The Good Kind of Reality Check.

April 2, 2011
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Do you know those oh-so-romantic scenes from movies and novels where the heroine spills her heart to the love of her life, then starts sobbing on his shoulder, and he is so perfect that he actually lets her – swoon – stain his shirt with tears and snot without ever complaining?

Well, I always wonder what the guy does with the shirt/sweater/jersey after that. I mean, it’s got to be pretty disgusting by that time. I wonder if tear stains are removable….anyways. Does the guy clean it himself? Does someone else? Does he take it off and give it to the heroine as an XXL handkerchief or something? Does he frame it and keep it in his bedroom (even perfect guys have stalker moments) as memorabilia? Does he forget it somewhere under his bed with the radioactive socks and deflated basketballs? Does he give it to the girl as a first week/month/year/decade anniversary (again, even perfect guys….sometimes have no clue what good presents are). Maybe he just leaves it somewhere, and then forgets about it. Or maybe the heroine herself helps him clean it later, when she gets over whatever she was crying about – with her newly acquired boyfriend’s help, of course.

The point is, how realistic can all those movie and romance novel scenes be? People never have to rush to the bathroom in the middle of a super-important date or meeting. They never run out of gas, get lost, have a car accident or get arrested for speeding when they drive way over the speed limit to apologize to someone before it’s too late (by the way, guys, ever heard of calling ahead?). They never get laughed at when they propose to someone in the middle of, say, a birthday party/movie/sports game/walk in the city, do they? They never get really depressed and stay in their locked rooms, Taylor Swift songs on full volume, for weeks and never actually have a friend or someone come and try to help them get better. They never have anyone call them when they’re sick because they just fought with all their friends. They never give people fake numbers and get caught on the spot or have a terrible, terrible date, or randomly forget someone’s name or the sum of 2+2.

I’m not saying that there aren’t perfect moments like those we all dream about and see in escapism-style movies in real life. I’ve had some and I bet lots of other people have, too. But I feel like all those romantic movies with their perfect protagonists and perfect lives make us expect moments that are absolutely, utterly, indisputably perfect, not moments that are even better with their little imperfections…. And that’s just not the way it should be. So maybe someone should direct a movie where the hero does get the wrong kind of flower for the heroine’s hair, but she forgives him. Maybe there should be a movie in which the girl doesn’t have anyone call her when she’s sick for a week, but realizes all her “friends” are not good friends and finds the love of her life or a new group of awesome friends instead. Maybe there should be a movie in which the super-popular girl becomes a pariah and then meets new friends, but they don’t all become rich and popular – because those aren’t the most important things in life, and they’re not needed to make a happy ending. Maybe there should be a movie that’s just like real life: perfect, because of all its little imperfections. Maybe a reality check isn’t always a bad thing after all.





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forgottenpenname This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm
This is so good, and I totally agree -- it's the imperefections that make life perfect. :)
 
magic-esi This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 23, 2011 at 9:55 am
This is a really good idea! I think it's interesting that you took the idea of a reality check and did it this way. I also like that at the end you show that life isn't all bad, it just isn't perfect like the movies. 
 
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