Last night I watched a movie on Netflix called Desperados. It’s a predictable and completely average romantic comedy. And despite the neutered jokes and awful title, the acting is pretty good (especially Lamorne Morris, who should have way more roles). Regardless, this isn’t a review of the movie (I don’t recommend watching it unless you have nothing else to do), but rather an examination of its major theme. To illustrate my point, I’ll be discussing some spoilers (who cares?), so if you plan on watching it (you shouldn’t), beware.
In the movie, the main character (played by the very funny Nasim Pedrad) is lost in all facets of her life. She screws up her job interview at a catholic school by talking about sex with a nun. She has financial issues, which we’re clued into by the classic tossing of mail indicating “Final Notice” and “Past Due” on every envelope. She cannot manage to maintain a relationship, and she’s beginning to suspect it’s because of her personality. Alas, after the abrupt conclusion of a blind date, she literally runs into the “perfect” man. To get her relationship with him off the ground, she sweeps her quirks and idiosyncrasies under the rug. Can you see where this is going?
I’ll save you a summary of the rest of the story, but in the end (you guessed it!) she discovers that she has to be true to herself and should be with someone who knows her skeletons and appreciates her for who she is. And while this completely unoriginal movie can only do so much with it’s script, the message is one that I think a lot of people should embrace.
The proliferation of social media has turned us all into two different people. There’s the OG version, who is however we are. And then there is the online version of us. This version, which is seen by exponentially more people, is our prototype. We choose what we share with people, pick the most flattering picture, exaggerate how fun or beautiful or peaceful our experiences are. There’s nothing wrong with doing these things; I don’t want to see a picture of the sunset partially obscured by your calloused finger. But there is a point where we need to acknowledge reality. This is especially true when it comes to relationships.
I couldn’t even imagine dating nowadays. On one hand, your options are more prolific and easier to communicate with, but I imagine it is much more difficult to figure out who the person you’re dating really is. There is a comfort in the knowledge that the person you’re with knows how weird you are. It’s also comforting when they share that same amount of weirdness. It can take some time to fully reach this level, but it should never come as a surprise. Like, I wouldn’t suggest discussing a hypothetical murder/dismemberment/burial situation on the first date. But if you’re lucky, some day you’ll be sitting at a restaurant (post-Covid, of course) and you’ll see some asshole screaming at the waitress because his filet mignon is medium and he ordered it “GODDAMNED MEDIUM RARE,” and you’ll nod to each other in that knowing way that says “I’ll get the chloroform, you grab the zip ties.”
And maybe you’re not a weirdo like me. Maybe you’re a vegan. And maybe you’ve met someone who seems eager to learn about your lifestyle, and is also disgusted to learn how foie gras is made. And because of how passionately you talk about being vegan, the person you are with hides the fact that their favorite dish is veal parmesan and they prefer their salmon farm raised. One day you’re doing the laundry and out falls a coupon for a BOGO Whopper (while supplies last). “What’s this?!” you demand, and they make up some story about having an affair with the assistant regional manager, which you know is probably horseshit. So you demand to smell their breath, but they refuse and call you a narcissistic hypocrite because you wear a leather jacket. “But, it’s vintage!” you say defeatedly, but it’s no use, they’ve already slammed the door on you and your relationship. Is that how you want things to go?
Regardless of who you are, make sure that you’re honest about it. And also be open-minded enough to find out who other people are as well. You may not like certain parts, but that’s what building a relationship is all about. You also don’t have to be exactly the same as your partner. Over time, we wear off on each other, and we can grow to like things, but it’s better if you grow to like new things together