Tag Archives: Movies

Chapter Eight: Body Confidence and Me

Growing up, I had absolutely no issues with my image whatsoever; when my dad told me that Prince had written Most Beautiful Girl in the World about me, it was simply a given that he was absolutely and unwaveringly correct, so my incessant swaying whenever the song came on, purely made sense. I was thanking Prince through the method of sway-dance for writing a pretty accurate song about me. Every day, my parents would grab me in their arms, hug me and tell me that I was beautiful, something I accepted willingly – I guess I was really beautiful! I had no other means of comparing myself to anyone and I didn’t think of ever doing so and I don’t think that anyone ever compared themselves to me, it was just something that wasn’t done in the nineties, I guess; we spent more time playing games and deciding which Spice Girl we were, rather than worrying about who’s body was better than the rest. Truthfully, it took me a very, very long time to develop any form of body issues and think that it was my later teens that triggered the insecurities I cling onto now.

I was a teenager in the early 2000s and I’m not sure if something happened during this time that resulted in an entire generation of young girls suddenly loathing themselves, or if body confidence issues have been a popular bone of contention for every girl of every generation since the beginning and we were simply receiving the baton from those before us, but to me, it just feels like body confidence is a very modern issue affecting women these days and that my generation were truly the first to feel the bitter sting of self-doubt and loathing. I’m not sure about anyone else, but to me it felt like almost an immediate thing; one day I was simply me: a girl who wore clothes and did things with her time, wore shoes and sometimes wore a ponytail in her hair, and then all of a sudden, I felt that I was too tall, that my breasts were deformed; I felt dorky and plump, dreadfully awkward in my own too pale skin. I’m not sure where this idea came from, because I had gotten through the early part of my teenaged years quite easily and back then I had been covered in spots and my skin was greasier than a takeaway pizza, my limbs growing longer than the rest of me… I had no issues then. I still thought that I was simply a human, existing in society, maybe not the most beautiful girl in the world, because I found out that my dad liked to extend the truth a lot (like, who knew that dads didn’t give birth to boys?!), but I didn’t feel monumentally grotesque or anything else of the sort.

Growing up, role models were never really my thing and I never felt that I wanted to model my appearance on anyone in particular. There aren’t really many women from my childhood that I remember being obsessed with, other than potentially The Spice Girls as a collective and Ethel from The Worst Witch, who just so happens to play the bad witch making the protagonists life hell, but she wore really fierce boots and was top of her class at everything, a total teachers pet and I loved her. If you haven’t seen the film, you can find it all on Youtube and below is a picture of my favourite character from the movie:

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In spite of all this, I didn’t emulate anyone in particular and this adoration of Ethel the bitchy witch didn’t extend further than asking my mam if I could have boots like hers for school… And I did:

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The same could indeed be said of my earlier teenage years; most of my heroes were male musicians from the punk scene or in some cases, incredibly pale, long haired, piercy blue eyes Finnish metal gods. I did love the screen sirens of times foregone, such as Doris Day, but not in the sense that I looked at my body and thought that I needed to change it, or that it was inadequate in some way. I can’t really pinpoint the exact moment, but it began to fester within me, I guess, when I started watching The OC. At the time, I’m pretty certain it was a cultural phenomenon and everyone was affected by it and loved it; I was so in love with Seth Cohen that I genuinely typed, Curly haired Jewish boys in Newcastle, into Google and hoped I would find him staring back at me with comic book t-shirts and great taste in music. When Anna was introduced, she could have been, arguably, the first person I ever wanted to emulate as a teenager. She was so cool and adorable; I cut my hair off to look just like her and for the first time, I began reading comics and fell in love with Betty White. All I really managed to do was look like a pixie boy and prove to people that I was a weirdo obsessed with old people, but she still embodied a lot of the characteristics I recognised in myself as a teenager at the time; I was quirky and wise beyond my years, or at least I thought so and her wardrobe was enviable to the point I began dressing like her too, much to the chagrin of my poor mother who had no idea what the fuck I was trying to accomplish.

