While I was doing the dishes this morning, I got the sudden urge to sit on the couch and watch a good ol’ Nicholas Sparks movie. So then my brain, being the fantastical way that it is, started to think about why I have this secret love affair with Hollywood portrayal of perfect love. I wondered that maybe it was an excuse to not do dishes, but that wasn’t it. No, I wanted to sit on the couch and cry my eyes out for broken hearts, perfect kisses, and happy endings.
Why do women (in particular) enjoy torturing themselves?
I’m not entirely sure. But I will guess this: We love to feel. Maybe that’s why we provoke fights about socks on the floor and chewing with mouths open. Maybe we just want to feel something. Much like the troubled teen, attention is attention.
Then I got to thinking, maybe we just want to be reminded how perfect our lives currently are. Granted, my marriage is not entirely comparable to Noah and Allie’s because we are not old and I am not a rich southern girl. I have had two guys fight over me, but none of them resembled Ryan Gosling or James Masden.
I definitely am not anything like Kate in Safe Haven, after all, I would never have the guts to hide from my abusive turned murderous husband. I haven’t been chilling with any ghosts during my spare time, either. But, I have been able to find solace in a man who is perfect for me carrying as much baggage as Alex. I could definitely go on, but the point is this: we find connections in these characters and these love stories.
I think my husband hates it when I get on a girly movie kick. I don’t think he truly understands my infatuation with them, though.
I think the misconception is that I want my life to be like theirs, I want perfect, romantic, and passionate love. The reality is that I have that, or had that I should say. Hear me out before you start thinking that I don’t care about my hubby. He is the perfect man for me, he supports me, he loves me, he encourages me, he does the laundry! This doesn’t sound as amazing as John writing Savannah letter after letter, or selling his father’s coin collection for her new husband, but it’s better.
Our relationship started out as spectacular and explosive as all of these characters. We were crazy about each other and filled each other’s minds all day long. We did wild and crazy things, went on mini vacations, threw caution to the wind. We whirlwind-ed around, forgetting our responsibilities at times and wrote each other letters. We found time every day to be alone together. I got flowers for no reason. You know, regular old Nicholas stuff.
So, as I was scrubbing melted cheese off a plate, I realized that all of these stories are only the beginning. We don’t see what happens with Logan and Beth once the reality of their relationship set in. We don’t see them arguing about who deserves to sleep in or who should wash the floor. We don’t see them get on each other’s nerves or argue over bills. We don’t see what happens once the death of Keith sets in or what happens when her awkward son starts listening to hard rock music and hanging with the wrong crowd.
Nicholas Sparks is a smart man. He decided he was going to reel us in with the idea of perfect love and then Hollywood hired really attractive people, added in some water/ rain kissing scenes, and made millions.
My love affair with these movies has nothing to do with Nicholas himself, though. I met him once in Vegas, at a teacher’s conference no less, and there were no instantaneous sparks- pun totally intended. I think, given enough time, I could have charmed him with my wily ways, but there was a line of women so long behind me to get his autograph that I wasn’t given the chance. Maybe next time, Nicholas.
Anyway- back to the movies. Some women (and most men) out there are thinking, “What’s wrong with you? Those movies are crap.” I get that, and I don’t disagree, they kind of are. They don’t stay true to the storyline and end in a completely predictable way. Even the books themselves are a tad redundant, but they play on my heart strings. Nicholas knows how to get me to tears. He knows how to get me lost in a world of words and forget about supper and the baby (who is currently playing with a dog dish).
Most importantly, he reminds me of how much I have sitting on the other end of the couch from me. He reminds me that my husband, in his own way, is my love story. He is who I am and he amazes me daily. So, thank you for that, Nick.
Oh, and thank you readers, because without your reading eyes, I would still be doing dishes right now.
Hug someone today!