We have a good friend visiting us from Alabama this weekend. More on him later because he is all kinds of awesomeness. But last night we were flipping channels and landed on a good old fashioned romantic comedy. Do you all remember, "Runaway Bride?" It is a Julia Roberts vehicle from 1999. It is a formulaic chick flick that you enjoy while you are watching, but forget 10 minutes later.
However, it triggered something in me. I remember loving this movie when it came out in the theaters. I was 20 years old at the time. I was idealistic and sure that was the way true love happened. I remember thinking that Julia Robert's character, Maggie, was a quirky and fabulous woman and she was the kind of chick I wanted to be.
In one scene Richard Gere's character says to Maggie, "You want a man, who will lead you down the beach, with his hand over your eyes, just so you can discover the feel of the sand beneath your feet. You want a guy, who will wake you up a dawn, just bursting to talk to you, he can't wait another minute just to find out what you'll say. Am I right?"
Of course my 20 year old self swooned. Who wouldn't want that? That was TRUE LOVE! A guy who woke you up at dawn to just be with you. How romantic is that?
However, as I was watching the movie last night as a slightly more cynical 32 year old, that scene made me burst into laughter. I turned to Rob and said, "If you ever wake me up at dawn just to hear what I would say, I would kill you." If anyone for that matter woke me up at dawn, I would silently curse them as I changed Will's diaper at 6:30 am for robbing me of much needed sleep.
Also, I know what sand feels like beneath my feet. Why is that romantic? If a guy had his hand over my eyes walking down the beach, I would think he was trying to drown me.
My 20 year old self would be horrified. Have I really become this cynical, jaded, and unromantic? When I did I start to laugh at speeches that would at one time have left me breathless? The answer: when I got married.
Do you know what romance is now? Waking up with the children so I can sleep longer. Unloading the dishwasher with me asking. A quick shoulder rub at the end of the day. A phone call in the middle of the afternoon to say I am thinking about you. Putting down the laptop or turning off the TV to really focus on one another.
Real life isn't like the movies. It isn't swoon worthy speeches or quirky characters who find love despite all the odds. It's so much better than that. Who wants to see Richard Gere riding on a horse when I get to see my husband carrying his daughter on his shoulders every day? Real life love is watching Rob run down a slip-n-slide just to make his kids laugh. It's having someone remember my favorite candy and then just having it magically appear on my pillow. It's having the coffee brewed in the morning and brought to me exactly the way I like it- 2 sugars and 1 cream.
All these thoughts were running through my head last night as I watched Hollywood's version of love. And as I watched Julia Roberts embody this quirky character that I once thought was an ideal woman, I realized what I now think an ideal woman should be. I think the Bible sums it up perfectly in Proverbs 31.
Here are a few excerpts from that passage-
Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:
There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
I think Hollywood could take a few cues from real life.
The ghosts that haunt us
8 hours ago