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For me, I think college was the first step towards me becoming the big ball of insecurity and anxiety I am today. When I started college, my parents offered to buy me new clothes and whilst I was incredibly grateful for their offer, I really regret the entire day, even now. It’s one of those memories that burns in my subconscious like a perpetual, horrific flame intent on ruining my life. You see, my dad insisted on coming with me that day and he hates shopping. My dad insisted on coming shopping with someone who loved the likes of Topshop and complained at everything in there. I can’t remember where I shopped in the end, but I dragged him around the shops for far too long, until he and my mam began to tell me what college was really like, so I had a better grasp on what kind of fashion ensembles to purchase. Turns out my parents were remembering their college years in the eighties as though they had gone to college in America in the sixties and what I ended buying made me look like the perpetually bare foot, long haired, bearded, hand-held drum playing marijuana expert; I was basically dressed in a Jesus t-shirt and khaki green combat trousers that my parents insisted were super-duper cool and that’s why they weren’t in Topshop, but at the back of a shop AND ON SALE. I also ended up buying a turquoise blue golf inspired jumper with other golf related colours on, which I wore ON TOP OF a shirt with FLARED jeans. I am so ashamed to admit that, until I started my first day of college, I thought I looked okay.

On my first day, the entire college was awash with really attractive, well dressed individuals. Women who looked as though they’d been up for hours perfecting their hair and picking out all the right accessories to go with their skinny jeans, heeled boots and cinched at the waist by massive belt style tops. I wore pink trainers with cherries on them, flares and the dork ensemble that made me look less like Anna from The OC and more like my parents had banished me from our Amish camp because they heard me listen to rock music one time. I was mortified. Even more so when I saw that there were people wearing the band t-shirts I so desperately wanted to wear, with skinny jeans, Converse and studs. I owned pink Converse! I could totally fit in! All day, I internally cursed my stupid parents for having such an influence over my fashion choices, because of their free admission that I had shit taste in clothes. Now, I realise that we were partaking in the eternal struggle between teenager and parent and that, for the first time in history, parents won and I allowed myself to be controlled by their ridiculously misplaced love. Arseholes!

Eventually, I found my own style and wore a lot of brightly coloured tank tops with t-shirts underneath, a lot of black and I eventually started buying my own accessories that made me look like I was trying to perform an African wedding ceremony on a daily basis, but it still makes me think back with abject horror at how bad I looked, but I still had no real issue with my body. Just my fashion choices… Sorry, MY PARENTS FASHION CHOICES. I then developed a distinctively 60s style, but a better one that seemed to be because of my burgeoning obsession with Ms Edie Sedgwick, out came the dramatic eyes and the big old earrings… Gone was the dorky girl who listened to her stupid parents!

The first time I ever felt horrible about how I looked, I was going into Newcastle for a night out with my sisters and one of my nurse friends. I was wearing grey shorts with black tights and a black top that fastened at the top of my neck, for some reason, with a black cardigan (I always wear cardigans!) my hair was tied up and my makeup consisted of the white eyeshadow with black eyeliner as I was going through my Edie Sedgwick phase and bright red lips. I remember standing in front of my mirror looking at my ‘then’ ridiculously flat stomach, before turning my attention to my round, seemingly pert derriere and thinking I’M A FUCKING WHALE I HATE MYSELF. I cried my make-up off and made it clear to my sister and mother that I didn’t want to go. Unfortunately, my sister really did want to go, so I had no choice. So along I went, in the clothes that I hated, my make-up reapplied and I sipped a few cocktails. Eventually, we decided to go dancing and went to a bar I haven’t been in since. On our way out, something hit me on the top of the head and when my sister turned around to see blood pouring down my face like I’d just stepped off the Carrie set, she began pushing and screaming to get me to safety. Someone had dropped a glass bottle on me from upstairs and burst my skull open, as far as I was aware. I knew I didn’t want to go out.

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Now, admittedly, when I don’t feel that I look okay and have anxious feelings about leaving the comfort of my home, I think back to that night and realise that it was karma. I did look fat, I did look hideous and I should never have left the house. A broken head was my punishment.

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Women: Get Your Own God Damned 80s Franchise!!!

