Tonight I had a date with the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I’ve had a desire to see this movie since the reviews came out on it but I’m shy and slow in making the first move. So, its taken me a good two years but tonight was our night. It was an amazing date. One of those where you wish the night would never end. You just get caught up in the excitement and wonder of it all, not the least bit disappointed in the anticipation that has built in these days and months leading up to this evening.
Okay, if it is not clear by now that I am in serious need of a real date with a real, live person then just pretend I didn’t confess the dating drought and lets go on.
Eternal was a tremendous movie with such depth and poetry. I always marvel at the minds that can capture and pen such amazing insights yet with the allure of such subtleness that you honestly think you are the only one who caught it.
Relationships are tough. They are work. I think that is what scares me the most about commitment. The work. The truth that I can’t just ignore or avoid things when it is convenient for me. The scary realization that you are in this together. I know that this is comforting to many people. I know this simply because they say it is and because so many people go for it. I don’t know it from personal experience. I hear "in this together" and I hear prison doors slamming shut and Percy Wetmore yelling in the background "Dead Man Walking". My worst nightmares have involved marriage ceremonies where the count-down is on, I’m in white and dead-sure I’m about to make a big mistake. A mistake bigger than the pepto-bismal bridesmaid dress with more ruffles than a Lays warehouse.
I’m scared of the work. The compromise. The surrender. The selflessness.
"in this together" means "the good, the bad, the ugly in this together".
Can I handle that?
Can I handle someone knowing with pain-staking accuracy my bad and my ugly?
In the movie, there is this very brief but significant dialogue:
God: I don’t see anything I don’t like about you.
Melissa: But you will! But you will, and I’ll get bored with you and feel trapped, because that’s what happens with me.
A four-letter word with such incredible grace and freedom.