Stuck on the wrong side of a rom-com ending

You know those perfect romantic comedies. You know the one’s right? The story where two people meet and it’s kismet, instant connection, sharp wit and endless hijinks. The couple is invariably torn apart by a stupid friend, a drunken mistake or a disastrous bout of physical comedy induced accidents. In the end they always find each other. It always ends with a kiss and stops at happily ever after. Happily ever after. Well wtf happens after that?

They met, the fell in love, then they… got married? had babies? stayed in limbo? moved in? ooh made dinner? WHAT THE HELL DID THEY DO AFTER? The worst of these are the lifetime movies, the abc family made for TV holiday flicks and just regular dramas hell bent on a happy ending. Those end with a kiss after a horrifying bout of disaster. How many things go wrong before one can go right? The movies tell us how to get swept off of our feet. They tell us how to fall in love. They don’t tell us what to do after. They don’t tell us what to do when we wake up and can’t decide which step forward is the right one. They don’t tell us what to do when our paths start to converge and shit gets messy. They don’t tell us what to do when one of us gets a weird somewhat threatening but totally benign brain tumor. They don’t have a romantic comedy for that. They don’t tell us what to do when you are stuck in that bit after the credits roll and the projector flicks off. Do you move relentlessly forward with the love predicated on that happy ending kiss? Do you give yourself over to sickness and health with or without vows? Do we expect from one another what we expect from the characters so readily caricatured for us? How do we know when the vision of what we have for our lives, built on media, built on stories, smash into the reality of what our lives are. This is more than just love. It’s not just romance. I mean sure, sweep me off my feet. I want that, what self respecting person doesn’t? But what about in those moments where no one has the energy to do the sweeping? What then? Where’s the movie about that? I can think of a couple examples of films where families get sick, loved ones collapse and thier partners or families rise to the occasion. Abandoning their mistresses to be by the side of a dying wife or shaving their heads to look like their sick sister. And those gestures matter. I know that. Hell, I have friends at the ready waiting to shave a 2 inch by 4 inch section of their hair to help me rock my surgery scar with confidence. I have a friend that tattooed herself with me. I tattooed myself! Those gestures matter. But they don’t fix anything. So do we wait for a big sweeping moment? Or do we add up the tiny moments, the ones that make us smile, the ones that make us cry, do we consolidate those to create a vision of our every day? Or do we wait for the fairy tale ending? The fairy tale beginning? Is there a fairy tale at all?

One of the closest people in the world to me is an unrelenting cynic. Me? I believe in people, in humanity, in hope. Despite all the horror I read about, the strife I have seen around the world, I believe we can do better. I can understand how that seems crazy to him. Often my conversations with this special person end with him shaking his head and telling me that I can’t rely on fairy tales, to be grounded in reality. Sometimes I argue. Sometimes I accept what he has to say. Often I roll my eyes. Why can’t life be a fairy tale? Why can’t we treat each other in a way that makes it feel like we are flying, carelessly above our worlds in pure bliss. At very least why can’t we strive for that? If you shoot for the moon you land in the stars right? Let’s go to the stars! Yea the movies don’t tell us what to do when the fireworks are done exploding, but maybe that is a sign we need to set off some more? Why can’t we stay in that movie moment where the big things fall into place and so it is so easy to recognize the beauty in the small stuff? Does it always have to be so hard?

I don’t know where I am going with this other than to put out there that the confusing mess that is life can be really beautiful. If we make it that way. I don’t know. Maybe I am just so loving because I am calorie deprived, or cheese deprived, or candy deprived. Stupid detox. I am in love and in hate with it. Blurg. Whatever. I don’t know. Let’s leave it there. Let’s all go dream of our fairy tale. Not just the ending, but the whole thing, the journey is all we have. If we’ve reached the end, we’ve got nothing else to talk about.

Peace and love – Samira

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