Monday, February 21, 2011

She said, he said, they said

In tales of love and romance there are always two sides in which the story can be told in the first person. The relevant details are those of each side's sensibility, and I find that some stories, beyond the plot and the characters' development, are a study on female or male sensibility.
For example, Pride and Prejudice (you can read the book or watch one of its many adaptations) focuses so much on female's point of view that men in the story don't have a page for themselves in which the action is developing. It is left to the female characters to find out, sometimes by happenstance, what they did when they weren't looking.

This has two interesting consequences. One, it allows for delicious rereads given that unimportant details turn out to be crucial clues. Other, most men find those stories boring and a little pointless and only watch (or read) them to please a lady.

500 days of Summer is a story of love told from the male's point of view. Tom is head over heels for Summer but she dumps him, he's heartbroken and can't understand what went wrong.

I watched it with my husband and when it finished, I asked him what he thought about it.
 - She was a witch, was his veredict, she played with his feelings and tossed him to a trash bin when she found someone better.
- He was a dummy, was mine. He pushed her and didn't want to listen when she said she wasn't in love with him.

While I haven't watched it again, it gave me some good food for thought on what men and women (at least of certain age and from certain places) believe are the signs of love in a relationship.

Before sunrise and Before sunset are a delicious tandem of stories where the characters don't take clues to act. They almost don't do anything at all but talk and talk, and that's where the interesting stuff happens. One needs to be very attentive to the dialog and not miss one line, or the magic is gone. The very same people nine years apart, open their hearts and go over the good and the bad and somehow they manage to touch every persons' story.

I believe it is completely impossible not to identify with Jesse or CĂ©line at one point of another. They are what you are, were or wanted to be at some point of your life. A male friend of mine says both films are incredibly romantic and are marketed as such. But I disagree. I'd say they are about relationships, but not exactly romance.

Having the chance to borrow glasses to see love and romance through eyes that aren't mine is a priceless experience. And so romantic too.


Sooner or later it was going to happen, and it did sooner it seems. I missed last Monday's post - I was sick, husband and baby were sick too, and time and energy to let ideas flow just weren't there. But once again, my respect for bloggers who make a living of it and never, ever let one day pass without publishing one or more articles soared.

I'm probably not in a time of my life where self employment would look appealing. My motto these days could be : If you're not dependable, be a dependent.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The end of the roll and the drum for a full circle

It was only twelve years ago though it feels like a lifetime, that I started dating my first boyfriend. We were very young and immature and so was our relationship, which was made mostly of commonplaces and daydreaming.

One day I took my Zenit 122, and suggested we took pictures just for the fun of it. Development fees were a little expensive for our budgets (what wasn't?), so we stuck to one monthly roll. The subjects of the pictures were mostly ourselves, our families, friends and pets, and some still natures too. In all, none of those pictures were technically outstanding but they were a good document of our lives back then.

By the time we broke up we had a good stack of pictures, mostly portraits of each other taken during roughly two years. I asked him to come by and picked up his but he never did. So I kept them away from plain sight for a few years.

Three years ago when my partner and I were getting ready to travel to Minnesota, I found those pictures and made three piles: mine, his and ours. I kept the first pile with my other pictures, put the second in an envelope and destroyed the third. Once again I asked him to come and pick them up and once again, he refused - true to his style he diffused more than refused... there are things about people that never change. Still it didn't feel right to destroy those pictures so once more, I kept them away from plain sight.

Last month we were packing to move and those pictures surfaced again; this time I knew I had to made a decision. So I looked up his mother's number in the book (he doesn't live in this country anymore and contacting him was proving really annoying) and asked her whether she was interested.

Of course she was and a couple of hours later she dropped by, releasing me of the burden of those pictured memories of something that doesn't mean much to me anymore.

Her presence in my home and the release from those pictures felt like a good closure. She had been there once when I had just moved in and she was there for the second time right before I moved out, to end something I felt had been left hanging. Like a camera with a roll where there's just one last picture to snap and you don't want to squander it I waited for a long time before that last click, which thankfully when I did, it wasn't too late.