Today is Friday, the day I talk about the issues. Today’s issue is that I feel that I was lied to as a child about what falling in Love would be like. I knew folks who were in Love, but I didn’t know how they got there. There were very limited resources to find out. Asking mom and dad always brought about some weird story about storks, other birds, and bees. This was nothing I cared about because that was about creating another human, not falling in Love. The cartoons I watched were not helpful either. Jeanine might as well have been invisible to the ghost busters, April O’Neil was the wrong species for the Ninja Turtles, Fred and Daphne were always strangely absent during the solving of a mystery, and Wolverine and Gambit just seemed to be annoying the ladies they claimed to Love who obviously didn’t Love them back. The video games I played didn’t help either, because Mario, Link, and Earthworm Jim were already in Love with their respective princesses before the game started (and their princess only got a few seconds of screen time).
I needed texts where people fell in Love, so I gathered the entirety of my family’s meager movie collection to conduct some research. In our collection of 20 VHS tapes (most of which were recordings of TV broadcast movies) I had picked out 3 movies that dealt with the subject matter: Aladdin, Star Wars IV & VI, and Top Gun.
Here is what all 3 sources had in common about falling in Love:
1.) There will be only 1 girl to consider. It’s pretty obvious who it is. That’s the girl you have to go for.
2.) At some point before being in Love, you’ll see the girl without all her clothes on. Her bellybutton will be visible and she’ll have on little more than a glorified swimsuit.
3.) There will be very obvious musical cues as you fall in Love.
4.) The girl needs to be useful to your job in some capacity (street rat & street rat, prince and princess, rebel pilot and rebel princess, pilot and lady who teaches pilots).
5.) At some point you’ll have to kiss her to find out if you are in Love with her. All of the guys seemed to be surprised that they were in Love.
Each of the movies had some unique notes about falling in Love. Aladdin had a few points you had to find between the lines.
A1.) Girls might like you for rescuing them (a lot), but they won’t Love you and marry you until you stop lying.
A2.) It’s okay to see if the cute girl on the street is likable. No shame in shallow interest.
A3.) Girls always know when you are lying. Even if you fool them, they know. And they’ll remember it forever. Forever.
A4.) No matter what, even if you just need to hand her the lamp at the end of the movie so she can wish you into being a prince so that you can keep your word and wish a genie free, NEVER share your toys with her.
Top Gun was more confusing to me as a child (it’s confusing to me 22 years later).
TG1.) Falling in Love seems to be achieved by a lot of yelling and apologizing, until you are so angry with each other that you are in Love.
TG2.) Despite being strangers as far as I could tell, they could still fall in Love.
TG3.) Right before you fall in Love, you have to lick each other in the mouth whether you want to or not. [This last one was heavily contested by the other kids in the neighborhood. No one had ever seen actual people in Love do this, so maybe it was just a movie stunt. It was enough to make me question Top Gun as a resource for what Love should be like, even at the age of 8. Which leads to the real lesson of Top Gun…]
TG4.) Not everyone falls in Love in a healthy way. Even Tom Cruise gets it wrong sometimes.
Star Wars was the best resource. My parents had recorded A New Hope and Return of the Jedi on VHS. Empire Strikes Back had been deemed too scary by my mother, so it was not in the rotation and my Star Wars knowledge was thrown a bit off as a kid.
SW1.) Rescuing a girl does not win her heart. She’ll be very bossy after a rescue. The most you can expect is a medal.
SW2.) If another guy is after your girl, he’ll back off if he finds out she is a sibling.
SW3.) Maybe some girls are just hard to get. Rescuing Leia on the Death Star jail, then from the Death Star laser, then off of Hoth, then from an Imperial manhunt through an asteroid field, then out of an asteroid with a giant worm, then out of Cloud City, and finally from Jabba’s palace where she had dabbled in rescuing also, Han slowly wore down her steely heart. Some girls just need more rescuing.
SW4.) This is the most important: Don’t fall in Love just because you rescued someone. See if they are a good match. Han Solo did not rush into Love. He waited and watched to see if Leia was any good, and she was. She came up with the garbage chute escape plan, shot thousands of storm troopers, gave him a medal, tried to rescue Han, strangled Jabba the Hut with her own hands, did some really cool stuff with a speeder bike, and saved Han’s life after being shot by outdrawing a bunch of storm troopers. He waited an entire (presumable) three movies before falling in Love with Leia at the end. Leia might be pretty and all, but she seemed to Love Luke. Han wasn’t going to put up with a two-timer.
SW5.) Falling in Love is about making someone else happy because they make you very happy. Han was willing to give Leia up at the end so that she could be happy with Luke. Leia fell in Love with Han because he made her happy.
SW6.) Even after falling in Love, Han still had to kiss Leia to be sure that he was in Love. Turns out he was, and it surprised him very much.
Turns out my research into falling in Love was mostly wrong.