Thursday, September 20, 2007

You give, and you give, and you give (and I take happily and ask for more)

People, I have some mildly alarming news to report. It hardly seems possible, I know, but... the Internets have steered me wrong.

Remember last week, when I told you how my scattered and distracted self managed to store a new tub of cream cheese in the freezer instead of the fridge? I wondered out loud (or, onto the Internet) whether I had to toss that tub or not. And as usual, you guys came through with helpful replies. "Your cream cheese is fine," one of you said. "I used to freeze it on purpose," another explained. "Well, great!," I thought. "I'll just take toss it in the fridge to thaw, and when I bring it to work to spread on my bagel, it'll be just fine to eat."

I'm sorry, but how wrong you all were. How very, very wrong indeed. That cream cheese was NOT fine. Not fine at all, unless cream cheese with the consistency of bubbly yogurt falls under your definition of "fine."

That was a very disappointing bagel. That's all I'm going to say about that.

Perhaps it's not entirely fair to blame you guys for my sub-par breakfast today, nor is it even particularly important. Life goes on, after all, satisfying morning bagel or no. I may just be trying to make you feel just a wee bit bad, in the hopes that you'll want to make it up to me, because surprise, surprise, Internets: again, I need your help.

My lovely friend Amy is getting married in a few short weeks, and she recently asked me to read something during the event. "Of course!" I said. "I'm honored you asked! What would you like me to read?" It's going to be a pretty unconventional ceremony, so I figured First Corinthians likely wasn't on the agenda. Then she said she'd like me to write something and read that. "Just write a blog entry," she suggested. "I love the way you write in your blog; could you just come up with a blog entry to read?"

A blog entry. Yeah. That's all good and fine and I'm flattered she thinks my words are wedding crowd-worthy, but um, has she even READ my blog? (Yes, yes; of course she has.) I write about ME, people, and I don't think anyone at Amy's wedding is really coming to hear the silly little antics of my sad little life. I'm pretty sure talking about myself at someone else's wedding would rank right up there with wearing a dress deliberately meant to show up the bride.

"But you write about relationships!" Amy argued. Yes. Yes, I do. If by "relationships," you mean "all the bad and uneventful dates I've been on and all the boys who've made me cry." Again, not exactly heart-warming or appropriate wedding talk.

So I need some help, some suggestions, and I was hoping you guys could get that ball rolling. What would YOU write about, if a friend made a similar request of you? This is not a reception toast, mind you; it's not the simple maid-of-honor speech formula of "Look at this lovely couple; let's talk about how I know them and what I hope for their future together." It's a reading. For during the ceremony. Which is actually being held in an old movie theater and involves an interpretive dance number, among other things, so "ceremony" may not even actually be the right word, I suppose.

I do have one idea... an idea that might work and might be suitable, but it's really just the shell of an idea at this point... an idealet, an idea embryo, an idea zygote, if that. The theme I have in mind is What I've learned about love from the movies. Amy's an artist; her husband-to-be is a filmmaker; they've seen about a thousand movies together, and they're saying their vows in an 80-year-old movie house. What could be more appropriate, do you think?

This is where you come in. I can't actually think of all that many things I've learned about love from the movies. I'm sure they're stored in my memory somewhere (I've taken plenty of life lessons from television, after all), but they're just not coming to mind. Ali MacGraw told me that love means never having to say you’re sorry, but I don’t know that that's really great advice for newlyweds... Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick taught me that love makes you certifiably insane, but again, not necessarily the angle I’m shooting for.

So help me out, folks. I know you've got ideas. What have movies taught YOU about love?

Thanks in advance (from me and Amy both). Now come on; hit it, kids!


Anonymous said...

Hmmm...if you give someone your heart, they'll give you a pen?

OK, OK. How about "A winning romantic strategy is to stand outside her window with a boombox blasting the most romantic but awesome song you can think of."

I'll have to think about other movies some more...

Incidentally, I've heard that Cameron Crowe wanted "Within Your Reach" instead of "In Your Eyes," which I would have much preferred. Don't get me wrong, the scene makes me weep, but I'll always be a sucker for the Replacements.

metalia said...

DANG! Nabbalicious beat me to it; I was totally going to suggest Say Anything.

I must think this over and get back to you...

Jarod said...

