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When this life is all you think you’ve got…

October 23, 2011

I’m going to attempt to relate this article linked at Pundit and Pundette, romantic comedies and their impact on the divorce rate, with the propensity of top executives (CEOs and pastors included) to use their jobs/calling as an escape from hard work.


First – the article about a mom who ditched her family of 4 in Florida to join the OWS camp in NYC.

A married mother of four from Florida ditched her family to become part of the raggedy mob in Zuccotti Park — keeping the park clean by day and keeping herself warm at night with the help of a young waiter from Brooklyn.

“I’m not planning on going home,” an unapologetic Stacey Hessler, 38, told The Post yesterday. “I have no idea what the future holds, but I’m here indefinitely. Forever,”

Ah, the tendency for modern humans to excuse themselves from dealing with the minutia, difficulty and drudgery of “real life”….

Enter, the romantic comedy. Recently two plane flights had the same movie “Something Borrowed”. The movie is set up to make you empathize with a woman who “ends up in bed with her best friends’ fiance after one too many drinks’. You are supposed to sympathize because her best friend is portrayed as a selfish self centered mean girl – she’s the NICE girl whose true love was stolen in the first place…..yeah.  Turns out those movies are not a great idea if you want to be happy in real life…

idealized love scenarios in romantic comedies can set unrealistic expectations and lead to crushing disappointment in real life, according to an Australian study widely reported Thursday…. “Yet the warm and fuzzy feeling they provide can adversely influence our view of real relationships

What did our grandparents see for ‘romantic comedy’ ?  Try “Fiddler on the Roof” –

  • (Tevye) Do you love me?
  • (Golde) Do I love you?
    ….(Golde) I’m your wife
    (Tevye) “I know…”  But do you love me?
    (Golde) Do I love him?
    For twenty-five years I’ve lived with him
    Fought him, starved with him
    Twenty-five years my bed is his
    If that’s not love, what is?

One of the interesting things about so much of the 99% commentary is there seems to be a perception that no one should have to “work” (meaning, earn a living doing something that wouldn’t normally be your hobby – in order to eat).

The materialistic philosophy of “this life is all I have, so I have to live my dreams, therefore you should subsidize me” is a strong undercurrent.

It’s the undercurrent supporting those who divorce – or run off to be part of a protest camp – because their relationship wasn’t as exciting as the “rom com”s they watch in movies. It’s the undercurrent for parents and spouses who – feeling underappreciated for putting up with the drugeries of laundry or for bringing home the bacon – give themselves license to escape – then justify their actions via financial or spiritual or political means.

It’s a lot easier than finding meaning – and love – in the minutia, and sacrificing ones’ ego

UPDATE: To be clear, people divorce for lots of reasons. I’m pointing out those who divorce because they’re looking for ‘that lovin’ feeling’ and are unhappy because they don’t have in their relationships what they see on screen in “Sleepless in Seattle” or …pick one

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2011 7:10 pm

    Well said, Lynn. Whether it’s OWS or personal relationships, it all boils down to unrealistic expectations. As the entitlement mentality spreads deeper and deeper into the culture, the expectations continually inflate.


  2. October 24, 2011 8:24 am

    If I tried to base my life on movies, I’d probably be disappointed in the distinct lack of explosions, or even nice cars. I’d also expect more product placement.

    On the other hand, if I base my life on the fact that I distinctly married up, then maybe I’ll realize how blessed I am, and I’ll work hard to keep it that way.

    And for the record, I think the FotR song is dead on. Love is shown over time, not in a two-minute scene with beautiful people doing dumb things.

  3. October 23, 2011 11:23 pm

    That song from “Fiddler on the Roof” has always struck me as sad. And I completely agree about the influence of such things. A sadder part is that this is completely intentional: the notion that the nuclear family is a bad thing, and that it should be mocked and devalued at every turn, is a part of the mentality of many movie and television executives.

    Consider the mindset a young person would develop who grew up watching “Married with Children” — what sort of value can one place on a relationship given that sort of role model?

    People are losing the ability to live with, love, and respect the persons who should be their lifemates, just as they are losing the ability to communicate coherently in writing. My Lady and I have coached a number of friends in this area, sometimes successfully, especially since we live the way we are telling them is possible.

    In one science fiction novel I wrote, one (very non-human) female is explaining to another how to treat her lifemate, after a very recognizable spat. More than one reader caught it: “I know that speech — you’ve given us the same lecture yourself!” Well, minus the extra arms.

    I spend lots of time thinking of ways to make my Lady happy. She does the same for me. It is a very nice way to live. It is not, unfortunately, the way one would learn from those shows that literally entertain our baser natures.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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