The latest in the entry of “Star Wars” movie made me remember the time my son Joe and I saw a coming attraction for an earlier installment in the “Star Wars” marathon. I can’t remember which one it was but I do recall that the emphasis seemed to be more on relationships than battleships and found myself thinking that maybe I’d volunteer to take the kids to see it, in spite of the fact that Liam Neeson got killed off in the previous movie.
When it was over, Joe turned to me and I could see his eyes flashing even in the dim light of the theater.
“Romance!” he hissed, his voice a combination of disgust laced with scorn and sprinkled with contempt.
Joe was 10 at the time and believed romance belongs in movies about as much as jelly beans belonged on a pizza. His father still believes the same thing.
Example: Whenever my husband, Mark, happens to wander into the family room while I’m watching “The Way We Were” (something I like to do at least every other month), he invariably snorts, “Romance!” and then proceeds to tell me how totally unromantic “The Way We Were” truly is because the two main characters don’t end up together when the final credits roll.
“`I love you but I can’t live with you, Katie,'” he whines in an imitation that sounds more like Rocky the Flying Squirrel than Robert Redford. “How is that romantic?” he always questions.
Not wanting to let him know how authentic the concept of loving someone but not particularly wanting to live with them at any given moment is to most women, I roll my eyes and ignore him. Once, early on in our marriage, I did ask him what his idea of a romantic movie was and to my everlasting regret, he told me.
“Lone Wolf McQuade,” he instantly replied.
“Was there even a woman in that movie?” I asked.
“Of course there’s a woman in it, and when he shows her how to handle a gun,” Mark shook his head reverently, “that was romantic.”
I’m going to have to catch that one some day.
Mark also berates another favorite, “Gone With the Wind.”
“Why do women think it’s romantic when the two stars don’t live happily ever after?” he asked me the last time I watched Scarlett decide to return to her beloved Tara sans Rhett Butler. “Why can’t they stay together?”
“Because if they stayed together,” I explained for the jazillionth time, “Rhett would undoubtedly drive Scarlett insane by putting her on a budget when it came to any further remodeling of Tara and would probably force her to have another baby and then make her run for PTO president.”
Mark left me alone after that and went out to the garage to do some vital work like polishing his screwdrivers and lining up all his power tools so that they faced in the same direction, leaving me to enjoy Scarlett and Rhett without his running commentary.
It hasn’t easy being the only romantic in a male-dominated household but I have to say that up until now they’ve been pretty good about letting me cry over my mushy movies in peace. Such as the day I was having a perfectly delightful time watching “Picnic” (William Holden and Kim Novak end up together in that one but Mark claims it isn’t romantic because Kim Novak chooses the poor guy over the rich one even though any fool would choose the rich guy and since he has a point I can’t really argue with him. Although in Kim’s defense she was young and foolish at the time.) and crocheting the largest afghan in captivity when my youngest son, Hank, meandered into the room. “What are you watching?” he asked.
“What’s it about?”
“Two people who fall in love and run off together.”
Hank’s eyes bugged halfway out of their sockets. “Romance!” he shrieked as he fled the room.
I have to admit that it has proven to be a great way to get some time to myself.