Only in the Movies

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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.

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A Love Affair with Mugs

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!!

Extended Quiet

I’m tired of scrolling through social media and feeling not up to par with everyone else. Most of the time I am happy for others and the joy in their lives. Today, I’m kind of over it. Not over others being happy, just over wasting time soaking in others’ lives, instead of living my own life in that moment.

I am thankful for my friends and for connections with others, but I truly do not get any real joy from scrolling. Sometimes I might get an idea of something I want to do or laugh at a funny animal video. I am somewhat happy to see that a high school friend is having yet another child 😉 All okay, just not fulfilling. Yet this is the way of life. This is how people stay connected. This IS what most people do, right?

So my experiment this week is to take a break from it all. I am on spring break, having a staycation. For a while I have wanted to try a silent retreat, but decided that I could have my own silent retreat for FREE!

I’ve told a few people that I want a silent retreat for the week and I have not really gotten the supportive reactions I assumed I would get. It’s more like, hmmm that sounds boring, or no reaction at all, or so I guess that means you don’t want to hang out? Etc. Makes me wonder again, am I crazy for feeling like this would be beneficial? Is this something that only completely burned out people would think of?

Regardless, I’m looking forward to the experience. It’s so easy to get distracted by others’ requests, needs, dramas, etc. I feel like I have neglected to truly listen to what I need and want. With the pace of our society and the work load that never seems to end, it feels like an impossible task sometimes to let go of it all and hone in on what is next for me. The world will overwhelm you, if you aren’t very careful.

I’m an introvert and talking is not my preferred mode of communicating anyways, so I’m pretty certain that I will not struggle with keeping quiet this week.

By not talking, by not scrolling social media, I hope to accomplish the following things~

-better sleep

-limited input from others

-time and space for deep reflection

-permission to not care too much

-mental rest and clarity

-focus on next steps/plans

As I write my broad goals for the week of quiet, I feel like I must find a way to honor these needs on a more regular basis. But for now, I’m excited to give this a try and see what I learn.

Desire

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.