There have been rumours about a re-boot of 1984 classic Ghostbusters circulating the old rumour mill for quite some time now, causing the internet to ripple with glee and speculate as to what the future may bring for their childhood heroes. Some people were hopeful that the original cast would return to kick start the franchise in a manner that only eighties stars know how to perfect and others were more optimistic about a reinvention and reimagining of the movie with a new, young and well-skilled cast to fit in with modern times. Therefore, when news hit that the brand new cast of Ghostbusters would be WOMEN, needless to say, the internet went into a free-fall and became agog with controversial statements, sheer disgust and general disbelief that the classic eighties movie would feature an all-women cast. As the internet will be more than happy to tell us, it’s just one more thing that cannot be sacred to men anymore; it’s bad enough that women took the vote from men, and the fact that they started DEMANDING that men wear those horribly uncomfortable condom things that NUMB the penis to barely tolerable levels, they now have to mess with classic eighties movies too? It just seems that feminism is TAKING OVER and the world as we once knew it will be RUINED AND DEAD.

I can’t say I disagree with them, I mean, is there really a need for an all-female cast? It just seems too implausible so me that a group of women would be able to act alongside each other without either getting distracted and going shopping, or starting a huge fight, as we all know groups of women are prone to do. I mean, it doesn’t even make sense, because like, an all-male cast makes so much more sense than an all-female cast and let’s be clear here, you guys, an entirely female cast would be TOTALLY sexist against men. I mean, in their defense, women didn’t exist in the eighties, there were only mothers and grandmothers, maybe some sisters, but actresses, no they didn’t exist, so there was no other choice but to have an all-male cast. But in 2015 there are women EVERYWHERE as well as there being a small selection of men still left, so surely the most EQUAL thing to do would be to have a mixture of both male and female actors? It makes absolutely no sense to ignore men entirely and have them play supporting roles… men don’t do that, they can’t, it’s an affront to both their masculinity and our general enjoyment of cinema. Also, a small fact I bet you didn’t know about: women didn’t even like Ghostbusters in the eighties! Like I said, most women back then were either mothers, grandmothers or sisters and they were mostly involved in learning how to be better at looking after their sons and husbands, current or future, so the only people who saw the movie were men, so really the remake should be made to remember the sacrifices men made to go to the cinema and see the movie in 1984. I mean some of them missed the dinner that their mothers made and others didn’t get to say goodbye to their grandmas before they died. Hollywood owe it to men to recreate the film exactly like the original; for both their lost dinners and their dead grandmas.

Traditionally, as we should all know, ghostbusting is a legitimate man profession that women simply couldn’t do: They couldn’t hold the equipment in their tiny, girlish hands and would most probably break a nail trying to switch the thing on. Women hate wires because they get tangled in their hair and anything to do with machinery causes women to scream and hold onto their petticoats, demanding a man come and relieve them from such a GOD AWFUL situation. Men have an innate understanding of wires and machinery as taught inside the womb at man-school, so they would be much better equipped to do the job of manning, holding and using the elaborate ghost-sucking hair dryer machines. Another small fact that women couldn’t POSSIBLY COMPREHEND is the science involved in ghostbusting; it’s so intricate and delicate which is obviously why there are ONLY man scientists – women have absolutely no understanding of science whatsoever. Like, it doesn’t even compute to them, which is why you never see female science teachers or any females in a scientific classroom. There have also been absolutely no scientific discoveries or anything note-worthy contributed to science by women at all, which makes the entire film TOTALLY unrealistic and RUINS the integrity of the movie altogether, if you ask me.

