Only in the Movies


My synopsis of romantic comedy movies.  

Typical precursors to girl and guy meeting:

  1. Neither person is really looking for someone to date
  2. One person “thinks” they are happy in another relationship
  3. One person’s significant other has passed away
  4. Big life change/adventure
  5. Coworkers/friends trying to meddle in love life

Guy and girl can meet under any or all the following conditions:

  1. girl and guy literally bump into each other
  2. sometimes a set up, but most always a random meeting
  3. guy notices and/or saves a clumsy girl
  4. spark at first sight
  5. some drama/turmoil is typically involved

The relationship evolution (I could write a variety of these, but I think this is one that is very typical in romantic comedies):

  1. girl and guy have fun at first, but things are left with uncertainty
  2. girl gets mad at guy for doing something stupid
  3. what really happens is typically a miscommunication, but girl’s feelings are hurt and she is not willing to listen or work things out easily
  4. the guy goes out of his way to make things better
  5. the girl comes around at the end to see things for what they are, and they live happily ever after

I do love romantic comedies, I really do.  I’m so happy when people who are meant to be together, find each other against the odds.   It’s entertaining and endearing.  But I do wonder how much of what we see affects our view of how healthy relationships really develop.

Here are a few themes that I notice in romantic comedies.

  • Girl is portrayed as clumsy and inept in some way, only to be saved by guy.
  • Girl is portrayed as bitch, only to be more attractive to guy.
  • Communication skills between girl and guy are absolutely terrible.
  • Girl typically does not like (sometimes hates) guy at first.
  • Guy does what he thinks girl wants in order to fix things.
  • Most of the movie time is spent in drama versus showing a loving relationship.

Relationship building in a romantic comedy nut shell: Inept. Dislike. Spark of Desire. Mess up. Terrible Communication. Band-aid. Brief Intense Happiness.  End of Movie.

I’d like offer some ideas for how healthy relationship building should go:

  • Girl and guy are both at a place in their lives where they are interested in and available for a relationship.
  • Girl is stable, kind, capable.  And so is guy.
  • Neither girl nor guy need rescuing.
  • Girl likes guy initially, good things don’t tend to grow from bad seeds.
  • Girl and guy practice communication skills ~intentions are clear and miscommunication is resolved quickly.
  • Girl and guy spend time getting to know each other for a while before deciding on feelings.
  • Girl and guy have fun together, and that does not have to include drama.

None of these things would make a good movie I guess.. but would likely lead to happier relationships.


Obstacles for Change

obstacle9.jpgI have been sick this week with a never-ending virus…   I’ve had an on going fever and headache, and haven’t felt up to doing much of anything.  Luckily, I’m off from work in the summer and can rest.  It got me thinking about something though.

The last thing you want to do when you feel terrible is go to a bright crowded place like the grocery store.  My sweet brother did bring me some essentials for the first few days that I had a fever (soup, pop-cycles, etc).  When that ran out and I was still sick, I didn’t want to bother my friends or family that are near by too much.  (side note: living alone is mainly wonderful, until you are sick)

I decided that I would have to make do with the food that I already had at home until I felt better.  I’m sure you’ve said it before too, “I have nothing to eat”.  And sometimes that truly is the case, but most of the time not.  Instead of convenience, I decided to finish up cooking my veggies, made rice and beans, and tried out that butternut squash soup.   PLENTY to eat!

This is just a small example of something special about obstacles that push us towards something better for us.  Whether that be more awareness, softness, appreciation, drive, creativity, invention, etc.  The thing about these obstacles is that we have to be more allowing of them, instead of being resistant or getting taken over.

When things are easy or always go smoothly, we don’t have to learn.  We can stay in auto pilot mode.  This safe and comfortable mode of being is fine and needed, but I think that we become our best and most resilient self, when we face challenges.

These challenges don’t have to be terribly difficult things, but sometimes they are.  And sometimes the challenges we bring on ourselves, and other times we have no control.   Did I forget to put gas in the car and now I’m stranded?  Now I can learn how important it is to be responsible for myself and be aware of my surroundings.   Did someone I love lose their job?  Now I can be supportive in whatever they need.  Instant increase in awareness and empathy in those situations.

This openness to learning from obstacles allows for the greatest and most genuine growth.  It’s the resistance that I mentioned that constricts the mind and body and tries to keep you from being in the reality of the present moment and keeps you from moving forward.

This week I had no control over being sick (Obstacle #1).  I did however create a new obstacle for myself of not going to the grocery store (Obstacle #2).  I could have very well dragged myself to the store to stock up, but part of me knew that I needed to use what I already had.  I wanted to see if I could do it.  Instant increase in self reliance and appreciation for what I have.

Can we create obstacles in our lives to help us grow?  Would we even want to do that?? Would we decide not fill our car up with gas, so that we were forced to ride our bike to work? Would we decide not to use the internet for a week (maybe just outside of work if that is needed) so that we can choose genuine interaction?  Would we be willing to initiate a difficult conversation with someone, in order to help move things in a more positive direction?

Whether you have an obstacle in your life that you did or did not put there, it’s important to remember that the goal is to be open to learning from them.  Take a deep breath and allow yourself to find your way through.  You are still you, but you are a stronger you.


A Love Affair with Mugs


If I had to pick a “thing” that brings me great pleasure, it’s ceramics, more specifically, mugs.

I think they are so lovely to look at and hold.  I feel grounded when I hold a mug that was crafted by a local artisan. One that is not perfectly shaped, but fits the contours of my hands and fingers.  I breathe a little easier, heart beats a little slower ~ my hands were made to hold this life giving vessel.

uiiiiiiii8 (Miles, my cat, contributed this part)

When I am out and about, I am drawn to mugs.  I can’t help but notice their beauty.  Each one has its own history and uniqueness.  They tug at my heart, but I am reminded that I don’t really need any more.

What is this heart tug about?  I know that I have plenty of beautiful mugs.  I know that I will acquire more once I donate ones I no longer want.  But the heart knows what it needs and wants.  It seems to be about this feeling of staying connected to the earth.   

I don’t feel this way about many other “things”.  I certainly don’t breathe easier when I am holding my cell phone.  In fact, my hands tend to cramp up or fall asleep.  I find this difference quite telling about what my body knows it needs.

Whether it is an actual “thing” or something abstract, I’m going to keep listening to what my body is drawn to and what makes it happiest, and I hope you will to!!


I’m back at peace now–

But for days, what seemed like years, I felt I needed this “thing”.

This desire felt so strong, and I was certain that this would be the next step.

It would definitely propel me to increased happiness and fulfillment.

However, this excitement transformed into a strong wave of anxiety that was about to engulf me.

Which is how I knew this couldn’t be decided now, not because I was giving into fear,

but because in that moment I realized that I am truly at peace with what already is.

The wave receded, for I knew that I didn’t need anything else.

I gave myself the opportunity to explore this desire, and listened when my soul said, I am full.