Don’t Compare Your Romance to a Rom-Com

Some time ago I wrote a blog post titled, “Don’t Compare Your Behind-the-Scenes to Other People’s Highlight Reel,” The idea being that those people who are relentlessly “up” via social media are likely flat out fibbing– or illicitly medicated.

As we head into Valentine’s Day, I thought I would take a moment to point out the danger of comparing your real-life romance to a romantic comedy.

And while this may seem obvious to many of you, I’ve had so much fun collecting the following examples of things you will never, ever see in a romantic comedy that I’m impelled to share them with you:

Nobody ever gets fully into, or fully out of, a wetsuit: Yes, it’s true. Romantic comedies that take place ocean-side inevitably have the hunky hero half in, half out of the wetsuit (for the obligatory chest shot) or the hot heroine running blithely down the beach fully suited (for the obligatory shot of her back-view). Nobody, however, shows the sweating and swearing that occurs as people try to shove themselves into, or extricate themselves from, the wetsuit.

No airport hellos or goodbyes are interrupted because someone is desperate to use the bathroom: Leaving aside that getting someone who lives in Manhattan to take you to, or meet you at, the airport is something you can whistle for, you never see the soon-to-be-parted couple pull up to the curb and one person say to the other, “I love you but I’m desperate to pee so I have to go inside right now.”

The daring, outlaw-esque motorcycle riders never stop short, resulting in a helmet head-smack:

While you often see the hero and heroine jumping on a motorcycle and roaring to their (needless-to-say-romance-filled) destiny, you never see them have to stop short at a stoplight, causing their helmets to smack together like bobble-headed dolls (in addition to which, if one or both of them is wearing glasses—another thing that would never, ever happen—you never see the resulting stop at an optical shop so that the glasses can be refitted to the hero or heroine’s face…at which time they do not pick up some sexy, sexy glasses-cleaning cloths.)

Why is this so? Because real life romance is not administered by Hollywood. (Thank goodness.) Real life romance is knowing (to paraphrase Zooey in Franny and Zooey— the best book e.v.e.r.  w.r.i.t.t.e.n.) when someone is bringing you a cup of consecrated chicken soup.

Yours in real-life romance,

Frances Cole Jones