Hey Cinephiles! Been away from the blogging scene for a minute but never for a second out of the movie loop. As a quick update, yes, I furrowed my eyebrows many times at Avatar‘s thinly veiled racism and found Sandra Bullock’s Oscar win in The Blind Side a calculated attempt by Hollywood to secretly promote the “Great White Agenda”. An agenda that would be glaringly apparent should Avatar have won for Best Film. Poor Sandra. A good performance, but me thinks your Southern accent and tight-fitting clothes ain’t gonna cut it. The Hurt Locker, however was fascinating, intense, and totally deserved the win. Today’s topic? Dating and Romance. Because hey, it’s where I am in life right now and affects how I people-watch just like Tina Fey and Steve Carrell in Date Night.
Two years ago I attended a 4-day cinema therapy workshop retreat in Big Sur, CA at the Esalen Institute. Esalen is famous for it’s hot springs, fertile land and is a haven for those who can afford the rejuvenation and holistic approach to wellness in all forms. While discussing our favorite films, one of mine being West Side Story, the instructor informed rather than asked me if I was a “tragic romantic”. Odd, I felt that I always connected with West Side Story since the first time I saw the original Romeo and Juliet at 13 years old. I had not considered that preferred films could speak volumes about one’s predilections in life but was astonished nonetheless considering the recent loss of my husband. And today as I navigate the dating seas with the sharp and quirky mind of the analyst who can see clearly through the BS I am astonished by the trivial- but even more so at how I sometimes allow myself to make concessions for the men who promote it. Dating, for most people I assume is like holding auditions- will you get a call back? And if you do get a call back, then what? Especially if I’m clear on what I want but you may or may not be able to reciprocate. Blind faith I suppose. And lots and lots of prayer. Lots and lots.
Will he or won’t he? Do or do not? The push and pull of the drama, which is at the core of the classic romantic tragedy, is what has kept past relationships exciting. At this point in my life I find myself wondering if that’s what’s best for me. An even scarier thought is that the push-pull dynamic is something that ties me to the past, thus begging the question if dating for me at this point is a wise choice if I continue to attract the jokers. Don’t all the relationships experts say that you have to work on yourself before you can even entertain the thought of being in a healthy relationship? Isn’t that a part of “The Secret”? Clearly I’ve been going through the hoopla of it all and at this point I have to put my thoughts about it all into prose. Quite frankly, sometimes I get angry about having to go through the stupidity of weeding out the jokers, especially since I was once a woman who was happy in love with a sweet man who occasionally had his sour moments. I started as a poet I’m gon’ continue being one. So as a way of purging the inner monologue here goes a little something from off the top of the dome. I think I’ll call it “Mastery”
Both attracted and repelled by your slickness
Of course your ego calls it charm
You know, that thing that precludes your shame
You think it’s charm
How you got away with it for so long is something for the Guinness files
And while you continue to master the art of beguilement
Your soul thirsts for a sustenance
One that you may not find in your predicament
Far too intelligent and composed to wish you ill
Though your spite can be contagious if I’m not careful
A battle for God to master
Emotions I must master
And your slickness persists because you too, are attracted and repelled by my poise
You know the games wont be tolerated (without a fight at least)
And the more I acquiesce
The more pitiful we both become
And like my mama used to say
I will not be made pathetic
The Mastery is on me
The truth of it all for me lies somewhere in the last scene of Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married, Too. Spoiler alert. So the husband of Janet Jackson’s character, Patricia dies (tragically). Fast forward one year later. Patricia, a psychologist (of course) and educator (did I mention I work in an elementary school?) finishes teaching a lecture on healing and is stopped in the parking lot by one of her colleagues. Apparently a potential funder has desperately been trying to get in contact with Patricia to no avail. Who is this funder who wants her attention? Fine-ass eye candy Dwayne Johnson of course! They exchange flirtatious smiles and it is hinted that Patricia is ready to date again. Fade to black. Prime set up for another Why Did I Get Married sequel. My reaction? Dating after widowhood is only the beginning of a roller coaster journey. Of course your rational mind knows that your partner is long gone but it’s so easy to attract the ones that hint at the past. It’s a part of “the process”. And the mastery of it all is a daily affair. My advice? When you see through the BS, run for the hills. Now only if I can take my own advice…
That’s all. Till next time, movie lovers.