Today I found out what it feels like to be the main character in the untold sequel of the 80s teen movies we all know and love; rather what it feels like to be betrayed by them. Today I found out what happens after she gets the guy, after they ride off into the sunset, after he chases her down and professes his undying high school love, and after the lawn mower runs out of gas. I’m not one to make this blog about my daily emotions or as a platform to vent, but I feel like there are times in a person’s life when they realize important things about life, and when they reach those times, they have a responsibility to share those thoughts.
What I didn’t realize about the 80s chick flicks (Sixteen Candles, Pretty Woman, The Breakfast Club, Can’t Buy Me Love, etc.) was that not only are romantic gestures underrated, but so are breakups, for opposite reasons. Falling in love and falling out have so much more depth and emotion than I could ever imagine from a romantic comedy. On one hand, the corny moments in a romantic movie that you and I can both predict are not as awkward in real life, as many of you probably know. They create emotions and knots more indescribable than the term “butterflies” often given to them. Such knots can make you feel like the luckiest girl (or guy) in the world. You lose your words and your mouth freezes from smiling so much and you just wanna cruise into the rest of your undying romance. But on the other hand, the movies don’t tell you about the injuries associated with tearing apart a relationship. We expect the guy to come racing back, realizing what he’s done, or for them both to realize how in love they truly are; but I’ve learned recently that this is not always the case. I learned it hurts more than any book, movie, or story could ever describe with words. When the emotions became real, I realized just how false the movies are; and not because I’m naive to reality, but rather because I guess, as a young female, I live in an ongoing state of translucent denial. I experienced a relationship with page after page of corny moments, love notes, flowers, movie nights, and unforgettable stories. And as such a love story is filled with these experiences, I can’t help but be a bit reluctant to turn the page and focus on the next chapter.
Even though I feel so unprepared from my late-night study sessions with the teen romance films, perhaps this is more of an opportunity to be still and to become familiar with who I am, rather than who I am with someone else. Maybe I’m not supposed to be prepared for these moments because if I was fully prepared and knew what to expect, I wouldn’t need to draw closer to the people in my life who love me and to a Creator who purposefully designed me. In that way, I guess I can’t blame the 80s chick flicks; they’re just doing their best. They didn’t prepare me for the best or the worst, but they did teach me that the relationships we experience are worth fighting for, and even when that means breaking up to keep a close friendship in-tact, that such a fight is just as admirable as fighting to stay together.
Pretty Woman failed to mention what happens after the credits role, but in a way, I’m glad it did so 1) I didn’t expect a millionaire with a white limo, flowers, and pigeons, but also 2) I got to have the surprise of discovering my identity in myself and in my Creator. Maybe that’s the greatest transition of them all.