I have to confess . . . I am a “closet romantic”. I love a good romance story, and have been known to get a little teary eyed at the movies that have dealt with true love. No matter how many times I watch Casablanca, I get teary . . . surely the thousandth time that I watch it, Ilsa and Rick will get back together . . . but, it never happens. A good romance is good for cleaning the ol’ tear ducts!
What brought on my confession of being a “closet romantic” was an article by MSN.com that named the most memorable star-crossed movie couples. In the pictures above are a few of the couples they shared as being “memorable”. Some of the ones that they named . . . I agree with. For example I agree that Molly and Sam from Ghost deserved a place on the list. It was a good movie . . . or, maybe I was just a huge Demi Moore in a pixie haircut fan . . . either way, it made the list. So did Ariel and Eric from The Little Mermaid . . . yeah, I know, it was a cartoon; but, it was a cartoon with heart, romance, and had great tunes in Under the Sea and Kiss the Girl. I could agree that half of the ones that they shared were hanky flicks, but the others . . . well, I guess I just have a different taste when it comes to romance.
I did not like Rhett or Scarlett in Gone with the Wind . . . Rose and Jack in the Titanic, well I am not a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio in that movie . . . it was kind of sappy. Maria and Tony in West Side Story was a great musical and I love musicals, but that one was not my cup of tea. Katniss and Peeta in the Hunger Games . . . she could have done a whole better than some wimpy guy who is out to kill her . . . the hunter dude from earlier in that flick would have been better. And, then there was Jennifer and Oliver from Love Story . . . “Love is never having to say you are sorry”—remember that quote? I imagine they had to say “sorry” a whole bunch after that sappy movie came out. They all made the list . . . different strokes for different folks is all that I can say.
The article was interesting, but what was more interesting were those movie couples that did not make the list. I was shocked that one of my favorite, all-time, romantic movie couples did not make the list . . . where was Buttercup and Westley from The Princess Bride? Katie and Hubbell from The Way We Were? Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice? What about Cinderella and the Prince in Ever After . . . or Tristan and all the women who break his heart in Legends of the Fall . . . Annie Savoy and Crash Davis from Bull Durham (baseball and romance, who could ask for more!) . . . where were those tear-jerkers on the MSN.com list?
After all getting over the slight, the article made me think of all the romantic couples I have known throughout my life. Two couples caught my attention . . . my daughter and her husband, and an elderly couple from the very first church I ever served.
The wife and I have to admit, we like our son-in-law . . . he is a good guy who treats our daughter and granddaughter like princesses. He is a good man . . . and, he is a romantic. For example, take the way that he proposed to our daughter. For Valentine’s Day he gave our daughter a gift—a trip from Montana to New York City to see the Broadway musical Wicked. He booked the flight, made the reservations, and together they flew off to see the one musical she had been dying to see . . . it was perfect. It was a romantic couple of days in New York City. Then it came time to return to Montana, but they had not taken a carriage ride around Central Park . . . so, the son-in-law arranged for that to happen before they left for the airport. Around Central Park they rode, cuddled in a blanket, madly in love . . . then he asked the carriage driver to stop . . . got on his knees and proposed. Of course, the daughter said, “Yes.” It has been quite a dramedy ever since, but they really do love one another. Sadly, the son-in-law set the standards pretty high for the rest of the family on both sides. (On that note, I must admit, that the youngest son did a good job when he proposed to his future bride . . . the mountains tops New York City any day!) I must admit, I got a little teary-eyed.
The other one was a couple from the first church I served out of seminary. It was an elderly couple who never came to church, but belonged to the church. I was told that they were eccentric and kind of creepy. They lived on an isolated farm where they pretty much kept to themselves. They were pack rats and going to their home was always an adventure through years and years of stuff piled everywhere . . . over fifty years of stuff piled everywhere with nothing but paths to chairs, couches, beds . . . they would have made a great reality show. He never spoke, she couldn’t be quiet. Isolated and alone, they only had each other.
The husband had contracted rabies early in their marriage and was shipped off to the state mental institution because he just wasn’t “normal” according to those around them. There he stayed as his wife tried to maintain life on the farm . . . it was hard, hard work . . . it was lonely to be a fairly new bride and have a husband gone due to an illness . . . and, she missed him dearly. After a year, she could no longer handle it . . . she went to the mental institution, freed her husband, and brought him home. For over fifty years they made a go of it despite what everyone else thought. She loved him, he loved her. Though he could not speak, he spoke bunches by his mere presence in her life. Through thick and thin, they managed to stay together.
Their story awed me in its magnitude of the distance that two people would go to be with one another against great odds. There was a deep love between them . . . it was a love that was expressed through music by the wife. This woman had the practice of praying for all the people in her life, in her church, and beyond. It was a simple act of prayer that she practiced . . . at her piano. Each day she would play the piano . . . would play hymns. Each person had a hymn that was “their” hymn, and she would sit at the piano for hours, playing each one, until she had prayed for each and every person. It still makes me tear up whenever I think of this special couple.
So, there you have it . . . I am a “closet romantic”. Yeah, I know it is not too manly to admit, but the truth will set you free. I cry at movies (thank goodness movies are shown in the dark) . . . I like a good love story . . . oh well, sue me if you don’t agree. We all know them, we’ve all seen them . . . and, maybe we are even living them; but the bottom line is that nothing beats a good love story.