My life the past, oh, 15 years has felt a little like one (really long) chick flick. Or more specifically, the first 15 minutes of a chick flick. You know the part of the movie I am talking about—the set up. The opening scenes where we learn about the main character and are subjected to some awkward and perhaps painful (but funny) experiences so we feel sorry for her/like her/relate to her better.
The first 15 minutes of a chick flick could include the following: watching our heroine on a series of failed dates; getting dumped by her long-term (no-good) boyfriend; swearing off men while at dinner with girlfriends; eating an endless supply of TV dinners alone or with her cat/bird/television; fending off piteous glances and tactless comments from guests at her younger sister’s/best friend’s wedding; watching fireworks on New Year’s Eve/4th of July alone and swearing this will be the last year she remains dateless; or even a montage flashing back to our heroine as an insecure, bespectacled teenager with braces and over-permed hair so we can see that while outwardly changed as an adult, she still deals with many of the same issues developed in junior high.
While sometimes sad and painful, when done right, the first 15 minutes can often make for a better movie as they are critical to the development of the story. And besides, the first 15 minutes is made tolerable because we all know what is coming: an antagonistic meeting with a handsome stranger, being romanced by the stereotypical ideal guy while slowly falling in love with a neighbor/dorky guy from work, a series of miscommunications and missed opportunities ultimately resulting in frustrated declarations of love in a rainstorm/while stuck in traffic/at an airport/over the loudspeaker at a professional sports game.
While the first 15 minutes/years have been fun, I’m feeling ready for minute 16. (I was ready 10 years ago, but who’s counting?)
It has occurred to me that perhaps I need to take a more active role in order to move minute 16 along. If I am truly starring in my own chick flick, I figure I need only look to the movies to learn how. With this in mind, I commit to one or more of the following:
-Go undercover with the intention to expose men’s foibles (but never publish my findings).
-Become an event planner (it was that or a maid).
-Move to Alaska/Minnesota (and comically don’t fit in with my heels and smart phone).
-Be forced to work on a big business pitch with a pig-headed yet attractive guy.
-Switch lives and/or bodies with someone else (and fall for their best guy friend).
-Renounce my U.S. citizenship in order to seek a green card marriage with my male assistant (mental note: hire male assistant).
-Buy a flower/bakery/chocolate shop.
-And finally, fall through a portal where I am magically transported into a Jane Austen novel.
Yeah, this is going to work. Wish me luck!
Vera Taylor is a 30-something single person who recently discovered she watches too many chick flicks.
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