I’ve never considered myself particularly romantic. Maybe that’s because I can’t seem to sustain a relationship past seven months? Either way, I have never really fallen into the tender trap of red roses and candlelit dinners and big grand gestures of love. People posting pictures of their significant other on Instagram saying shit like, “I’m so blessed to have this amazing person in my life” makes me want to hurl.
However, I might have been ruined for romance forever by certain moments in TV/movies/music. I think that’s the problem. Like, how am I supposed to have a relationship like Johnny and June in “Walk the Line?” They really Hollywood-ized their romance, but whatever. Just let me have the drugged out Johnny who loves spitfire June so much he gives up his pills for her, if only for two and a half hours of my life, OK?
Here are the main offenders. Please cross your fingers that my cynical exterior will one day be melted, hopefully the day a rich cowboy saunters into my life and rides me off into the sunset on a big palomino stallion.
WARNING: “Love Actually” is NOT on this list. I don’t like that movie.
1. George Strait, “Carrying Your Love with Me”
First of all, George Strait is my dream man. I saw him in concert and I actually shed a few tears of delight. There are many, many super romantic and sweet George songs, but this one is probably the biggest swoon-inducer. No matter where my cowboy troubadour goes, he’s carrying my heart with him. George will never hurt me, no matter if he’s in West Virginia or down in Tennessee. He’s gonna get back to me real soon and we’ll live happily ever after.
2. The end scene of “You’ve Got Mail”
I’m in a huge Nora Ephron phase right now, but I’ve loved this 1998 classic since it came out. I watch it every time it’s on cable and it never, ever gets old even though times have certainly changed. Nowadays, we have texting and Ok Cupid and Facebook and all that shit, so the love story between Shopgirl and NY152 wouldn’t have worked in quite the same way. She would’ve figured it out immediately. Kathleen Kelly, with the adorable Meg Ryan shag hair, is MY favorite manic pixie dream girl; she owns a children’s bookshop for god’s sake! Do you know how many times I think to myself, “Aren’t daisies just the friendliest flower?” I just love watching Tom and Meg spar, then finally end up together to the sounds of “Over the Rainbow.” It’s so sweet. “I wanted it to be you … I wanted it to be you so badly.” Ah, romance. And AOL.
3. The old couple in those Swiffer commercials
Lee and Morty Kaufman, 90+ years old, have been married for 44 fucking years. As the story goes, she cleans and he does the laundry. Some websites are trying to shit all over these commercials and rag on Morty for not helping her climb around dusting, but dude is clearly depending on a cane. I just love them! He calls her “babe” and they like to dance. They are CUTE AS SHIT. And now they’re famous, thanks to their handy-dandy Swiffer experiment. They’re on Ellen, which is about as famous as you can be in these modern days. I just don’t think I could ever be married to someone for that long, unless they did all the cooking. But Morty and Lee are happy as adorable, elderly clams.
4. The Chuck and Blair relationship
Some of you guys are probably like, “Oh shit, seriously? She’s bringing ‘Gossip Girl’ into this?” Damn straight! I watched that shit religiously from episode 1 to the finale. Chuck and Blair ruined me for romance because I realized, watching them, that I would never be an Upper East Side princess with a hotel magnate boyfriend with impeccable style to scheme with. I know their storyline is fraught with problems, namely when Chuck sells Blair for a hotel. But it’s a teenybop soap opera, so I’ll give it some leeway. Blair marries a literal prince and then dates stupid emo Dan and Chuck is always there, waiting for her. I loved her pale blue wedding gown when they finally *SPOILER* got married at the end of the show and lived happily ever after with their adorable child and no mean daddy Bart or creepster Uncle Jack.
5. Leonard Cohen
No matter what I do, no matter who I fall in love with, no matter how epic and wonderful or sad and flawed our relationship is, it won’t hold a candle to anything Leonard Cohen has experienced. You have to really, really love someone to write songs as searing, true and lovely as his back catalog. It’s an unflinching look at love. (And I’m not talking about “Hallelujah.” People really need to stop using that as a wedding song and listen to the words.)