Sunday, March 4, 2012

Is There an Always?

I have this weird memory problem. For months on end I forget my television subscription includes Showtime. (I also periodically think I DO get Cinemax. I blame this confusion on “free channel weekends.” ) So I was a pretty happy camper the other day when I took a chance and clicked on one of the Showtime channels and learned I really do get that channel! And the movie I wanted to see enough to take the chance?
“Gross Pointe Blank”

If you’ve never seen it (and I don’t know why you wouldn’t have. john Cusack is sorta timeless), the movie is about Martin Blank, a professional hitman returning to a Detroit suburb to take care of a little business and attend his 10-year high school reunion. Except it’s not really the reunion that keeps him lingering in town and putting off doing the job. It’s his high school sweetheart, Debi Newberry (played by Minnie Driver).

As the story goes, Martin left Grosse Pointe on prom night-- before prom began, in fact -- without so much as a phone call to warn his girlfriend Debi he wouldn’t be escorting her to the Biggest High School Dance Ever. After she spent seven hundred dollars on a dress, and everything.

Talk about broken-hearted! Oh, my God. Poor Debi! Stood up on prom night. Could you imagine?

This is probably the point where you expect me to say not only can I imagine it, I lived it.

Well, no. I didn’t. For me, it was just about as opposite as you can get. I attended my prom without dumping or drama and have lived and loved long enough to wonder why anyone ever thought powder blue tuxedos were a good idea. My date was my boyfriend of a year, and we were both certain we would be spending the rest of our lives together, and we weren’t the only ones. Just like Martin and Debi, everyone knew we were together, everyone thought we always would be.

That was June. By August, when really taking control of our lives wasn’t a far off concept but was something that was truly happening, it became evident we would not always be together. We wanted different things from life, it turned out, and had different ideas on the path ahead. And probably - though I cringe to admit this - we both had some growing up to do. Or, perhaps more accurately, we had more life experience to gain, more time to develop into individuals before committing to be a lifelong pair.

And so I can’t help but wonder. What if Martin didn’t freak out and join the Army and stand up Debi on prom night? What if he stayed, and they stayed together past graduation? stayed together as they started college?

Me? I doubt they would have made it. Clearly Martin had some Serious Issues to work through, and I’m not sure Debi would have been strong enough to stand by him through whatever breakdown he was headed for. But when we meet her at the opening of “Grosse Pointe Blank,” we have no doubt she has developed the strength. She’s become an independent, self-sufficient woman who can more than handle Martin’s sudden reappearance in her life.

(Debi all grown up and ready to kick ass)

So while Debi thought she lost her teen love, he was really only sorta…misplaced. Sure, for a lot of folks teen love lost is love gone. But not for everyone. Somewhere out there, there are more couples like Martin and Debi (though likely without as many guns), more couples who planned to attend prom as the first big step to their life together.

I hope they all live happily ever after.

So here’s your question:

If you’re currently in school, do you know any couples you think will grow old together? Or do you think they’re doomed?
If you’re no longer in school, do you know any couples that dated during school, split up and then reconnected?

{Credit: The dress in photo two is an Alex London design - as is the gown on the cover of 'Shatter Me' by Tahereh Mafi. The website is Alex London Fashion House if you want to swoon over more gorgeous dresses}


Lorie Langdon said...

I know a few couples who've tried reconnecting but none of them have stayed together long term. I think it's hard to reconcile that person you once knew with the adult (including baggage) that they've become. I'd like to think if it was meant to be, it could work out though - that's me, the eternal optimist. ;D
I love John Cusack and I've never seen Grosse Pointe Blank. I'm going to go search my channel guide right now!

Melissa Landers said...

I should probably disclaim that I have a pessimistic view when it comes to relationships. Ironic when you consider I spend my career writing happily-ever-afters.

In every relationship, there are only two possible outcomes: One, you'll stay together until one of you dies. Two, at some point, you'll go your separate ways. Let's face it--odds are most of us will fall into category #2, especially if you're very young because the rest of your life is a LONG time.

