After five years of marriage and six of living together, it sometimes seems that David and I can sit in the same room and read each others’ thoughts. This can of course be advantageous. It can even save face when one of us needs to be reminded not to mention that thing! You must know what I’m talking about. It isn’t always as effective as a swift kick under the table however.
The other night I watched a film called The Waitress, starring Keri Russell and written and directed by the late Adrienne Shelly. A friend lent it to me after I shared with her my musings of selling pies at the farmers market. From the cover I thought I had it pegged – cute girl in waitress uniform meets dishy guy who walks into her life exactly when she requires and he falls for her irresistible pie-making prowess and blah blah blah...happily ever after. So many times a version of this has been sold to us, this postcard love story.
(This is why I mentioned that I can read David’s mind)
Laura inserts DVD into player. David’s mouth is shut, however this does not betray what seeps into the air.
“I know what you’re thinking”
“I haven’t said anything!”
For those who want to see it, too bad, I am telling you now that she does NOT end up with that cute guy on cover and thank GOD for that. I will not rave about this movie, but I will walk away from it satisfied that someone has told us a story with a greater resemblance to real life, in that way at least. Why do we fall for the people we do? We can spend our lives trying to build a narrative for the decisions we make (and we do) but at the root of it all is something we cannot grasp. For some this might be worrying but examined from a different angle it can be beautiful.
Experience reveals the complexity of human relations.
At the behest of romantic comedies I spent my teenage years packing relationships into neat boxes. I expected all arguments to end with haste and hugs. Days of marriage would ooze with cuddles, agreement and endless understanding. Families lived together like they did in Full House and every other sitcom packaged into a 30-minute blissful resolution.
Love (or the love I have in my life) is powerful, but like the waves of the ocean love it has peaks and troughs. You wade through difficult periods and then something awakens inside and you once again realize why and how much you do (indeed!), love this person in front of you, beside you, behind you and with you.
And yet it is never that simple.
So thank you, Adrienne Shelly for giving us a quirky piece of art that reminds us that life, relationships and we humans are imperfect, and the best we can do is march uphill towards our dreams and love the ones around us while we go.
Tragically, Adrienne Shelly was murdered in 2006. Her husband, Andrew Ostroy established a foundation in her memory.