Another thing that makes the movie entirely implausible is the fact that ghosts are attracted to a woman’s period, much like bears, which means the set of the new Ghostbusters movie will be INFESTED with bears AND ghosts and as we all know, women can’t multi-task so who gets the job of sorting out all the unwanted ghosts and bears? Probably some MALE cast member who won’t even get recognition in the credits, that’s who. Can I also point out as well, that even though ghosts are attracted to periods, that doesn’t make women more accepting of them. Oh no, women are TERRIFIED of ghosts. Which makes the entire soundtrack pointless, I mean, Ray Parker Junior would be spitting in his grave if he were dead at whoever remakes his classic song. It will probably be NICKI MINAJ who will be like ‘I AM SCARED, I AM SCARED OF ALL GHOSTS’ and then shake and twerk her buttocks around, which is not what Ghostbusters is all about at all. It’s just a common fact that men are better equipped to deal with things like the un-dead so much more better than a woman, in the same sense that they are better at dealing with both spiders and a woman’s period: There are just things that women simply don’t understand when it comes to dealing with scary things, which means that when faced with a ghost in the movie, most of the characters would run back to their trailers and hide there until one of the male cast members got rid of it.

Perhaps the most terrifying and saddening part of the remake is that the comedy rampant throughout the original movie, simply won’t be present in the remake, because, as we all know WOMEN AREN’T FUNNY. I mean, the fact that I even have to write that is ridiculous, I mean, did the people behind green lighting the remake do absolutely no research whatsoever? Take the writer, Katie Dippold for example, I mean she wrote for Parks and Recreation which we all know is a serious documentary about the parks and rec department of an American council… I mean, what funny things happen there? “Oh no! I put a slide in upside down. NIGHTMARE!” I don’t think so, Dippold. And let’s not forget all the women who were on Saturday Night Live – no funny women have ever come from Saturday Night Live even the really famous ones like Tina Fey or Amy Poehler. No, there are only funny men on that show, like Kenan Thompson, who is like, super famous from the nineties.

I am absolutely right by you, male humans, when you say that the new Ghostbusters movie will SUCK. I wish feminists would just realise that this is a man’s world and that movies are a man thing, that only men enjoy. I mean, would women like it if there was an all-male cast of Sex and the City? NO! Women would hate it. I mean, men don’t invade a woman’s world or try to control what women do ever so why do women feel the need to invade a man’s world and take all of the good things away from them? It’s just not fair, you guys.

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Life Lessons That Only 80s Movies Can Teach a Person:

If you were born anywhere beyond 1983, you really weren’t an eighties child. You were too young to truly understand just how awesome a generation of people who believed we would be flying around on hover boards by 2015, one space ship ride away from a weekend of passion with an alien who owns three tits on Mars. Growing up in the 1990s was probably the worst time to grow up; everyone was a little pissed off that the 1980s stopped so abruptly and music got decidedly worse, the only exception being The Spice Girls, of course. Even today, you will still find an abundance of people wistful for the 1980s, which is why movies from that generation are so damned popular, even now. I was born at the very end of the 1980s, with only two tender years of being alive during an awesome decade, so I think I feel it more than a lot of people, thus take perpetual comfort in sticking on a film from the decade and grinning like a lunatic until the credits roll.

Eighties movies capture everything that was truly awesome about the decade. I mean, at least the ‘truly awesome’ parts that I, as someone who wasn’t old enough to actually understand the society and culture then, therefore can only assume were the best parts. It might have been crap, but think about it Back to the Future, ET, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Weird Science, My Step Mother’s an Alien… all of these amazing movies that allow us snippets into how awesome life in the eighties really was and how logic, science and the impossible were all made true to life and genuinely possible for normal people. It was a magical time, way better than any Disney movie can boast. And it taught us so many important life lessons regarding how we should be living our lives as adults born a little too late in the decade to learn any real and tangible lessons about being an adult. And, after all, living one’s life through a series of potentially thirty year old movies is a wise and mature decision, no matter who you are, so remember that.

One of my main childhood crushes in life has been constant: Andrew McCarthy. Just saying his name causes over dramatic, romantic sighs to escape from my lungs; he was a true romantic hero and I owe a lot of important life lessons from the Mannequin and Pretty in Pink actor. The Polonius from Macbeth line: to thine own self, be true can encapsulate the characters McCarthy plays quite well and I guess that this could be one of the life lessons I should take from these movies, but I’m not going to. I’m going to take something else, whilst explaining how he always stays true to himself. I mean, think about it… How many men do you know that would fall in love with an ancient Egyptian princess trapped in a mannequin, only coming to life in private, when no one else is watching and not feel an ounce of shame by being caught in incredibly compromising positions by passers by/shoppers/your boss?

