For the last few days, I’ve been watching puppies, kittens, and love stories in an attempt to erase the horrors of the weekend. Tonight, I watched A Walk to Remember for–I dunno–maybe the eleventieth time.
Why do all of Nicholas Sparks’ stories end so tragically? Someone really needs to sit him down and say, “Nick, even Shakespeare wrote a comedy every once and awhile. Would it kill you to write a happy ending?” I mean…I get it. I don’t even know if I’m capable of writing a happy ending.
More than 10 years ago, I had this dream of becoming a Romance novel writer…like the Harlequin, bodice-buster style of Romance novels. I loved that every single drug store grab always ended happily. You’re never disappointed at the end of one of those.
But I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t write about love or create a happy ending. I think I started three books and never finished them. What I’ve realized is that I don’t have a frame of reference for it. Sure, it’s all fiction, but you should be able to write convincingly about the relationship–it’s the only plot point. You really can’t phone that part in.
Again, I don’t have a frame of reference for a good relationship. I mean I’ve been in love, but not the kind that leads to any sort of long-term, stick-it-out-together, let’s-get-married kinda thing. My longest relationship was about 2 years. Before that, 8 whole months. In between those, 5 long years. Wouldn’t you know, my last relationship (the 2-year one) will have ended 5 years ago this September (I think)?
I’m not a fan of dating. I don’t know of anyone–guy or girl–who enjoys dating these days. I’ve heard horror stories. In fact, I have horror stories. Once, at the end of a date that didn’t go very well for me because the guy was extremely rude and pessimistic the whole evening, he told me that I was fat with crooked teeth. Then, he proceeded to ask me out on another date. He negged me. Ugh.
So how can I possibly develop a relationship between two characters that can be felt as genuine? To tell the truth, I don’t even know how people actually decide to get married. I don’t know what you have to feel to really want to make that happen. I’m not against marriage or anything. It would be great to feel that strongly about anyone. I just don’t know what that feeling is. What is it?
Maybe when I was younger–15 to 25 range–I felt emotions much stronger. Every feeling was life or death. Being with someone felt necessary, as if I needed that connection to really feel alive. Now at nearly 40, I don’t feel anything at all. It all feels empty, perhaps vaguely like an emotion I might have felt when I was 16 and wanted more than anything in the world to be in love, but tastes bland like the box the Twinkies came in.
And yet, I still cry when I watch A Walk to Remember. I still have hope that love exists, but maybe not the way I imagined it in my adolescence. Most of the time I think I would be keen for someone who could remember to take the trash to the curb on Sunday nights and unload the dishwasher after the cycle is done. That’s not quite passionate, but it’s very helpful, which I suppose can be better than passion.
From what I can tell, passion doesn’t age well. You know what does age well, though? Consideration. That never gets old, but it is–I find–extremely rare. Let’s just imagine that there is such a considerate, helpful, and passionate guy out there (nice to have all three). The chances of us meeting at this point are zero because I am a homebody and that was before ‘Rona.
So yeah, I have a dog for companionship and Netflix for reliving impossible Romances. What more do I need? Well, that–that is none of your business.
Until next time.