Thursday, September 2, 2010

Going The Distance Sucks

One night recently, I was trying to get my record player to work. Just in case everything went haywire, I wanted to use a record that wasn't of great value to me. Dragging my fingers along the many vinyl albums I inherited from my parents when they tossed their busted record player, I found my mom's Captain & Tennille album (which doesn't even make sense in her collection).

So I tried my best, hooking up the record player to my stereo and nothing played out of the speakers. But, instead, I heard the faint whispers of love and promises somewhere in my room. It was the insect chirp of a confident, if altogether delusional, woman reassuring her man. I laid on the floor and heard the faint sounds of "Love Will Keep Us Together" coming from the spinning record. Now, it should be noted that I hate that fucking song. And this was the first time I gave it my full attention without laughing and it was barely audible and I was laying on in an awkward position on the hardwood floor so I would crack the mixtape cases I had decorated as confused but eager teenager.

It made me think of all the previews I've been seeing for that new movie Going The Distance, which you probably already know is about a long-distance relationship.

And I'll tell you this: if that movie is honest, it's not gonna be funny.

That movie is gonna be two fucking hours of arguing. Trust me. I was in a long-distance relationship for almost a year. That movie is gonna be the guy thinking they talk on the phone often enough and the girl thinking it's not enough. Then they're gonna fight about it repeatedly because neither are willing to compromise how much fun they're having without the other person. She's gonna get mad and he's gonna get even and everything's gonna blow up all stupidly for stupid reasons over something stupid. The guy is gonna start drinking whiskey and eating microwave burritos as he's falling asleep in bed and then he's gonna have Pepto Bismol and some Tic-Tacs for breakfast. Instead of showering in the morning, he's just gonna make sure he's wearing a belt. If he can make it through the day without wanting to throw up or fall asleep in the bathroom, that's a win. If she doesn't get fed up with everything where she is, she wins for the day. Weeks will pass and she'll wonder what's happened to him as she's adventuring. She can't call, but she wants to know why he hasn't called. He'll think that's dumb. He'll tell her that. She'll spend part of her trip drunk at a bar complaining about the guy and then dancing until she's carried home. Without her, he's gonna start considering bike rides to weekend parties as formidable exercise and consider the act of drinking coffee is the most mature thing he could do instead of improving his long-distance trouble. She's gonna write diary entries complaining about the long-distance relationship and what it would take to fix it, but she's not going to tell the guy, who, in the meantime, hasn't seen the floor of his bedroom in some time. Meanwhile, she's going to bitch to her girl friends and flirt with other dudes all while the guy thinks everything is going fine, though if he were to organize his life enough to think things through, he'd realize how empty his own pats on the back are. Then, towards the end of the long-distance stint, silence works as a way of talking and the guy tries to get his life together by using less swear words instead of talking about his feelings more. Finally, she'll return home and everything will be perfect.

Is that really a movie you wanna see? No way, right? My suggestion is to watch the first 15 minutes of the movie where they bone-down all crazy and laugh a lot (maybe somebody makes a European sex joke, I don't know), leave for a while to be entertained elsewhere (at the snack bar, the arcade or even another movie) and then comeback to see how it turns out, mostly out of idle curiosity. Go home and seriously evaluate the plausibility of that movie as you're doing something super awesome, like eating fruit snacks, and think about how lucky you are for not being in a long-distance relationship. Then call me and let me know if the funniest part of that movie is when they try to have phone sex and it goes all hilariously wrong.

Author's Note: I don't think this turned out as funny as it was in my head, but I was laughing as I was writing it. I look back on my long-distance relationship fondly and it made for some epic, beautiful, outrageously unreal stories. I certainly don't regret it, but a movie about long-distance relationship is like making a film about a couple in the middle of a divorce trying to stay together at the last second.

1 comment:

Jacquelyn Rachel Jones said...

having myself been in a long-distance relationship for 2 years, i find this post quite entertaining.