Like he didn’t even explain himself at all; during one scene, they were found after a night of passionate love making (as passionate as a mannequin can be, I imagine, but she did end up playing Samantha Jones, perhaps the horniest woman to ever grace New York City), people were gathered around him as he lay in her embrace wondering “Holy crap! Did he have sex with that mannequin? In a tent? In the middle of this department store?” and that was it, just dignified, silent concern for their fellow human being. Although his reaction was slightly different: mischevious grin, quick exit, total nonchalance and no sign of an emotional breakdown at finding himself in these constantly awkward situations.

Pretty in Pink, of course, saw our romantic hero fall in love with a girl way below his social ranking in life, played by the one and only Molly Ringwald, 80s queen. She was a girl who spent the majority of her time looking after her adorably alcoholic dad (it’s not a danger to her health or her mental well-being looking after an unemployed parent in the 80s. it’s a bonding experience and totally cool!) and a girl who made amazingly fashionable clothes from hand me downs and cast offs and who spent a lot of time hanging around with Jon Cryer, back when he was at his most adorable (like, part of me is totally annoyed at Ringwald for not falling in love with Ducky after his AMAZING Try A Little Tenderness routine. Like, even now, when watching old episodes of Two and a Half Men, I still look at Alan when he was younger and remember seeing him as a youngster, thrusting in the air along to the dulcet tones of Otis Redding and my innards do a little pang. Yes, I know and no, I’m not ashamed); Andrew McCarthy saw past all of that, saw past his supposed best friend’s, James Spader’s dickish comments about social class and Molly being only good for one thing and he fell for her like any 80s romantic hero should, because she was the 80s queen and he knew it. The important life lesson here is that Love Conquers All, alcohol addictions are a father daughter bonding experience and that James Spader deserved to have his party ruined.

From Back to the Future, I learned a lot about friendship and that it comes in all shapes and sizes and even moments in time, and that being a young teenaged boy who befriends a cooky older man everyone thinks is weird will not result in molestation or Stockholm Syndrome: It will result in TIME TRAVEL. I think this is partly why I tend to gravitate towards the older generations, in the hopes that one day, when I’m having an extensive conversation with an old man on the bus, that he will lean into me and whisper I have a time machine. And I will believe him and travel through time with him.

Back to the Future also taught me that incest is surprisingly sexy and that part of me really wanted Marty McFly to kiss his mam because she was way prettier than his 1980s girlfriend and by the sounds of things, way hornier too. And I mean, it wouldn’t be that creepy because it’s a film and people in the 80s didn’t care about incest the way we do now. I mean, the only reason we care Is because of one man who locked his kid in a basement and spoiled it for everyone. But, at least Game of Thrones are bringing it back! The important life lesson here is: Friendship with the elderly will result in time travel and that mothers are sexy.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is perhaps the most important life lesson of all. I mean, firstly, this is the guy who will go ahead and reignite a generation of children’s passion for Africa and is probably the sole reason that we grew up caring about animals, because, let’s face it, anyone who plays SIMBA in a movie is going to be the voice of a generation. I mean, he totally cheated on his wife when she started earning more money than him, but fuck off, he was SIMBA and he also played a person called Ferris, which takes a lot of balls. I take my hat off to him. I think I like this movie so much because it doesn’t play along to the pre-ordained constraints that a lot of movies adhere to. I mean, here he is, a dork for all intents and purposes, bunking off school and having a day of sheer awesome the likes 80s children had never seen before. I mean, he gets involved in a parade that just happened to be making its way down the street when he decided to grab a microphone and join in. I mean, back in the 80s, random parades for no reason were pretty commonplace and it wasn’t weird that no one had the day off work or school to go and see it, because they have parades of everything in America, so people aren’t even that bothered by them. Another parade? ANOTHER PARADE? Ugh, I can’t be dealing with this shit, I have a maths test today! He’s not the traditional romantic hero that a lot of 80s movies encapsulate in their discourse; he’s insightful and inspirational to a generation of teenagers, even today, who feel a little lost and a little broken. The Life Lesson here is: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

