deposit on the hotel where we’d be married and started telling people the date, we found that he had a tumor in his ear for which his insurance would not cover the surgery to remove, as it was a pre-exisiting condition. After about a week of worry, we decided to get married in the same place we’d planned, with the dress I’d purchased and as many people as we could get from the original guest list…just several months earlier.

Immediately, we called our loved ones, most of whom lived several states and a couple of hundred dollars of plane tickets away, and said “We love you and want you here, but we understand that you now have four weeks rather than five months to buy plane tickets or bridesmaids dresses or gifts. You now have to decide what to do with your kids who were invited for what was supposed to be a summer wedding, when they were out of school, but who will now still be in school. You have to rearrange possible vacation days, or check your calendar. We know we are asking a lot of you, so understand that we mean it when we say…if you cannot make it we will never be mad about that. And if you come, particularly if it’s going to cost you more to come now than it would during the summer…consider that your gift.”

And we meant it. But you would not believe the gifts that we got – the gift of the friend who called Costco and personally ordered my flowers, and then yelled at them for a refund when they screwed it up. The gift of a song that a friend learned to play for our recessional. The gift of free photography from friends who usually charge thousands, or of wedding planning from a friend who had charged that much professionally to do the same. The gift of various wedding party members running out to buy last-minute candles, to pick up out of town guests I’d forgotten to update on changed plans. The gift of my grandma, who didn’t think she could travel after surgery but who, on a fixed income, got clearance and bought a last minute ticket anyway which wasn’t cheap, even at senior prices.

These are gifts that are given out of love, that cost money and time and effort and organization. They are not sold at Pottery Barn. There is no gift certificate for “fill out place cards the morning of the wedding at the bride gets stuffed into her dress.” That’s a gift, nonetheless.

And I wouldn’t exchange them. They are priceless.


Wedding Week Begins! Today, A Picture Paints a Thousand Joys…

by SweetMidlife

Hi! Lynne here! So, this week on The Sweet Midlife, we wanted to talk about weddings. I actually wanted to do it in June, and this is July 1st.  But shoot, the theme of this blog is that wonderful things can happen in your life, no matter how late you night think it is, so I guess it’s okay that we are a little behind. So, here is a thought on weddings.

I got married almost 3 years ago, and it will be forever be one of my favorite days ever. Yes, the planning had nutty times, and there was that one day I asked if we could elope, and there were people that I couldn’t invite because of a limited guest list, and there are things that I would have done differently if I could have.

But what I see when I look at the pictures is happiness. The excitement on my face. How lovely my friends were as they curled their hair and got dressed. How proud my aunt was that she was wearing a corsage and being honored, not just as my aunt, but also, hopefully because she felt beautiful, which she doesn’t feel about herself enough. My goddaughter and another little friend dancing. My husband and I about to leave the wedding, relieved that we did it, blessed to have each other, completely aware of what we’ve got in each other, united for what is to come. I see my Daddy, so handsome and happy to be giving me away, even though I didn’t know until later that he was having a really bad cancer-fighting day. I see my Granddaddy, handsome and strong, so excited to read the Scriptures during the ceremony, because he loved me AND because he loved the Bible so. Daddy and Granddaddy are both gone now, so those memories brought back by those images are even more precious now.

My favorite moments from my wedding, and my favorite ones captured on film, aren’t the ones that were posed. I love those too. But I love the moments that just happened. The moments that reflect happy because they came out of a happy event. Joy reflects joy, organized or not. So I guess my thought on weddings as I write this is this: If you are planning a wedding, remember why you are hopefully going through all of this. Not just to make a splash, or to have that big day that you planned when you were 7 and didn’t even know your future spouse. Hopefully you are having a wedding to celebrate the union of two souls that can’t go one more day without being together. And that you want your loved ones to see it. And that this will make everyone happy. And if that is the case, this will show up in your pictures, and you will cherish those moments and remember that feeling a day later, a year later, 5 years later, and forever.


It’s a Nice Week to Talk About Weddings.

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here!

When Leslie and I first started this blog, it was called “Bride At 35”, and it was geared towards wedding advice and such for those over the age of 35. We both got married the year we turned 39, and we found that so much of what was out there for brides was geared toward younger folks. Eventually, though, we realized that we were talking more about life in general at this age, so we became “The Sweet Midlife”.  We always thought, though, that we would still talk occasionally about weddings and such since that is a part of life to.

