I saw a lovely movie this weekend. I don’t want to say what it was, because this is going to spoil it. Some of you that follow me on Twitter already know what I saw, though, so sorry for spoiling. Although, it’s not much of a spoiler. I think you knew, five minutes into it, what the final outcome was going to be.
Sorry. I’m getting ahead of myself, here.
I saw a lovely movie this weekend. I laughed, and I cried, and I really enjoyed it. Here, I will link to its IMDb page. Only click if you want to be spoiled. That’s a happy medium, right? Right. Good. It was a really good movie, though, seriously. High recommendation. ALL THE HOT MEN HAPPENED.
It was a romantic comedy, more realistic than most, so I appreciated that. The people weren’t cookie-cutter. Good. Thanks. Appreciated. Some people were assholes. Some people fought. Some situations didn’t end up wrapped in a pretty little bow.
Then, of course, as most of these movies do, the inevitable happened.
The male and female best friends fell madly in love and rode off into the sunset. Well, the proverbial sunset. There was no sunset. But you know what I mean.
Now, I know. I KNOW. This does happen for some people. I don’t know if it was on here I mentioned this before, or on Twitter, or Facebook – somewhere? And I got a few responses from people saying “oh, no, it’ s not a Hollywood falsehood, it really happens, I personally married my best friend because one day I just looked at him and realized he was the one, all along.” I know I talked about this once, many moons ago, back when I was on buggy-as-hell-Blogger. (Speaking of which, last night when I wrote this I updated that post, because Blogger, as always, effed up the formatting. Well, WordPress, because it does that, sent out the link to everyone as if I’d just written it. So, sorry people, who thought I wrote a new post at 9pm last night. It was from July. And sorry if this looks like I’m going where I’ve gone before. It kind of is, and kind of isn’t. I guess it’s expanding upon that post, to some extent. Also, I’m all in a lather. AGAIN. Because of this movie I watched yesterday. And isn’t there a statute of limitations on topics? I blogged about that 8 months ago. I’m allowed to cannibalize it now, right?)
Well, that’s great. I’m glad that works out, sometimes. I really am. I’m just a little more skeptical than that.
I seem to have more male friends than female ones. This is not because I dislike women. The reason is two-fold: one, because I tend to get along with men better, because I’m kind of a tomboy and because I’m kind of totally geeky and because growing up I had very little in the way of strong female role models so I learned most of my social interaction skills from men so I’m more comfortable with them. And two, because I was cruelly bullied from a very young age by a large clique of mean girls at my school (think The Plastics from Mean Girls, only with very tall 80s hair and a lot, lot meaner) so I never quite got over my mistrust of women. I know it’s irrational and I know it’s stupid and I know it’s holding me back. I’m working on it. I really am. I currently have more female friends in my life than I think I’ve had in my entire lifespan combined, if that means anything. I think that indicates growth.
Anyway. More male friends than female ones. I promise I have a point here. The point is this: I don’t fall in love with them. I also don’t turn around one day and say, “ZOMG! There he IS! THE ONE! Whaaaaat? He’s been under my nose all along!” You know why I don’t do this? Because I have NO SQUISHY FEELINGS FOR MY FRIENDS. None. Zip. Zero. Nada.
I love my friends. To the point of distraction, actually. But it’s not romantic love. Is it throw-myself-in-front-of-a-train-for-them love? Yep. Absolutely it is. It takes you a while to get there (except randomly people that jump to the front of the queue, I can’t explain my weird heart or the way it works), but once you’re there, you’re there. And I would throw myself in front of a train for you. I would (ugh, and I hate this) HELP YOU MOVE TO A NEW APARTMENT. I would cat-sit for you. I would babysit for your emo pre-teen. I totally would do these things for you, if I loved you, and you were my friend.
I would NOT take off my clothes and have naked time with you. This is not a thing I would do. No no no. Because it would be, to quote Lorraine from Back to the Future, “Oh ….. I don’t know what it is, but when I’m kissing you, it’s like I’m kissing… my brother.” If I know someone well enough to help them move their porn collection across town or to have nursed them through a hangover or the flu or whatever, I am not immediately switching over to “hey, check out my titties” mode, you know?
Why is this the thing in movies? Is this what we all want? Or, at least, is it what Hollywood THINKS we all want?
Now, listen, I’m not saying people should fall in love with their enemies. Don’t be absurd! Of course you want to fall in love with someone you LIKE, someone you have an affinity toward, someone you have similarities to, etc. Of course you want that. But your best friend? Or at least a close friend? Like in so many movies? I can’t see that working. I just can’t. So why does Hollywood keep doing it? Why do we want to SEE it so badly? Because they wouldn’t keep making these movies if we didn’t want to see it happen.
There’s friend zone, and there’s romantic zone, and never the twain shall meet. No, that’s not true. The twain are meety. You can, and should, be friends with whoever you’re bedding down with. Of course you should! Both before and during the relationship. But best friends for years, then BAM THE SCALES FELL FROM MY EYES and NOW I LOVE HIM OR HER?
Come on, seriously?
Do you know what it seems like to me? Giving up.
