My heart will go on past March 23, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Why is it that every time you treat a guy like he is a decent, civilized human being he turns out to be a monster? And whenever you treat him like crap he is down on his knees begging for your love and care? I really wonder: will we good, nice, decent girls ever find that sort of guy who cares and really would sacrifice his favorite TV show for us (let alone sacrifice his life like in “Titanic”)?
— Lost White Lilly
Guys! Hello! “Titanic” is a movie! Not real life! I mean come on, do you think that big strong boat really would have sunk so easily? Puuuuuure fiction.
Okay, I can still make my point. You want to talk Titanic, we’ll talk Titanic. Kate Winslet treated Billy Zane like crap, and he was a monster. She treated Leo like a human being (eventually), and he begged for her love. Your stereotypes don’t, um , hold water.
Well, okay, each does have a drop of truth: if by “treating a guy like a decent human” you secretly mean smothering him with declarations of love and devotion (see Stacey, above), then yeah, he will turn into Sewer Creature and tunnel out of your life. And yeah, if “treating him like crap” is code for not showing interest in return, then yeah, in some people — women, too (Stacey!) — that does trigger cluless begging, or at very least, heightened buzz-of-the-chase.
Still, to be fair, Breakup Girl did get a little swoony about those doomed lovebirds. I wondered “Wow, will I ever meet a guy who will freeze his butt for me/make me feel like that in the back of an old car/trust me with an ax — all without impressing my mother one bit?” Lilly, I completely understand. But the fact is, it’s not about finding “that sort of guy” — it’s about finding that sort of love. I know tons of guys who would do that (well, at least the TV show part)… for their wives/girlfriends. (Fortunately, through the magic of video cassette recorders, that sort of sacrifice is rarely necessary.) In the meantime, quit dealing in narrow, either /or stereotypes and strategies — for both girls and boys — and just keep being good, nice, and decent. You’ll have a happier ending than that movie, I promise. That part about the boat was such a downer.