Monday, November 10, 2008

Finding Common Ground in the DVD Aisle

The Partner and I found time in the midst of his busy schedule to sit down together to watch a DVD he selected. I asked him to pick it. Sometimes my optimism astounds me. I should have remembered that our differences are never more apparent than when viewed through the boob tube.

The movie this weekend was Mel Gibson's Apocalypto. Truly, it would have to be the eve of said Apocalypse for me to willingly sit through this movie. It is not that I am opposed to blood, guts, and nakedness. In fact, some of my favorite movies come from Rob Zombie's red and oozing inspiration. What I can't abide is reality. Once I believe that there is any sense of history or it-could've-really-happened-ness to a film, then I begin to lose the ability to dissociate.

I don't like feeling sad and hopeless and convinced that human nature is depraved. I used to. In fact, I watched cable news almost 24/7 between 2001 and 2005. But then I had children and realized that these world ills were ones that could come home to affect my own family. I had become wholly invested in people other than myself. The misery of the daily news was no longer something I could watch in a detached manner. I came to the conclusion that my sense of cultural masochism was going to have to call out its safe word.

At first The Partner was pissed when I gave up on him after only 15 minutes of Mel's latest and greatest.

"Can you really blame me?" I asked. "It's not like this is exactly easy to take." I waved the DVD case in front of him and shrieked out snippets from the description on the back. "'Nonstop action'! 'Adrenaline soaked'! 'Heart racing'! Do you know what that all means? It means people are going to keep on dying!"

He looked at me like I was a lost cause. He turned back to the movie. I retired to the Internet.

Not much later, I began to miss The Partner's company and decided to give the movie another go. I settled in next to him on our rotating love seat. He informed me that none of the good guys had died since I left. As he said that, I looked at the screen to see a freshly severed head bouncing down the steps of a Mayan pyramid. A few seconds later its body followed suit, only with more thud than bounce. I rolled my eyes, unfolded my legs from under me, and once again left the room.

I'm only slightly sorry that The Partner has to deal with my skittish movie watching habits. Mostly I think he needs to suck it up. I mean, it's not that bad--we still have one genre we can agree on. I'd rather laugh at a comedy than watch action-adventure scenes through the gaps in my fingers as I cover my eyes with my hands. That's just where I am right now.

At least we'll always have Office Space.


toyfoto said...

Whenever Jed tries to guilt me with his bait-and-swich theory of our evolving relationship -- how I used to make him breakfast or some other sweet little chore common in the blush of new-love that has since disappeared -- I remind him of how he used to watch foreign films with me and how much he liked "When Harry Met Sally."

Rockzee said...

I think there must be an inverse relationship between how many years you share as a couple and how many films you can both enjoy.

Here, here on Office Space.

And Old School.

Heather said...

You're on to something here. My husband and I have increasingly divergent tastes in movies. That's probably why we don't watch many movies together anymore.