This is where you come in!

Next week will be Wedding Week here on The Sweet Midlife, and we need your help. We are looking for contributions from you guys that we can feature on our blog! They can be….

  • Your love story/wedding story if you got married over 35 and how you think getting married at that age affected that. Hopefully it was in a good way.
  • Advice to folks getting married now. We would love to hear from people who got married “older”, AND people who got married younger (and if you aren’t married anymore, we still want to hear what you have to say).
  • From wedding-goers/bridesmaids: We would love to hear your advice on how brides and grooms can make their day great for you, too. Would love to hear stories: hopefully they all turned out good or you can put a positive spin on things that didn’t go so well.
  • If you are single, we would love to hear from you, too. It could be thoughts on being a wedding-goer/wedding party person (see above), how you have felt either honored or not at weddings (I, for one, the older I got, felt put on display at the bouquet toss. In a very bad way). Or anything.
  • Any other wedding thing that we aren’t thinking of but you want to write about!

So, yeah! We would love to hear from you, whether you want to send us a whole blog post, or if you just have 1 piece of advice that we can compile with other folks’ stuff. You can inbox through Facebook, or you can email it to sweetmidlifelynneleslie@gmail.com. Can’t wait to see what you got! Share the love!!


Yes, I was an old bride! And thanks for the ice cream!

by SweetMidlife

Taken three years ago. And no, this is not from a Lifetime movie.

The hubby and I just got back from a quick but satisfying third anniversary getaway in Vero Beach, Florida, less than two hours away from home but a whole world removed from the “Lookit my money” feel of Palm Beach or the “Lookit my boobs” feel of Miami. The evening was notable in many ways, and not just how the very nice people at the resort, from the staff to the other guests, tried to not looked shocked when two middle-aged people explained they were celebrating their third, not 20th, anniversary. It was kinda sweet, but we get it. We’re old. We’re fine with it. Thanks for the complimentary anniversary spiked ice cream sandwich and cocktails anyway!

Honestly, everyone was incredibly sweet and seemed happy for us, even though they didn’t know us. The cool thing about where we are in society is that there is less of a stigma to being married later in life – especially first marriages – and you know both of the writers of this here blog wed at 38, nearly 39, for the first time. So it’s surprising to me when people are obviously shocked when they see us, quickly surmise the 4- in our ages, and then do the math in their heads when we reveal that we’re newlyweds.

“First wedding?” many people say, as if being second-timers has to explain it.

Umm, no. I was Spinsterella till I met this here bald man, who was also a bachelor before me. I didn’t just escape a convent, he hadn’t taken a vow of celibacy and neither of us were horribly damaged socially awkward misfits who’d never been kissed. It just hadn’t happened. And then it did. And we were happy. And although neither of us were as young, thin and fresh as we may have imagined being on our jaunt down the aisle, we wouldn’t have changed the way things turned out for anything in the world, except that meeting earlier would have given us more time together.

In short, we’re not young. But our love is. It’s a lumpy, bald love, but the kind that giggles easily, that doesn’t get freaked out when someone farts in bed, that shrugs off the small stuff and says “It took my whole life to find you. You’re never getting rid of me. Let me lick my finger to wipe that ketchup off your face and then let’s enjoy this free anniversary dessert. We’ve earned it.”


Me and My Buddy, Jessica Simpson

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here.

I am not Jessica Simpson, but we have a lot in common.

So, Leslie wrote this last year about Jessica Simpson, and how Weight Watchers had offered the then-pregnant star $3 million to lose the post-pregnancy weight she had gained, once she was post-pregnant. A bunch of people got mad and said that it was awful that she was so focused on losing the weight that she probably wouldn’t be able to focus on the joy of being a new mom, and so on.  Leslie surmised that, among other things, people like hating on Jessica Simpson, and also that we would all like to be offered $ to do something we would want to do anyway. Well, Jessica had her baby, and in her first set of commercials for Weight Watchers, the camera is focused on her face and not her body, which seems to imply that at that point, she wasn’t where she wanted to be (although since that was filmed, she has supposedly dropped many pounds).

