"Thanks for watching this with me, honey."
It's not a statement of stupidity. It's just an unwarranted one. The kind of sentence that is spoken between a couple when you know your relationship is about to be tested to the utmost limits and you're both praying it can survive the ordeal that it is about to experience over the next 90 to 120 minutes. You're about to engage in the viewing of the chick flick.
"Has it been four months already?," I'm asking myself. Have I wasted the 119 nights in which I take for granted that my girlfriend will suffer through whatever superhero/action/kung fu movie I put into the dvd player as we end our night? My God...there were so many movies I could have chosen better... We could have squeezed in one more viewing of The 13th Warrior...
I'm not prepared. I'm too young. I need more time!
But, I don't say a word. Like a man condemned, I resign myself to the moment. I have lived with the knowledge that this night was coming since the last time I endured a similar fate. I suffered denial at it's resurgance, resigned myself to it's inevitability, and prayed it would never come. Yet, it always comes. It is the Rapture of the Man World, and I am powerless before it.
Tonight, despite the fact that all three remotes lie a scant 6 inches from my fingertips (closer, in fact, than my beer), the control of the television is lost to me. Tonight, Ashton Kutcher or Ben Affleck or Matt Damon or some other frat boy-esque cookie cutter actor will invade the space that is normally reserved for ass kickery. And I will be powerless to stop it. I will be like Superman in the face of kryptonite.
The sad thing? I relish my role as a good boyfriend. I want to be able to sit back with my girlfriend and enjoy the movie she desperately wants to view. Her uterus is doing flip-flops at the very idea of curling up next to me and watching this abortion to manhood. I try. Hard. I refrain from making every sarcastic and smart-ass comment that wants to jump from my lips like a cheerleader wants to jump on a cock. Mostly, I succeed.
But, I can't help but notice the differences between watching one of her movies and watching one of mine.
I'm no longer annoyed by the side conversations. In fact, I'm probably talking more than I ever do when we set about finishing our evenings. Suddenly, I'm a wealth of conversation.
The pee breaks I generally hold off to a point of discomfort have become a thing of the past. Out of the blue, I'm prepared to stop the movie in mid-scene to make room for more beer. I even shake it twice, after.
Getting up for a beer does not require pausing the movie, despite her protests that I might be missing 'the good part'. "I can see it from here, honey!" I can't.
I just want to get through the next 2 hours without stumbling into that gray area that no man wants to admit to.
I don't want to wind up liking the movie.
Yes, I said it. Every man alive has been exposed to at least one chick flick that he found himself liking against his will. On a day off, when your movie selection bores you, and you find yourself flipping through the channels and you catch Pretty Woman or Dirty Dancing and the blinds are drawn.. and you know none of your buddies are going to randomly stop by... You know you're watching.
Quit screaming 'BULLSHIT!' and relax. I know. You know. We won't ever talk about it again, and that's okay. We're men. That's what we do.
But we know. Every single time our girl gets her one night to pick the movie, we know that we run the risk. We know that this could be the movie that takes us one step further from the Alpha-male Club. Holy shit... what if we cry?!?
I had to check on my penis. Yup. it's still there.
Of course, we have ways to defend ourselves. We suddenly become the kings of multi-tasking. "I'm watching," we exclaim as we peruse the internet during the movie. Our texts are no longer a thing to be ignored. A phonecall to our family doesn't seem like such a hassle.
To survive a chick flick and come out in tact, you should try the following:
1. Let your girl watch the movie uninterrupted. Keep your manhole shut. Degrading whatever doucher that is playing the male lead might make you feel better, but it isn't scoring you any points.
2. If you need a break, make it food related. Girls love to binge during these kinds of movies. Offer to run to the kitchen and make a snack. Refuse all offers to pause the movie.
3. If you find yourself becoming interested in the movie, think of John Wayne.
4. Try and remember that your girlfriend/wife/whatever has sat through 4 months of the mindless drivel you have selected. One night will not kill you.
5. Realize that it could always be worse. It could be a foriegn film. With fucking subtitles that she needs you to read aloud because she is crying too hard.
You have two options for surviving a chick flick. You can either curl up into the fetal position and crawl under the nearest piece of furniture until it's over, or you can take an active role in selecting the movie at hand. You've already got one chick flick that you know you love...suggest that one (but make sure she thinks it is her idea) and pray none of your friends stop by.