Garbage In ’94

1994 was one of those life changing years for me. I left everyone I knew and loved and moved… right into the Northridge earthquake. It happened literally less than 24 hours after I moved within’ miles of the epicenter. Mother Nature was screaming at me “Go home!” She was shaking me to turn around and go back.  But I didn’t. I stayed.

In ’94 I couldn’t find a sports bar to watch the Superbowl in. What kind of city doesn’t have a sports bar? Again, should have gone home. The signs were there, this was not the town for me. But I didn’t. I stayed.

In ’94 a hideous waterbed was thrown in the garbage.

We make choices to go or to stay. To keep something or to throw it out. I don’t know about you but I rationalize my choices to death. I rationalize them until I don’t even know if they are my choices at all.

In romantic comedies, the hero always makes the choice to go after his or her love and break up the wedding ceremony. We’ve seen this scene soooo many times. Sometimes the ceremony ends and they live happily ever after and sometimes, it’s the false ending and we think our hero will end up alone only to find out a few scenes later that the wedding didn’t proceed and our hero lives happily ever after.

So WHY, when I know these movies SO WELL… When I’ve watched and studied them since before I was a teenager and KNOW how they turn out, WHY, didn’t I call him when I found out he was engaged? Why didn’t I take the chance, the hero’s big risk?

I can tell you my rationalization… I figured he’d moved on, didn’t feel the same as I did, and I didn’t want to be this weird call from out of the past. I made a choice. I didn’t call and tell him how I felt. Not the kind of story you write a movie about.

But it is the kind of tale you tell in a blog about “happily ever after” because it’s a cautionary tale. The reason why so many people wish their lives could mirror the movies is because they don’t have the courage to speak the truth of their heart. I sure didn’t. I would’ve if Cameron Crowe could have put them down on paper for me. Just a few lines to get me started, I wouldn’t ask for a whole scene.

The thing with life is that it’s longer than 120 minutes. The movie hero only has 90-120 minutes to get to the happily ever after. SOOOOO…. that gives me hope. That tells me my movie isn’t over yet. As long as life goes on, there’s still a chance. I haven’t had my big monologue yet. I’ll have to give Cameron a call and see if he’ll work on it for me, he’s got angst down to a science!

What’s important for me to remember is that my movie is a romantic comedy, with comedy being the key. Yes, I’ll have days when the hero is at a low and she never thinks she’ll recover, like when Bridget Jones stuffs herself with ice cream and wine, or when Andie Anderson throws herself into her work. But ultimately, the scenes of my life in between, must be funny.

So while our hero is constantly taking action going from one conflict filled scene to the next, I’ll wait patiently… because my movie is 20 years in the making and for all I know I’m just at the midpoint, but my happily ever after… it’s worth waiting for. And I promise after my credits roll, I’ll be sure to include the blooper out takes, so don’t leave the theater!

©2011

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