The 1980s saw some of the, arguably, best movies of all time and movies that literally shaped a generation of people who were really pissed off not to have been born in a society where no one seemed to care or get down about really shit stuff, I mean, Freddie Mercury, rock god of the time not only came out as gay and people were SHOCKED because flamboyance was not only accepted, it was expected and didn’t see homophobes everywhere clenching their arse cheeks and standing so close to the wall that they could be furniture, but he died and instead of saying horrible things about him being a homosexual, people were sad because his sexual preferences weren’t even a big deal: He was Freddie Mercury for fuck’s sake and he was awesome. Living in the year 2014 sucks, not only because there ARE NO HOVER BOARDS AND TIME TRAVEL DOESN’T EXIST, but because everything is so, so crap these days. You can’t even turn on the news without seeing someone being beheaded or raped. Just once, JUST ONCE, I would love to turn on the news and hear: London came to a halt today as a truant child jumped on top of a float during one of  London’s random daily parades and sang us all a song that caused so much joy that he didn’t even get in trouble for truanting and his childlike joy was so infectious that we cured cancer. That’s all from us this evening, goodbye and have a great night!

I think the most important life lesson from my essay of remembrance is that we definitely need to start finding more time in life for joy and in that same respect, eighties movies. Life is too short to watch a shit, independent French film about the nuances of glancing at someone fleetingly for half a second (but then goes into a two and a half hour diatribe as to how negative this can be on human beings), resulting in a lifetime of misery realising you watched this instead of WarGames. So, let this be a lesson to you: Find more time for joy and more time for dissecting 80s movies to make you feel better about having a shit day. Tot Ziens!

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An Affair to Remember

 “Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories, and we’ve already missed the spring…”

An Affair To Remember is one of my favourite films. Whenever I feel sad or lonely, or even when I feel inexplicably happy or nostalgic, it’s the first thing I go to. When I talk about it, or even think about it, the tears pool in my eyes even if I just happen to think of just how happy that film makes me. It is one of the most important films in my life, something I always think of with warm, fond memories.

The first time I watched it was one ridiculously early Sunday morning, when I, still living at home, meandered downstairs, expecting to find remnants of the drunken night before that desperately needed cleaning up, but which I would happily ignore. Instead, I would curl up on the sofa, inviting both dogs: Homer and Arthur, my amazing old boxer men who are now no longer with us, up on the sofa for a forbidden cuddle (they weren’t allowed on the sofa unless mama was very drunk and feeling soft), which they both relished in. Homer would only cuddle on his terms, so I would have to invite him up onto my seat and I would have to sit next to him, burying my head into his soft, silky fur; he’d place a paw over my hand and drift off into a slumber that elicited soft, comforting snores in my ear. Arthur, desperate for any kind of affection, at any given time, would clamber onto me and fit in any spare part of the sofa, draping himself over me and burying his head into my nook or a body part that was particularly soft (usually my stomach) and we would lie there, happily, in silence, until someone else in the house woke up and disturbed our peaceful snuggles. This morning, however, it was my mama, who I found watching the end of a film I can’t remember; the living room was tidy and both dogs were laying on the floor in front of her snoring happily. They both lifted their handsome heads when I walked in, in a manner which I like to think of as disappointment, that their snuggles on the sofa weren’t going to happen this weekend… Sorry boys…

Both my mama and I made our way to the kitchen, where she made us both a cup of tea and I raided the cupboards for some kind of unhealthy, biscuit type snack, before making our way back to the living room. My mother and I, ever since I was little, have always shared a sofa, whilst my dad and sister always had their own seats. It’s not something I minded, because when I was younger, I would snuggle up beside her and lie on her tummy whilst watching television and as I got older, the tummy snuggles would only happen if I was feeling sad or very sorry for myself. Usually we’d both sit with our feet up, mine pushed against her thighs because of my lanky legs and hers sitting comfortably in front of me, because she’s tiny and perfect. This morning, we were sitting in this usual spot, drinking tea and absent mindedly watching the news when she turns and asks me if I fancy watching one of the Cary Grant films that I’d bought her as part of her birthday presents. We decided on An Affair to Remember and my love affair with this movie was encapsulated forever.

