Here we go again. Ho, ho, ho and a bottle of….wait a minute—it doesn’t go that way. |
This is the seventh Christmas-themed essay I’ve written for www.amazines.com over the last 12 years. The previous six articles are listed at the end of this blurb along with a short description of each should you, dear reader, get the urge to peruse them. (I hope you do.)
Well, it’s mid-November and I’ve already viewed several Hallmark Christmas movies, perhaps in the mood for cheesy, well-worn, predictable, plotlines, to wit: boy meets girl, conflict, spark, boy gets girl, misunderstanding, boy loses girl, understanding restored, boy gets girl (kiss-kiss), teasing snowflakes fall, happy ending. Like many of you I like occasional stories about unrequited love. They feel good, and they also stir memories of one’s own life journey to find a mate—discovery, giddy attraction, nervousness, fear of rejection, pursuit, love realized, wedding, honeymoon—and then what? Not all have happy endings; about 50-percent result in broken relationships—some rather nasty. (On the other hand, the other 50-percent end in death. OMG! There is that.)
In this life of travail and cheap wine, the universe provides us with multiple attempts and avenues to find a mate. Most are unsuccessful; some are intentionally temporary—e.g., one-night stands. I mean, compatibility matching is tough enough when people are honest, and have good intentions. (A mixed metaphor comes to mind: Nobody gets a hole-in-one their first time at bat.) I don’t believe most individuals are intentionally dishonest, but initially tend to put forward their “best face” to be attractive—they play a role. It’s a sales job. Warts-and-all appear later. A friend told me that her ex-husband didn’t show his evil twin (i.e., real self) until their honeymoon. She recalls wondering what she got herself into—said he was a totally different person when they dated. Thus, the invention and expansion of dating sites, which are supposed to clear out the social “noise”. Those I know whose marriages resulted from a dating site seem to have found the secret to success. However, most internet pairings I know of are ten years old or less; therefore, the jury is still out. The number and duration of those events is too small to be statistically conclusive. Then there is still the issue of “sales jobs”, i.e., snow jobs. You know, dear reader, if I were a sexual predator, the first dating site I’d join would be one with a religious affiliation. Of course, I’m assuming those seekers would be the most gullible. Am I wrong?
Breakup experiences can be traumatic for both the dump-er and the dump-ee. During my young, testosterone-fueled days I was both. I hate to admit it, but I was a terrible (sigh) boyfriend—full of tricks to get them interested but cursed with a three-second attention span and a proclivity for juvenile humor. I assumed anything and everything was on the table if it was funny.
Anyway, I surmise that nice Hallmark movie happy endings cause us to connect with our successful experience(s), and also (with longing, wondering, and/or anger) those relationships that turned out poorly. I can remember discovering, in more than one relationship, that after physical attraction wore off, there was little left. We participants had nothing in common, a different worldview, different goals; and personal habits overlooked at first became irritating. The relationship was doomed to failure, and I realized it’s better to end things sooner than later. But it’s painful to tell another they’re no longer “the one”. (The old: “It’s not you it’s me” routine.) On the other end, it can be violent. In the early 2000s I lived in a part of the country where people routinely broke up and/or divorced. In was very common—practically the “thing” to do. But rather than live-and-let-live the participants keyed one another’s cars, flattened tires, broke windows—real low-class behavior. It went on even after both participants remarried—for a time of course, and then the vandalism expanded to include new exes.
The question is: What happens after the Hallmark ending? Which side of the 50-percent will one land on? For one of my late high school pals the whole business seemed to be a fun adventure—a lark. He once remarked, “I’ve been happily married and divorced numerous times.” Hmmm…numerous Hallmark endings in his case. Oddly, he and his exes always remained friendly. His last ex remarried but remained the executor of his will. She and her husband socialized with my friend on a regular basis. His last relationship lasted about 16 years ending with his death. He and his final paramour remained devoted to each other until the end, but she refused to marry him and become another ex. Smart girl.
Chances are I am enjoying the last decade of my existence, at least no one in my family has escaped this period. With that in mind, the Hallmark movies caused me to review my own journey, and acknowledge my own follies, and luck/blessing in finding “the one” out of billions of females in this world. I hit the jackpot.
I am six years older than Kay, and as mentioned above, had relationships before I met her. None could be considered serious per se although I did date the same girl throughout college. In her case, the romantic flames turned into the embers of friendship quite naturally. Of course, I was a better friend than a boyfriend. Again, honesty compels me to admit I was terrible at the latter. There were ladies I liked—for a time. And I’m sure some who liked me—for a time. But who can tell how long such moments will last? You taste the wine and put the glass aside, but the taste lingers.
In my case, I eventually matured enough to desire something more fulfilling. Of course, my foibles couldn’t be purged overnight. I mean, it’s not like an on-off switch. That meant it would require a partner with the patience of Job. I was blessed to find such a lady. I experienced the Hallmark miracle that followed the script. We were engaged during the Holiday Season.
We passed the magic 50-year-mark a few years ago and are still going strong—loving each other more than ever. Really!
But our relationship has evolved out of the exciting Hallmark sappy miracle into whatever it is life has molded. Frequent kissing—gone. In fact, they have become push-away pecks. Same with hugs. None linger. They’re just long enough to qualify. Romantic glances—gone. Bedtime cuddling—gone. I hit the sack between 11pm and midnight. She follows hours later. Many conversations are one-sided, although to be fair, she has a hearing disability. Keep in mind I am not complaining because I share equally in this late-life’s march to oblivion. I definitely miss our intimate moments but am comfortable that we have morphed from lovers to roommates—but roommates deeply in love.
Still, when I view Christmas movies from Hallmark and other channels I am instantly transported back to the time when the magic happened. I miss it. I’m sure you know what I mean—that first enchanting moment when two people first know each other by heart. Why do we have to mature into reasonable adults that deny—or forget—the magic and relegate it to yesterday?
Fa-la-la-la-la, la, la, la, la, Faithfully submitted by Gene Myers your candy cane working boy
Previous Christmas-themed articles on my amazines.com author’s page:
“A Christmas Memory” (12/30/2010) – Christmas Eve church shenanigans and an impending breakup of a relationship.
“Weird Christmas Thoughts” (12/20/2012) – OPED about so-called offensive decorations.
“Christmas Blahs” (12/20/2015) – Being in a funk because my wife was injured.
“The Holidays: Past and Present” (01/08/2017) – My review of the yearend Holidays of 2016; Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.
“CHRISTMAS: A HALLMARK MYTH?” (12/02/2017) – A look at typical movies from that channel.
“COVID CHRISTMAS UN-CHEER” (12/18/2020) – The so-called pandemic challenge.
Related Articles -
Hallmark Christmas movies, Breakup experiences, finding,