Tag Archives: dating

Compatibility

The other day I was watching the Turner Classic Movie station and they ran an ad where Robert Osborne and Drew Barrymore discussed the film Marty and paired it with the film How to Marry a Millionaire and which woman would be a good match for Ernest Borgnine as Marty. The ladies were Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe. Robert Osborne thought Betty Grable might be his best match. For some reason, I didn’t agree.

If you have never seen the film Marty, it is well worth the time to see it. Ernest Borgnine plays a single, Italian man of about thirty-five who works in a butcher shop. He is not handsome, rich or a huge success. He is an ordinary, rather shy man who is overweight and gets tongue-tied around women. His family and customers all nag at him about why he isn’t married and starting a family yet, all his siblings have. The chatter does not help. He hangs out with his male friends and they do the same stuff all the time, bowling, the diner, and just hanging out. One night they go to the dance.

Marty is a shy man, who is reticent but he is a kind person. It is because of this kindness that he finally meets someone. A man offers him $5.00 to take a blind date off his hands so he can go score with a woman he already knows. Marty feels that is cruel and a lie. He refuses, but watches. He feels compassion for the lonely woman the man ditched and speaks to her. They hit it off. Though his friends don’t think too much of her, in the end, Marty feels something special for her, and they begin seeing one another, empowering Marty to come out of his shell.

The women in How to Marry a Millionaire are looking to ensnare wealthy men to keep them in style. Lauren Bacall is a savvy who knows what she wants and goes for it. She does not want to waste time dating the wrong men. She needs a man who will meet her eye to eye and be as strong as she is. Lauren and Marty would never go far. She would give him a look up and down and say; “No thanks, pal.”

Betty Grable seems weary of the chase, and may for a time give a man like Marty a chance. Where Robert Osborne sees her as a good match for Marty, I don’t agree. She may be able to hang out with the guys, be great fun at a party or on a date. She is a good person, also full of confidence. Where does her life really intersect with Marty’s? To me, Marty and Betty want different things out of life, and in the long run would not make one another happy.

Then we come to Marilyn Monroe. Mr. Osborne feels that she would be pursued by men for her looks and sex appeal. It really was the problem she faced in life every day. Yet is that what Marilyn wants? To me, she is a woman who is looking to love and be loved. She is not so taken in by the shallow surface appeal of a sexy body or drop-dead good looks. Marilyn Monroe, though she had an undeniably powerful animal magnetism, she showed her vulnerability. She showed her loneliness, and desire to find someone she could love. To me, Marilyn and Marty would be able to have a successful relationship. They want the same thing ~ to love and to be loved. They could each be vulnerable, open and honest with one another, the basis for a good, long lasting relationship.

It made me stop and ponder; what do we expect from relationships these days?

In writing, creating characters and in my everyday life, relationships need to have commonality on some level or they won’t work. In creating romance for characters, I need to be mindful of their core values, beliefs and desires. A psychologist friend of mine read my books and related to me the depth and intricacy of human relationships I achieved. I even ran a troubled character profile by her, and she was ready for me to refer him to her for treatment.

I strive for relationships in my writing that are able to stand the test of time if they are to last. I construct the relationship with the fatal flaw that will tear the couple apart. I study life, people, their relationships, what works and what does not.

The question that still remains at the end of this discourse is simple. What do you want from a relationship? As you ponder that question, know that the sage wisdom of the ages comes back as well: What you give will be returned.

May your relationships be a blessing to those who know you, because you give of yourself from your heart.

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Texting your love life away

You don’t think so? Come with me to the ballpark.

The pitcher finishes warming up and the crowd settles down to watch the game. I’ve got a good sight line to home plate because the couple  seated just in front of me aren’t too tall. I feel happy because I won’t have to crane my neck or contort my body for nine innings, but my mood sinks when I get a whiff of the perfume the woman’s wearing.  I hope I brought enough kleenex. The woman is sporting a silky, low cut, sleeveless top which is inappropriate for the 58 degree weather. She’s young and has smooth skin to flaunt; at her age she doesn’t have those flappy tricep wings to worry over. She cradles a cell phone in one hand and uses the other to stroke back her shoulder length hair, flashing rings on four fingers–the kind of ring you see in the bargain section of a jewelry store. I have no idea where she bought her perfume, but someone should shut that place down.

One thing is a constant these days at baseball games. A good percentage of fans only watch the game part-time because they’re enraptured with their  BlackBerry/camera/DVD/gameboy/GPS/iPod devices. Why go to a game if you’re not going to watch it? Of course, these types don’t jump up and spill beer on me after an exciting play, so that’s a plus.

The couple in front of me sure won’t be jumping up or cheering at anything. The man has done nothing but stare with unbridled lust at his female companion, but alas, she’s wholly fixated on her phone, and doesn’t seem to notice. Now he makes his first move, edging one shoulder as close to her as he can. Doesn’t the perfume choke him? Guess not. A slight breeze informs me that he smells like ten packs of cigarettes so maybe he’s immune.

Inning over. Now he’s got his arm resting on the back of her seat, fingers creeping toward her bare neck. I can’t ignore this because his elbow is now jutting back into my legroom. The poor guy’s efforts are futile. If his date feels his exploring fingers, she gives no sign. She divides her attention between five-second glances at home plate and a longer interval where she checks the screen of her phone. Waiting for a return message, I bet! From another admirer?

Several innings pass. The guy’s bought his date a slice of pizza, three beers, ice cream, and a bobblehead of the team’s most famous player. In spite of the fact I’ve been watching the game, I know all this because the man has to stand up to take out his wallet to pay the roving vendors, which blocks my view of the playing field. On his latest trip to the bathroom, he came back with a sweatshirt for the woman because she was shivering. Now he’s back on his real quest with one arm wrapped around the woman and his nose almost in her ear. I’m glad I haven’t eaten or I might lose it. As it is, I’m trying to keep my husband from going into hysterics over this latest development.

8th inning now, the score is tied and two players are in scoring position! The woman stands up. Oh no, not now, I can’t see! She flips her phone closed and looks at the aisle. Even in profile I can tell she’s got a smug look on her face. Her new sweatshirt slides off her shoulders and falls to the seat, unheeded. Her date looks up in surprise as she picks up her purse and motions to the people sitting next to them that she wants to leave. The guy can do nothing but follow her. As he passes her seat, he grabs up the sweatshirt, deliberately drops it on to the concrete and treads right over it. The whole aisle stands up to let them pass. Somehow, I think that this date is their last.

Mickey Hoffman is the author of School of Lies, a mystery novel published by Second Wind Publishing.

These two aren’t in my novel but stay tuned and soon you’ll find out more about the chosen…

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