I too, am a few months past giving birth, and I look at some pictures of myself and swear that a monster ate me and stole my face, because it is apparent to me how much weight I have to lose. Now, I am being realistic, and I know that if it took awhile to come on, it will take awhile to come off. Which is why I, also like Jessica S., am doing Weight Watchers. I love that program, and have done it several times over the past 10 or so years and have been successful. It really works.

When you count the points and stick to them. Yeah, that.

I started so well. But I am an emotional eater, and have been experiencing lots of emotions lately, including grief, joy, fatigue and giddiness. And all of those emotions make me want to eat.   But I know that this program will only work if I work it. And I need to work it. Not because I am in a rush, but because I know that the longer I wait, the more I get used to being this size, and I know that losing weight will lower my chances of diabetes (which runs in my family) and will just help me period.

So, I know that this will be a journey, and that it may take awhile, and I will hold myself to sticking to it without beating myself up if I stray from it here and there. But not too far.  There’s cake over there.  We can visit the cake, but not live there. Here we go.


Sweet Midlife TV Girlfriend of the Day: Aunt Viv of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”

by SweetMidlife

Well, the first Aunt Viv.

Leslie here, y’all! Happy Friday! I’ve been in a lot of hotels lately, and have been doing a lot of channel flipping – I don’t have my DVR full of wedding programing and true crime shows about the murders and such to fall back on, so I’m open to whatever’s on. And what’s on is a lot of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” the late ’80’s-90s sitcom featuring then jaunty young rapper/future Hollywood big shot Will Smith as a Philly kid sent to live with his rich relatives in Bel-Air, Ca. I loved the show when it was on, and have become fond of its loud Cross Colours-esque, hat and blazer, big gold brooch-happy fashions. I may or may not relate. Those photos have been destroyed, so don’t even bother searching.

Anyhow, the star of the show was, apparently Will and his fresh fish out of water hijinks. But my favorite character, besides Jeffrey the droll butler, was Aunt Viv, the sister of Will’s mom, who’d moved from West Philly to California, having moved all up. There was a little Clair Huxtable to her – she was grounded but classy, with a little more snob appeal than Clare but with an air of being able to drag some skank across a room by her hair if she got in her face, if she really needed to.

I liked her because she reminded me a little of my mom, another classy woman who could get real, real fast, if tested. I also liked her…and I apologize if this sounds weird…her non-cookie cutter looks. Janet Hubert, the actress who originally played Aunt Viv, was a rarity on TV – an ethnic woman over 25 with a starring, non best-friend role, who got to be her fabulous, gorgeous self without cougar jokes, or a preponderance of hot flash jokes, or jokes you would probably see on “Hot In Cleveland.”

(I admit to having never seen that show, because the idea of hot women like Wendy Mallick and Valerie Bertinelli having to act as if their sexuality is freakish makes me want to punch someone in the head. I haven’t decided who yet. I will be in touch. But the commercials say it all. Any fans of it, let me know what I’m missing.)

She was also a dark-skinned black woman, something rarely seen in such a prominent role before or since, who luxuriated in her awesomeness. She wasn’t angsty or dissatisfied outside of the usual sitcom hi-jinks – she knew she was beautiful. She knew her husband adored her, and that her kids did, too. There was a great episode where Aunt Viv decided to audition for a dance part, even though she hadn’t danced since becoming a wife and a mother. She loved her life, but she wanted to feel that it wasn’t too late to be as strong and sexy and fierce as she used to be. She wound up not even taking the role – killing it on the audition and making some snotty young girls recognize was even better. Now that I’m her age, I want to be that awesome. Sometimes, I think I am! I wish there were more women like her on TV right now, whose smarts or professional proficiency doesn’t have to be undercut by being a complete mess personally. (KErry Washington’s Olivia Pope on “Scandal” – Snap out of it, girl.)

Hubert was eventually replaced with Daphne Maxwell-Reid, another beautiful non teeny-boppy actress, who just wasn’t the same. She was pretty. But she wasn’t fierce. Apparently, Hubert does not have good memories of her time on the show, or good feelings about Will Smith – she says he was a diva who got her fired, and two decades later she’s still way, way bitter about it.

I’m sorry for that – it seems a shame to carry that bitterness around with you for so long, and I wonder if it’s impeded her being able to just move on. I want her to know, if she’s out there, that at least one former teen girl appreciated her, that her being on that show made a difference because I am now a 40-something woman who sometimes needs reminding of her fierceness. I hope I can be Aunt Viv. And I want her to know, somewhere, that it made a difference that she was, too.


