Monday, November 28, 2005
  Open Letter to Screenwriters of Romantic Comedies*
*Particularly those starring Meg Ryan

Dear Screenwriter:

I'm a single girl. I really don't mind it; it has a lot of good points. Dinner is whatever I feel like whipping up, whether it's something that requires cooking or, as was on Thanksgiving, a pint of Phish Food ice cream. I get all the hot water in the shower and there's no hair on the soap. I can wrap the blankets up around my feet like I like to do and don't have to worry about sharing anything. Of course, a girl misses kissing and making out and all that lovely stuff that follows.. including, on my most sentimental of days, hand-holding and head-scratching.. But, as I am a liberated and untethered girl, I am always welcome to pick a nice boy downtown that catches my vodka-induced squinty eye and make out with him at the bar. (For the record, I have only done that once since I've been single, but my lord was it fun.) Really, of all things involving the opposite sex, I have to rate zesty (to use Maude Lebowski's very appropriate term) making out very high on my list of favorites, and that sadly doesn't happen much when you're a couple anyway.

So, like I said, I don't really mind being a single girl.

But then I'll be flipping through the channels when I see Meg Ryan's angelic face on the screen and feel compelled to pause. {This long weekend, for example, I watched both When Harry Met Sally and the last 15 or so minutes of You've Got Mail.} And then I get sucked into the story. An hour and a half later, as the film is reaching its climax, I am teary-eyed and wondering why oh why I can't meet a guy like the Romantic Comedy guy. Tom Hanks, Kevin Kline, whoever it is.. he's charming, funny, and comes up with things that would make my heart stop if they were said to me. And then the Romantic Comedy seemingly star-crossed lovers realize how right they are for one another and then they kiss. Their first real kiss is in a flower-lush garden.. at a crowded party with confetti falling from the sky.. or in a picturesque vineyard. The kisses are fueled neither by lust or alcohol.. rather, just admiration, affection, and love. Now, I appreciate lust as much as the next person, likely more, but.. well, that idea of the sweet stuff is enough to make my eyes well up every time I witness it, via TNT. I mean, really, these people realize they love each other before they even kiss. CAN YOU IMAGINE?!

Alas, real life is not the movies. Unless you look like Meg Ryan, I'm guessing. So anyway, I would appreciate it if you start writing love stories the way I'm used to them - the guy has a belly and refuses to help around the house. Oh, and he usually cheats. Or, at the very least, ogles. And/or spends Saturdays watching NASCAR. OR, if he's smart and he's beautiful, then he has to break the girl's heart in a million little ways. Or a couple of big ways; you're a writer, you can be creative. But these things need to be portrayed realistically. That way, me and all the other single girls of the world won't be sighing for two days after we watch one of your damn movies just because we don't have that special man that doesn't exist in our lives.

I've just about convinced myself of this happy-single/like-a-fish-needs-a-bicycle thing, and it would really be best for all of us if I did; being frustrated about something I can't help anyway is just no fun at all. Your cooperation will be much appreciated.

Thank you kindly.

Stacey T.
Well said. You should really make out with more boys at bars. You gotta kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince! (Not that there is a prince, but that's a good excuse for random make-outs...)

Don't forget that you can watch whatever you want on tv too!
You said it right!! Every time someone talks about that perfect love, I have to remind them, and myself, that it's only made up by the entertainment industry and doesn't actually exist.
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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