Kind of depressing when you think about it. Heck, maybe this is why I write romance--because I want to believe in the dream.

Jennifer McAndrews said...

You guys, where's the romance? where's the love? *vbg*

Okay, I'll toss this one out there. Growing up, I had a friend who started dating the boy across the street when they were in junior high. They are still together today, mumble-mumble years later. So it can happen.

So sayeth Pollyanna

CareyCorp said...

Great blog post Jen.

Actually a very dear friend of mine met "the one" when she was eighteen. Their relationship hit a speed bump and they broke up. They've always stayed in touch. Fast forward 24 years and they are dating again! In fact, they are so freakin' adorable, you kind of want to gag around them. But their friends, who've known and supported them for most of their lives, are ecstatic they're finally together. They are eachothers' lobsters.

CareyCorp said...

Lorie - You've never seen GPB?!?! Run to your DVR! RUN, I SAY!!!

Mel-(One, you'll stay together until one of you dies. Two, at some point, you'll go your separate ways. Let's face it--odds are most of us will fall into category #2, especially if you're very young because the rest of your life is a LONG time.) Except in Nicholas Sparks Land - if you live there, odds are 20 to 1 you'll stay together until one of you dies young. :)

Jennifer McAndrews said...

hahahaha! Nicholas Sparks land -- too funny!
And awww, they are each others' lobsters. makes my heart go kinda melty *s*

Kimberly said...

My step-cousin got pregnant pretty young. Teenage years, in fact. Everyone thought the wedding was a waste of time because clearly those relationships NEVER last. Well, twenty-some years and two kids later, they are still together. She laughs sometimes that they're together to spite everyone, but I believe that sometimes things work out the way they're meant to. Obviously I'm not promoting teenage pregnancy since that would be very, very bad, but even she knew that everyone was betting against the marriage.
I know of two other high school couples who are still together, but--for me--I believe that young love serves its purpose, and then you move on from it. Every once in a blue moon, it's the "real thing," but that's, like I said, once in a really, really blue moon.

Jennifer McAndrews said...

ohmigosh, Kim! That's wonderful! But yeah, starting a marriage with a pregnancy, that's tough. Congrats to your cousin for such a long and happy marriage.
I agree on the 'once in a blue moon' theory. Oh, those blue moons are lovely, aren't they? But rare. so, so rare.

Sonya said...

I saw that movie! I need to see it again-it's been years.

Jennifer McAndrews said...

isn't it a fun movie, Sonya? Well, then again, in my world Cusack can do very little wrong, so that might account for my opinion : )
Thanks for stopping by the blog!

Micki Gibson said...

I do know of an absolutely adorable couple who worked together during their high school years (I don't remember if they actually dated back then) but their paths criss-crossed often with one or both of them seeing other people. Finally the stars aligned and they married each other 7 years ago and are expecting their 2nd child in July.

And I totally agree that John Cusak can do no wrong...and in a John Hughes movie? Instant classic!

Robin Bielman said...

Hi Jennifer! Loved this post. I'd forgotten what exactly Grosse Pointe Blank was about!

I married my high school sweetheart. :D And after mumble-mumble years later he's still the love of my life.

Suzanne Lilly said...

I don't know of anyone who broke up and got back together, but I do know of one couple who dated all through high school, got married right after graduation, and are still together, 25 years later. Wow!

I haven't seen Grosse Pointe Blank, and I love John Cusack and Minnie Driver. I'm going to put it in my Netflix queue right now. Thanks for the movie review, Jennifer!

Liz Czukas said...

I met my husband when I was 15 and he had a girlfriend. A few months later, he no longer had the girlfriend and pretty soon he had me! We've been together for almost 20 years now without a single moment of off-again. We didn't get married until we'd been together for 8 years, because we were going to college, etc.

I happen to know 3 other couples who also met in HS, and only one of them broke up and reconnected later. But they've got 2 kids and seem to be making it work, so I guess it is possible! Neither of them is an assassin, for what it's worth. ;)

- Liz

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