Lessons from a Rom-Com newbie: My husband and “Friends With Benefits”

by SweetMidlife
Somebody’s not buying what you’re selling, Timberlake.

“Wasn’t that fun?” I said, turning off my DVR’d version of “Friends With Benefits,” starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake as attractive 20-somethings who commit to emotions-free sexual rumpus time but then are TOTALLY SHOCKED to discover that they might have deeper feelings for each other. In other words, it was your classic, paint-by-numbers romantic comedy, with perhaps a little more nakedness in the paint. It was sort of the Gen-Y flavor, but with all of the expected complications,  seemingly deal-breaking mean-spirited drama and (NOT REALLY A SPOILER) last-minute declarations of love that are meant to completely rectify the apparently not deal-breaking drama.

Well, I should say, that it’s expected, if you expect it.

“I HATED it,” my husband Scott said, scooting up off the couch disgustedly and going into the kitchen to feed his disgust with some snackage.

Screech screech record scratch!

“You hated it?” I said, confused. “But you like Mila Kunis! You think she’s cute! And you like Justin’s vests! Why would you hate it?”

“Umm…because I DID like Mila Kunis, and her character was sweet, and he treated her like crap and they still wound up together. What sense does that make?” Scott countered, now back with his snackage. “Why would I want to see a movie where a nice girl lets a guy talk to her like that and makes her feel bad, and then forgets all of it and forgives him?”

I must have looked like a puzzled puppy with my head cocked to the side, like I was trying to follow the sound of Timmy trapped in the well but his cries were muffled with tapioca and a cut-rate disco compilation.

“But he apologized and she forgave him, and they belong together!” I insisted, for the first time letting the tapioca slough off my ears and listening to what I was saying. And it was beginning to sound kinda stupid. My husband confirmed that for me.

“If that was one of your friends,” he said, insisting on sounding like someone with sense, “you would never be all clappy and ‘Yay! They belong together!’ You’d hate him and tell her he really hadn’t apologized and that organizing a stupid flash mob to serenade her is not the same thing as actually working on your relationship and being sorry.”

Gah. I hate it when he thinks in clear, concise patterns and makes a well-thought out argument. An argument that can only be met with a half-constructed lame comeback. Like this here one.

“But,” I said, in the same voice in which disillusioned Tapioca Puppy had made his way through the pudding only to out that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were constructs of Darth Vadar and Idi Amin, “but that’s what happens in a romantic comedy.”

“Well,” Scott said, perhaps beginning to question that moment where he had a conversation with an old friend in a bar and decided that she was incredibly smart and might look good with important jewelry, “I’ve never seen a romantic comedy before. And if that’s what happens in them, that some nice girl has to forgive some jerk who isn’t nice to her just so they can kiss and make up at the end, I don’t want to see another one.”

OK. So you know how they say that the darndest things come out of the mouths of babes, mostly because they’re being completely honest and haven’t yet had their honesty slapped out of them by society? The darndest thing came out of the mouth of my babe, who had never been indoctrinated by the culture of rom-coms and frilly girly dreams that say that it’s OK to root for the reunion of fictional characters who, if they were real, would be tragic Oprah stories. Somehow, fairly otherwise intelligent women (and men) have decided that even though the narrative allows that these couples have big differences and bigger arguments, the only thing needed to repair their seemingly broken relational chasms is an emotional speech at the prom he told the girl he’d asked someone else to disguise his inability to be honest with his snobby friends. And it TOTALLY excuses that jacked-up Frankendress.

Or time to decide that her lying about being engaged to your comatose brother was OK, because she’s sweet and soulful and looks like Sandra Bullock.

Or that her complete snobbery and dismissal of your attentions based on her discomfort with your racial and class differences is overridden because she fled her fancy ball to come find you in your community garden.

I admit to loving all of those movies (“Pretty In Pink,” “While You Were Sleeping” and “Something New”) but now I wonder if my love is based on the actual movies, or my indoctrination into a cult that tells us that it doesn’t matter how we’re treated as long as we get a fancy dress, a big kiss and a happy ending.

If so…how happy is that?


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