We sat in silence throughout the whole film, until the very end and the credits rolled; we turned to each other, emotions built up inside of us, desperate to escape and as our eyes made contact, we burst into tears.

“That was one of the best things I’ve ever seen in my life…” I sobbed.

I’m not sure if it was because of my love for Cary Grant, or my general obsession with great, dramatic love stories or even the fact that I’d watched it one Sunday morning with my mother; something we both shared and will always share together, but it has remained the most important movie in my life ever since.

Years later, I would be sitting in a cold house that bore no warm memories; somewhere I hated, but simply resided and I would turn to the person I’d been seeing for a couple of weeks and I’d say,

“I’ve always wanted this, look. It’s from one of my favourite movies, but it’s just so expensive!”

He would respond with something relatively nonchalant, presumably what is this monstrosity, it’s a picture of two people kissing… what’s so great about that?

And a few weeks later, when I’d moved into my brand new flat with the help of said human, I’d be sitting at his parent’s house and in he’d walk with a delivery from somewhere, which he had bought me, as a house warming gift.

It was what I’d told him I’d wanted. A vintage film poster of An Affair to Remember, the film that brings me to tears at the very thought of it. Naturally, I cried my eyes out; I’d never received a present so thoughtful, or so important. I had already fallen in love with him at this point, because it’s pretty hard not to, but I think that moment in particular made me realise that I never want to be a part from him. It’s just a poster, get a life… Yeah, I know, but it’s pretty indescribable; I had longed for that movie poster in my life for years and years and in one moment of simple internet browsing, during the stages in our relationship where we were just getting to know each other, he remembered and bought me it.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s about two people who shouldn’t have met. They met per chance one evening when she’d found his cigarette case and after that they spent their entire cruise back to America with one another. It wasn’t sexual, it wasn’t even romantic, nor did it elude to romance… it was two people who were getting to know each other. They met by chance, by a simple mistake and then they got to know each other more than anyone else had gotten to know them before; it’s love in its most simple and important form and I think that’s why it resonates so deeply with me.

It’s no secret that I am a raging lover of romance; I love romance. Flowers, chocolates, being wined and dined, things I’d never experienced until Brain came into my life, but things I desperately wanted – I just wanted to be loved and for me, that movie encapsulates exactly what love is about. It’s not about what you look like or how much you weigh, or if you have the right boobs or clothes… it’s about getting to know someone inside and out, it’s spending eight hours on the sofa, doing nothing but staring into each other’s eyes. It’s corny, it’s simple and it’s beautiful.

I wasn’t supposed to meet Brain. I’d accepted a job somewhere I can’t even remember when I received a phone call inviting me for an interview one Tuesday morning. I didn’t know if I could accept, because I was supposed to start a job on Monday, but I did any way… just in case. Turns out, my first day on this job was awful, so awful that my dad text me half way through and said ‘Get up out of your chair and just walk out. Say anything you want, just go.’ And I did. The next day I went to an interview and a few weeks later, after an email I’d sent thanking them for an interview (an email I can’t remember sending), I received a phone call inviting me to start the next day. And on my first day, my managers introduced me to people in the office and then introduced me to Brain; he was wearing a Bob Dylan t-shirt and shook my hand, looking all tall and shy (and bearded) and I thought to myself ‘shit…’ and well… I guess the rest is history, as they say.

So now, as you may have guessed An Affair to Remember reminds me of Brain. He reminded me that love is so important and that it’s not just as simple as being with someone for a long period of time and eventually saying it because you feel you have to, but not really feeling it. After my first date with Brain, I closed my door and I actually swooned because I’d totally fallen head over heels in love with him. And when I opened that poster and I realised that he’d remembered something I said completely innocuously, not at all expecting him to even remember, never mind buy me it… It just made me realise that I am going to be with this person for the rest of my life. He loves me and every time I look at the poster, pride of place in my living room, I remember just how he was looking at me when I opened that present. He’s the love of my life and I am so lucky that I accidentally found him too.

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