For the last few years, while all of the couples are out doing couple things on Valentine’s Day, I have made it a tradition to sit on my couch and watch a romantic comedy by myself. If anything, it is an ode to my loneliness, a way of “sticking it to the man” and showing that I don’t need to be in a relationship. This annual tradition has become more of a weekly habit.
In my hours of binging, I find myself relating my own life to the characters’ throughout the movie, imagining that their lives, in some way, are just like mine. And in those moments I begin to wonder: what if my life was just like theirs? What if these fictional stories of boy-meets-girl could actually be real? What if, somehow, things always worked out the way that they did in the movies?
Any rom com, no matter how fantastical they may be, is made to be relatable, and seeing as most of them start off with characters being single, I can relate very much. Lots of us wish that someone would stand outside of our houses with a boombox on his or her shoulders, or tell us they love us on a bunch of poster boards with “Silent Night” playing in the background, or even make a fake contract to be boyfriend and girlfriend while secretly falling in love. Maybe twelve years from now you’ll end up marrying your best friend like Harry and Sally. Or maybe someone like Heath Ledger (may he rest in peace) will give you a cherry red guitar to win you back.
Maybe, one day, you wish something spontaneous would happen to you, and somehow, you just bump into your soulmate (if you believe in that sort of thing). My mom always tells me that if I believe in something really hard, I’ll be able to somehow will it into existence. I don’t know where she gets that idea from, but she tells me to do it all the time. So, mom, do you think I can use the unknown power of my mind to magically save a boy from being run over by a subway and then fall in love with his brother like in “While You Were Sleeping?” Or what about mystically meeting my soulmate at the top of the Empire State Building like in “Sleepless in Seattle?” Or maybe even accidentally having a cappuccino spilled on me by Hugh Grant like in “Notting Hill?” Man, that would be a dream.
Logically, those things aren’t very realistic. But maybe a boy won’t know the difference between disgustingly cheesy and sweet and will say something like “You complete me” or “I’m just a boy, standing in front of a girl, asking her to love him.”
I’m sure all of us have at least one regret that we wish we could reverse by stepping inside of a closet, clenching our fists, and going back in time to change the past like in “About Time.” Oh, the things I would change; the things I would stop myself saying; the things I would have done. I don’t care what my mom says; that one’s really out of the question.
The fact of the matter is, the chances of any of these things happening are slim to none. If anything, my life is going to play out like Tom Hansen’s from “500 Days of Summer” but without the ironic ending. I hope you can feel my disappointment.
So, until something magically works out, and with my luck so far, that won’t happen for a really long time, I guess I’ll keep sitting on the couch by myself, eating popcorn, living vicariously through movie characters while my sister steals the car and goes on dates with her boyfriend (thanks a lot Riley). But really, is there anything wrong with watching a movie by myself? If anything, haven’t romantic comedies taught me that everything will work eventually and I need to do is stand at the top of the Empire State Building, or maybe L building, and wait.