Here’s the thing. You already know your best opposite sex friend very well. And he or she knows YOU very well. They know your quirks, the weird things about you that you worry about telling people, the things that you think might make a potential mate go run for the hills. And they still like you. So one day you think, hey, listen, Bob (I made up the name Bob, I don’t know a Bob. Well, no. That’s not true. I know a Bob. I don’t think he knows how to use the internet. That’s safe, then. I can use the name Bob. Sorry, Bob, if I underestimated you and you know how to use the internet. This isn’t about you) knows all my things, and Bob still likes me. And he’s not disgusting-looking. And we’re both single. Maybe Bob and I should give it a go!
NO YOU SHOULD NOT.
Do you value your friendship with Bob? Do you really? Because if you do, DON’T SLEEP WITH BOB. Have you ever heard the saying “don’t shit where you eat?” It’s a SAYING for a REASON.
It’s going to go one of two ways, most likely, except for the very few situations where people told me they did actually marry their pre-romance BFFs. And yay, you guys, I still think the whole thing’s hinky, though. Think about it, those people out there: were you really BFFs? For years? Or did you always have the sneaking suspicion in the back of your mind that you might have a thing for him or her? I’m guessing it’s the latter. I’m looking at the relationships that went from purely platonic to completely coupley right now.
(I know, I know. “AMY! I fell in LOVE with my BEST FRIEND!” Awesome. Actually, I would love to hear from people who DID fall in love with their best friends, because it would make me feel like Hollywood isn’t pulling these movies out of their asses. Also, I like true-life love stories. I like to cry over real things. TELL ME YOUR LOVE STORIES COMMENTERS.)
Here’s the two ways:
1. You sleep with Bob (or Roberta, whatever) and you start a relationship and think THIS IS AWESOME and then the real world crashes in and you realize you were just friends for a REASON. All this together time is INSANE. You don’t even find him or her that ATTRACTIVE. And you always hated the way he or she treated her significant others. And you feel smothered because you know each other so well. So you break up, and not only did you lose your relationship, you lost your BFF. Double suck.
2. You sleep with Bob or Roberta and it is HORRIBLE. You can’t look each other in the eye the next day. You wonder what the hell you were thinking. You’ve lost both your dignity AND your BFF. One and a half sucks.
And, if you think you can just spill your undying love for Bob (or Roberta):
You walk up to Bob or Roberta. You tell them you love them. You’ve always loved them. You will always love them. “Don’t You Forget About Me” plays in your head. Bob or Roberta leans close. This is it. This is your moment.
And Bob or Roberta tells you, nicely, they’ve never felt that way about you, but they treasure your friendship. (I TREASURE YOUR FRIENDSHIP, LISA! Sorry, watched Team America World Police this weekend. HOLY HELL PUPPET SEX SCENE. That is all.) You are embarrassed. You can’t look him or her in the eye ever again. Again, you’ve lost your dignity and your BFF. Also, you eat too much ice cream and emo all over your other friends. This is just totally embarrassing all around. Who looks good with cryface? No one, that’s who.
And, think about it. Are you sure you had romantic feelings for your BFF? Are you SURE? Or were you just tired of being alone, and didn’t want to have to get to know a new person all over again, and this seemed – well, easy? And he’s RIGHT THERE? And he’s cute enough, you know? And you KNOW him. It’s a TIME-SAVER.
We’ve all fallen prey to this, now and then. I know I have, when the Amy you see (fine, the Amy you READ, whatever) before you was a younger, less-wise, more idiotic and starry-eyed Amy. I still feel badly about the guys over the years I’ve decided were “the ones” and then come to find out it was just that I knew them, and it was comfortable, like an old shoe, more so than a romantic thing, and Hollywood duped me into thinking this was the way it was supposed to go and I was tired of being Forever Alone. I thought at the time they broke my heart. Come to find out they were being rational and I was being insane. (What? No, not ME.)
Listen, Hollywood. Enough with the When Harry Met Sally and The Switch and the Zack and Miri Make a Porno and the Some Kind of Wonderful and the Clueless (with the added layer of IT WAS HER BROTHER, EW) and Made of Honor and Reality Bites and movies of this ilk. I’ll give you 13 Going on 30, only because it seemed less forced, and she fell in love with him as an adult, and it was kind of a different situation. Also because Jennifer Garner was so damn cute and Mark Ruffalo was so Ruffalicious.
Do I like to watch them? Oh, shit, yeah, FINE, I’m a sap, I like anything sappy, I love a good cry in a dark movie theater. But I think we can do better. Let’s show it how it really is, once in a while. People falling in love with people who are NOT their best friends. People falling in love with people they meet, randomly, build a NEW friendship with, then a relationship. Can we have that, too? Because that actually would give me more hope than thinking one of my male friends was suddenly going to come up to me all, “Amy, listen, I woke up this morning and thought, I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU.” (Also, KISSING MY BROTHER. And I’d giggle like a crazy person, I wouldn’t be able to help it. Not at all.)
So, movie today? All the men of hotness. But also all the relationship of unrealistic expectations. And that kind of made me cranky. YES FINE it also made me cry. But so do effing M&Ms commercials lately. Me crying is not overly indicative of a hit, let me just tell you right now.
Let’s show things as they actually are? Friends being friends, lovers being lovers, people acting like people? I’d like that a lot. More so as I age. Because apparently the romantic dreamer in me is dwindling away as I get older.
Apparently Allison was right, and when you grow up, your heart dies. Well-played, John Hughes. WELL-PLAYED.