It's no secret; I'm no romantic.
So what's an even-headed gal to do when faced with a man who is?
As I've mentioned, I write for a celebrity website. It's required that I extensively review and research their history. At one point, my (male) coworker leaned over and said, "That is SUCH a good movie." Shocked (and somewhat repulsed), I responded, "ugh. I never saw it because I heard how completely awful it was!" He recoiled and said, "Are you kidding?!? That's the most romantic movie I've ever seen!" (This is not an uncommon conversation for me to have.) I chortled. Genuinely curious, I asked, "So...What made it so romantic?" He leaned back and considered for a moment, "I think," he mused, "it is the most in love I have ever seen any actor play." Doing my best (not by much) to avoid wrinkling my nose in mistrust, I asked, "So- what made their relationship so romantic?" He responded, "He was just so in love. It was amazing how much he loved this woman. He would have done anything for her. But he couldn't have her. And when he couldn't have her, he just loved her even more and that just made him want her even more than before."
"Uhhh..." I asked, "Didn't they just meet randomly and he couldn't 'have her' because they were both in other relationships, right? Wasn't that the storyline?"
He paused, "Well...Yes. But, see- that just made him realize how much he loved her!"
At this point I'm gagging on my own horrified bile. Is this typical of romantic male reasoning? Wanting what you can't have? O. Now that's original. And even more- true passion and real love in Hollywood requires separation from the one you're currently committed in order to pursue the new woman who's just outside the title of "complete and total stranger." (See: The Wedding Planner, Serendipity, Runaway Bride, The Notebook, insert random chick-flick here- trust me- the formula works.)
Just the night before a friend (male) mentioned he was watching "The Holiday."
"ugh." I said. "I hated- hated- that movie! They should've just developed the Jack Black/Kate Winslet side of the story. At least that was based on an actual connection. Cameron Diaz and Jude Law- how on earth is that supposed to be romantic? They were both desperate and lonely and bored and drunk. They have sex and from that one-night stand with someone they have no obligations to, they fabricate a complicated and volatile relationship out of nothing!"
He said, "Okay. So I guess we like different movies."
Ever since I dated the guy who'd get teary-eyed whenever we had to say goodnight by 3am (as if parting were such sweet sorrow), I've been put off and slightly suspicious about these crocodile tears. How realistic is it that men are this sentimental, and what qualifies a relationship as 'romantic'? Isn't that usually just a formality to getting it on? When a man is so attached, so soon- how do you know when it's real or manufactured as a means to an end? Am I the only one to hesitate at the idea of falling into romance right away, or is this a realistic prospect? Do men really fall that hard that fast and actually mean it? Or are we all just brainwashed and conditioned to believe that irrational and wildly rushed are the essentials for real romance? This concept frightens me, as I cannot help but wonder- if it happens that quickly this time with me, how quickly will you fall into someone else when you're no longer engulfed in the drama of something new?