Things I learned from the movies about love:

- Love is not fate, or a random feather blowing in the wind. Love is neither of these, and both.
- The more times you fail with love, the stronger it is when you get it right.
- Sometimes it takes a stalking cyborg to make you fall in love.
- If you are on a date, and suddenly the restaurant patrons burst into song with perfect harmony - you two WILL fall in love.
- There is no such thing as a soul mate...until, of course, you actually find your soul mate.
- Sometimes love is a scruffy, old yellow dog.
- Don't ever cast your husband with Angelia Jolie. But that's just common sense.
- No wounds from the past, bad history, or even ancient curses stand a chance against love. It blows through them like dust off a ruin.
- The stories, contrary to our cynical and moving age, are all true. There is no place like home. Hope is worth fighting for. Honor and integrity are better than selfishness and greed. And yes, love - true, magical love does exist. That is all one really needs to know. The rest are details, easily forgotten.

L Sass said...

I like, "If you fall in love with someone after you secretly bet your friend that you can turn her into the prom queen... she WILL find out."

There's probably something from Casablanca--either about loyalty to your spouse or maybe remembering the romantic times even when you're in the middle of a war zone (literally).

You could also cite A Philadelphia Story or other bantering-lovers film and say something about getting through arguments?

Anonymous said...

If you tell your girlfriend's parents off for putting her in the corner, teach her the lift, and tell her you'd rather be with her than eating jujubes to stay alive, you'll have a summer love like no other.

Hmm. Maybe that one doesn't work so well in real life. But on screen? Magic.

lizgwiz said...

Sometimes when your first true loves dies tragically young, he will come back as a ghost and annoy you into getting over him and finding your second true love. (I LOVE "Truly, Madly, Deeply.")

Sometimes he'll merely come back for a bit to help Whoopi Goldberg save your life.

But we probably want to steer away from dead loves, don't we?

Does your friend take an hour and a half to order a sandwich, or get cold when it's 72 degrees out? Does her fiance love that about her? Is it important to keep the chocolate sauce on the side of the coconut cake?

I'm not being helpful at all here, am I?

How's this--don't fall for a guy in a coma. His brother's the one you really want.


Anonymous said...

"I'm really just looking for someone who says bless you after I sneeze." That line from Singles sums me up.

But since we're going 80's, why not something from The Princess Bride? Or my personal favorite, Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves? Or are those really 90's movies?

I like this challenge. I'll come back if I think of anything else during the day.

-R- said...

I am so bad at movie quotes or ideas. All I can think of is stupid "Beauty and the Beast." And now I have that song stuck in my head. I blame you.

Paisley said...

Like R, I'm bad at remembering exact quotes, but I DO love that moment in My Best Friend's Wedding when they are on the harbor cruise and they talk about that moment "just passing you by" and then the light changes and the moment passed them by! So yay to your friends for not doing that. Um...yeah.

Also, NO MAN IS AN ISLAND, as investigated so wonderfully in About A Boy.

I think your idea is FABULOUS and you must post your final draft OR ELSE.


Anonymous said...

Jarod's comment cracks me up. And I'm thinking...

don't call me MA'AM said...

Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam... And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva... So tweasure your wuv.

Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.

True love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe.

I learned all of this from The Princess Bride.

FYI... if you're looking for quotes from specific movies, go to

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

I love the idea, and then I like the idea of turning the idea on its head--use all of these inappropriate/unhelpful love messages that you get from films (don't fall in love with a guy in a coma, etc.) and end your reading with something like:

So what I've learned about love from the movies is this: it's not magical, it's not about clich├ęs, and it's not, unfortunately, going to wrap itself up in a nice bow in under two hours.

Love is honest, beautiful, true, and the most real thing that we can hope to find in this world. And those who have found it are not only extraordinarily lucky but also the ones laughing hardest at Hollywood for trying and always failing to capture an overwhelming emotion that just isn't going to come with a bag of popcorn and a Coke.

Unless, of course, you're into that sort of thing.

Best of luck :)

Stefanie said...

You guys are AWESOME!! Seriously, SO glad I asked for help! If you have more ideas, keep 'em coming! Either way, I'm feeling a lot less daunted by this task. Thanks so much!!

Thanks also to Guinness Girl, who sent me about 27 fabulous movie references via email instead of posting them here to entertain all the rest of you as well. I'm sure many of them will make it into my final draft, however, which I'll be sure to post after the wedding. :-)