So its that time of year again. The ASDA holiday aisle becomes blindingly red, couples blossom out of nowhere and films like ‘Love Actually’ and ‘The Holiday’ are plastered all over TV.
And as great as the concept of Valentine’s day is, sometimes the excess advertising and Hollywood overload can be a bit much. The most annoying part being the movies and TV specials purporting an image of the non-existent ‘perfect couple’ or even the idea that the people in these couples are perfectly content as opposed to their single counterparts who struggle along behind them looking for that happiness that can only be found in the eyes of a beautiful man/woman.
But I guess we can’t blame Valentine’s day for that. Truth is, we’ve been fed lies by Hollywood since we grabbed our first copy of ‘The Titanic’. So, to avoid any Valentine’s day disappointments, we have dispelled a few of the common Romantic comedy myths:
Romcom Myth #1: Every girl who is about to find love is absolutely not looking for it. Instead she’s knee deep in work/books and forgot what men even look like.
Reality: Friends are getting engaged/married/having children left right and centre. She can practically hear her biological clock ticking down to ‘game over sista!’ Her expectations for a potential life partner are really taking a plunge.
Romcom Myth #2: You will always look hot when you’re with ‘the one’, even when he playfully pushes you, fully clothed, into a cold swimming pool or when you’re bawling your eyes out next to him.
Reality: If ever he pushed you into a swimming pool, the tragedy that is life ensures you slip, chip a tooth on the side of the pool, and pass out from the stress of the whole situation. And your tears are not a pretty sight to behold. Fluids leak from every orifice and your nose runs like it’s aiming for a gold medal. At that particular moment you reach for your tissues, only to find the singular one you have is from the local takeaway, with last week’s ketchup stains intact. It’s not an easy life.
Romcom Myth #3: If you try to have quick, meaningless flings, especially with a friend, it will all go wrong and he’ll end up falling madly in love with you (like you always secretly hoped he would).
Reality: Honeeeeey. You might as well invest in a new perfume. ‘Let’s Make Things Awkward’ by Moi and save yourself the trouble.
Romcom Myth #4: Hypothermia doesn’t exist, so you can kiss in the pouring rain or go for a romantic paddle in the ocean and nothing will happen to you, except sweet love and good times.
Reality: Truth is, nobody looks good in the rain. Your hair will frizz, you will soon discover your mascara is not as waterproof as you’d hoped, and your glasses will steam so you can no longer see 2 feet ahead of you. If you two are very brave you might lean in for a kiss anyway, and undoubtedly head butt each other in the process.
Romcom Myth #5: Your friend of the opposite gender is waiting to confess their (mutual) undying love to you and proceed to sweep you off your feet
Reality: He regularly discusses how fit the lecturer/random girl in your year is looking today. You make an effort to wear eyeliner and he looks deep into your eyes. You begin to feel the small buds of hope until he tells you there’s some eye crust you need to sort out. At which point you hope to one day be reminded of how happiness felt.
Romcom Myth #6: No matter how horrid the person, or desperate the situation, or heavy the pressure to do otherwise, people always find the courage to confess their feelings.
Reality: Your life is a jumbled collection of awkward moments, unspoken words and pent up frustration. You spend too much time Facebook stalking them, naming your future children and having an existential crisis and not enough time actually speaking to them. Let’s start with baby steps – making them aware of your existence.
Truth ? Companionship is found in the tongue-tied stumble through words you copied off the internet, that probably sound more desperate than romantic. Its messy matchmaking; its awkward silences and its goofy laughs punctuated by embarrassing snorts. So if we all just forget the fantasy we have been sold by a money-hungry, deceitful movie industry, maybe we’d be open to the chaotic, uncomfortable and self-conscious romantic comedy that is reality.
Thank you to Hadeel Said for that refreshing dose of reality