Like many young girls growing up in the 90′s, I had a Julia Roberts thing. I thought she was beautiful and regardless of how bad her films were (my tastes were not yet developed), I loved them. I remember crying when Shelby died in Steel Magnolias and secretly egging on Julianne’s home-wrecking ways in My Best Friend’s Wedding, back in a time when I believed all guy/girl best friend relationships were meant to end in wedding bells. What was the point of being best friends if you weren’t going to marry each other?!
And of course, let’s not forget the godmother of all romantic comedies that proceeded it: Pretty Woman. Way before I even understood the essence of what a prostitute was or what they did for a living, I was already lost in the endearing story of a warm, quirky, unpolished girl from the wrong side of the tracks melting the heart of a rich, successful yet emotionally crippled businessman. I may have also been lost in Richard Gere’s smouldering eyes but that fact is only incidental.
It was a modern day Cinderella story told with flashy cars, beautiful clothes and Roxette playing in the background. In this Garry Marshall retelling, meeting and falling in love with the right person can change your life in the most amazing ways and if he happens to be debonair and rich, then that’s just like having your cake, eating it too and never having to gain a pound.
It feels as if we’ve been flirting with the fairy tale notion of being swept off our feet into the perfect world of happily ever after since infancy. The journey begins with Prince Charming and that big castle and somehow morphs into the divorce lawyer with a cute daughter (see Patrick Dempsey in Enchanted). Yet as a young adult, as much as I still love these films for their entertainment value and warm and fuzzy afterglow, I find it hard to relate with the happily ever after dream.
Rather, I love that life is full of these imperfections, big and small, that somehow make the journey feel all the more real and tangible. There’s great strength and satisfaction that comes with knowing that you are as much, if not more, accountable for your own happiness as the person you choose to make a life with. All the wonderful people and shoes, yes shoes, that make life better are just the gravy on top. And as much as I love the damsel look in clothes, the only rescuing I want is from Emergency Services in the event of a natural disaster.
And in a my life partner, I ask not that he be tall, dark and handsome (the Boy actually comes with Scandinavian complexion) with money to burn on Minolos. Rather, that he be my equal and that we share an engaged, exciting life together and continue to learn from each other and the world.
Oh, and that he continues to follow me with a camera. That’s a not negotiable.