Monday, July 6, 2015

Redefining Romance and Excitement

I speak French. Or, at least, I used to. Now I just shout 'on y va!' to my children in the mornings and 'ouvre ta bouche, s'il te plait' when I brush their teeth. Though I'm thinking I should seek to resurrect my French skills, in the event that the Darling Husband comes home saying, "Guess what?! We're going to France!" That would be exciting!

The DH is out of town, so last night I decided to search some French movies on Amazon. Watching TV in french is how I made serious progress all those years ago, when my memory was young and impressionable.

But here's the problem: just about every movie I previewed was about adultery. It seems some showed consequences for this, which I appreciate. I didn't stick around to find out what those were, but prior to the consequences, there was the promise of lot of steamy sex. Which I suppose is how affairs work usually. I still felt annoyed, however. What is it with these French film makers? Why is everyone having affairs? Why can't we ever find movies about passionate marriages?? Why is every marriage depicted as so boring or difficult that people have affairs?

I got fed up and annoyed and I realize this is not a precursor to sleep, so I started perusing light, frothy American movies. These aren't so much about adultery, but dating. Have you ever noticed that practically every light, frothy American movie is about how couples get together? And they're almost always young, skinny and beautiful.

Seriously. Every. Single. Movie. How to get together. Never how to stay together. It seems that marriage is not deemed film-worthy. Marriage is boring. It is not romantic. It is not exciting. Only getting there is romantic and exciting, but once you're there, you're watching something that's telling you to look elsewhere.

It's like you're expected to start out with an American movie and end up with a French one.


The DH and I are celebrating our tenth anniversary this year. And you know what? We still love each other. In fact, we still like each other. But if movies were to be believed, one or both of us should really be shopping around for some romance and excitement.

The older I get, the more the definitions of these terms change. I think it's romantic that my husband comes home to me at night, rather than finding an excuse to be out. I think its wicked cool that he fixed the furnace. Honestly. The furnace died and my clever man fixed it. (You never think a man in a headlamp is sexy until the house is really cold.) And 'excitement?' It is exciting when you're rushing to the hospital because your child just had a seizure on the school bus, but it isn't good.

Still, no one would want to watch a movie of my life. Everyone gets along too well, and I don't think we're going to see a headlamp-wearing suitor on The Bachelor anytime soon. But I don't think the problem is my life. The problem is the movies. Or at least, too many of them consumed without a healthy dose of real life in between. Too many movies make finding contentment in real life impossible.

We need to redefine romance. Sometimes it's just bringing in a flower from the garden. Or looking out the window at our small people frolicking on the grass to the melodious soundtrack of the neighbor's lawnmower.

This is the life we've made together. And it's good.


  1. What a nice post! Don't get me started on my rant about The Bachelor/ette and how it sets up insane ideas about dating, romance and getting to know your partner! :D

    Your post immediately made me think of an interview with the director David Cronenberg I read years ago. He talked about how in one movie, a happily married husband and wife have hot sex (A History of Violence, I think?), and everyone seemed so surprised. He said why should a happy, sexy marriage be surprising to anyone? But like you said, it's so rarely portrayed in Hollywood. Sad!

    1. Oh, The Bachelor!! I could rant about that for days! :)