I’ve been putting off posting since Monday because dearest Tink got engaged but made those who knew promise not to tell until she announced it officially (via Facebook, of course). I’m so happy for her, and not surprised, and really glad to be a part of all the joy.
Another reason I couldn’t write or post this week is because I let myself be absolutely miserable the entire day on Tuesday and it took a few days to kick back into gear. I just mourned the parts of my life that are going away, and the absences they accentuate. Not only is one of my dearest friends getting married but I won’t be able to spend as much time with her to help plan, and I just moved and I had a great weekend with my BFF and now we’re separated again and school is starting on Monday and I’ll have to wake up soooooooo early and I’m single. I was so pathetic. I didn’t think of killing myself, but I did consider my funeral and what it’d be like if I died soon. Dramatic, I know. It’s really difficult to think clearly when in a haze of strong and deadly emotions. Being lonely is the worst!
I realized that I’ve reached a new low. It’s not just because I walked around boston in the cold rain so much that I may have pulled my hip muscle, and it’s not because I have been comparing and relating my life to the lives of lead characters from romantic comedies. It’s not even the fact that I was deciding if my life was 27 Dresses or The Wedding Planner… It’s that The Wedding Planner won.
Both movies are soft core porn for women’s hearts, with similar stories and outcomes. But the little things, the details of the women’s lives… that’s where I would say I’m more JLO than Heigl. For instance, Heigl has a snarky BFF she works with who is always a little hung over and going for every guy in the room. JLO has her dad’s friends that she grew up playing scrabble with who are all over the age of 60 and a work friend that she only sees at work (played, incidentally, by the same girl who is Heigl’s snarky BFF).
I firmly believe, were I in her position, I would be the 30-something who goes home to an empty house to watch Antiques Road Show, especially if my ex-fiancé had left me for his high school girlfriend who had thrown me a bridal shower. That is way too much of a betrayal to trust other women over.
JLO says in The Wedding Planner “You know those who can’t do, teach? Those who can’t wed…plan.” I like that this is self-depreciating yet still says that she knows her shit, and well enough to make a good living from it. Heigl? She just loves weddings. She wants to be a part of all the moments, and I think it’s selfish of her to do that, especially since she doesn’t seem to have friendships with women outside of the period of time in which they are engaged. At least JLO is smart enough to let the people who have real relationships get their moments without her butting in with her epic curves. She just creates the prettiness and takes home a paycheck, knowing she helped their day be unforgettable in the best way. I consider myself a little more like a behind-the-scenes helper as well, not a bridesmaid who hogs the spotlight by always helping.
Another thing I like about JLO’s character is that she is willing to do the right thing even when it’s obviously the wrong thing for her. She was willing to marry the guy her dad tried to set her up with because she was unwilling to be a home wrecker, no matter what could have happened without his girlfriend knowing. She doesn’t get the guy in trouble, because she knows that he’s right when he calls her out on being bitter. Heigl refuses to listen to everyone who calls her wedding obsession a little bonkers, and consequently puts herself into stressful situations where she ends up doing the wrong thing at the wrong time, like busting up her little sister’s engagement because she has feelings for the guy. Some would call these character flaws relatable, but I call them an excuse for women to try doing mean and catty things while still ending up with a fairy tale ending.
But one of the biggest issues I have with myself getting so carried away into this comparison, not that it stopped me from writing it up, is that I’m not ever going to be these women. And that’s because I have God. I don’t need to idolize a moment of happiness, turn it into a career. I can be free to live in the moments of joy through the closeness and love I have with Christ.
I continually go back to Psalm 131 these days to remind myself that I don’t want to think about things too big for me, like who I’ll spend the rest of my life with. I can quiet my soul and dwell on the hope I have in the Lord. I like how the amplified text says “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with his mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me [ceased from fretting].” I think that my tendencies to worry about these things are absolutely a sign of immaturity, and my clinging to romantic stories is like a child clinging to its mother.
I’d like to see the Christian romantic comedy, where’s THAT one? You know, the one where the guy is the girl’s friend’s ex-boyfriend so she won’t give him a chance. The one where being in a physical relationship can be understood as playing with fire, but told in a relatable and funny way, because it is funny sometimes! The story where the boy meets the girl at a mission’s retreat and instead of asking her out they fast and pray together to seek God’s will for their relationship. Or I’d love to see the story that shows how a promising relationship doesn’t work out, but the girl has a knight in shining armor protecting her heart the entire time because she trusts that Christ has a good plan for her. One where the Bible is presented as the ultimate romance novel, and the girl sees from a perspective that saves her from wallowing in self pity (most of the time) because she honestly loves God more than her own idea of a husband.