The Marks Post: Just around the corner
If there is anything that I have learned over my 15 months here at The Ville Platte Gazette, it is that the best columns allow the readers to get a glimpse into the lives of the writer to get to know the person better. With that being said, this column is going to fill you in on a little secret about myself. I am a hopeless romantic.
Last Sunday, after watching Big Brother, I scrolled through the guide and saw that You’ve Got Mail was playing on one of the HBO channels. I have seen the movie countless times, but it is one of the movies like Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Meets Sally, and The Princess Bride that I have to watch if it is playing on TV.
All of the movies I have mentioned have the same common thread about finding true love. They all, with the exception of The Princess Bride, also have a common thread of starring Meg Ryan.
As a side note, I watched The Princess Bride for the umpteenth time this past weekend as well. It is probably my most quoted movie. I often find myself saying “inconceivable!” and “as you wish.”
But, anyway, You’ve Got Mail is based on The Little Shop Around the Corner starring Jimmy Stewart. In the movie, Meg Ryan plays Kathleen Kelly, who is the owner of a family owned bookstore in the Upper West Side of New York City that is forced out of business by the Fox Books chain store owned by the family of Tom Hanks’ character Joe. The two of them start sending anonymous AOL messages before finally meeting each other and falling in love.
The problem for me is that I expect that I’ll fall in love the same way as in these movies, but that is not the case. Hollywood endings do not happen in real life, or they do not happen in mine.
My first experience with this phenomenon was in high school when I watched the movie Can’t Hardly Wait with Jennifer Love Hewitt. In the movie, Ethan Embry plays Preston who has a crush on Amanda, who is played by Hewitt. Preston goes all throughout high school not telling Amanda how he feels and finally decides to write his feelings down in a letter. The plan is for him to give Amanda the letter at the graduation party.
I had a similar plan of writing a letter to let somebody know how I felt in high school, but I never worked up the nerve to do it.
Just look when I had my first kiss at Reggie’s in Baton Rouge’s Tigerland for another example of me falling into the same trap. I was dancing with a girl, and, long story short, she leaned in and kissed me. There was no Hollywood director yelling “Action!,” no producer, no light or sound crew, and not even a boom operator. It was just me and her, and I caught the proverbial deer in the headlights look with my mouth wide open as she walked away.
I have met countless girls since then and have even gone out with a few, but each time I fall into the same pattern. Before hand, I hear the theme song of some romantic movie in my head. I see the opening credits scroll across the screen. I pretend the night is going to go just like in the movies, but, guess what, it does not. Again there is no director or producer or even a gaffer.
One time I even called a late night radio call-in show like on Sleepless in Seattle. I went to the State Clerk of Court convention in Lafayette, and that night we were on the bus going back to our hotel from a party in St. Martinville. I tried to get through on the phone just about the whole way back but never could. If I would have gotten through, I was going to say that I was vagueness in Ville Platte or something like that as in the movie.
I have not gone out with anybody lately because my last few experiences ended more like films noirs than romantic comedies. Since then, I have been mind-numbingly swiping my way left or right trying to find the one in the online universe. Again to no avail.
I realized one thing, though, from going to the retreats in Grand Coteau for the last several years. Through discernment, I noticed that I will not find true love on my schedule. It will happen on God’s. All the world is a stage, and it is His screenplay.
After watching You’ve Got Mail last Sunday, I realized a couple other things about my love life going forward.
The first thing I realized is that if a girl has never connected to the Internet using a dial-up modem and has never used AOL instant messenger, then she is too young for me.
I also realized that I do not have to go the observation deck of the Empire State Building to find true love. It might be just around the corner. I only have to work at it.