Marriage and the movies

Last night some of my neighbors invited me over for movie night. One of the movies was “Bridget Jones 2,” which was not a surprise since two women selected the movies. I have to admit, though, that I saw the first “Bridget Jones” a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. So I was looking forward to the sequel.

The verdict? Not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but only because the soundtrack saved it. I can’t totally hate a movie that has Barry White’s “You’re the First, My Last, My Everything” on it – one of my favorite songs.

But I hate the premise of the movie – the idea that a woman is somehow not complete, not a true adult, not a full-fledged woman, until she is married. That marriage is the be-all and end-all and something to be strived for at all costs. That happiness is dependent on something outside of her – a husband – rather than coming from inside.

This is why I rarely date women close to my own age (30 and up). I don’t mean to generalize to all women in that age range, but the stereotype fits many that I know. They’re so obsessed with getting married that the process of meeting someone, getting to know them, starting a relationship with them, becomes a task to get done rather than one of the most wonderful joys in life. All the fun and spontaneity slips away. I can’t tell you how many 30ish women I’ve known, incredible people with so much to offer, who have shown only their neurotic, catty, controlling, unattractive side because they were so caught up in the idea that they were somehow incomplete without a husband, or at least a relationship that showed serious promise of moving in the direction of marriage.

Last spring I was walking around downtown when I saw a group of women, many of whom I knew, on an outdoor patio. They were having “Girls’ Night” but asked me to join them, said they needed a guy’s opinion. One of them (who I had not previously met) had been with her boyfriend a year and wanted to him to “take things to the next level” – i.e. propose to her. They had gone through all of the motions of a year-old relationship – taken trips together, met each other’s families, etc. When she brought him to a family outing, her relatives all but came out and asked why he hadn’t proposed, but even then he didn’t seem to take the hint. But as she talked more and more one thing seemed to stand out – she didn’t even seem to like him that much. This was confirmed when I ran into her again a couple of weeks later, on the same patio. This time he was with her, and I could almost feel the unhappiness oozing from her. I certainly didn’t see anything that resembled a smile on her face. But I guess in her mind, she was taking the steps that would lead to what she thought she wanted.

So there’s the marriage rant I’ve been meaning to type up for at least three years now. It just seems like more women would wake up and realize they’re already adult and complete and wonderful, and they don’t have to look on their left hand and see a wedding ring to validate that. Let go of your all-important “goal” and enjoy the process of getting to know other people – and yourself.

Anyway, Happy Easter! Today I’m skipping Sunday at the Monkey for the first time in eight months, but never fear – my Easter basket will still be a champagne bucket. I have three bottles in the fridge, and orange juice to make mimosas. Later on I’m going to have Easter dinner with my neighbors (the ones who picked the movie last night) and they’re hiding eggs in the lobby. They plan on finding their own eggs that they hid, which doesn’t make sense to me, but then they’re blondes. All right, I’m out for the day – see you later!

Random stuff thrown together for your reading pleasure

Not one specific topic this time, just whatever pops into my head.

– Best meal I’ve had in a while: The Chicken Pontabla at King’s Palace Cafe on Beale, a chicken breast in Cajun spices over roasted potatoes and covered in parmesan cheese. Just unbelievably good. Actually, I ordered it next door at the Tap Room, which shares the menu with King’s Palace. The Tap Room has become my new regular place to hang out. It’s a good mix of locals and tourists, just a friendly environment where you can have a conversation, watch TV, listen to a band.

– Back to the topic of food, check out Blue Coast Burrito on Walker Ave. just off Highland out by the U of M. They have build-it-yourself burritos and fish tacos. Back when I lived in San Diego, fish tacos were the unofficial food of the city much as BBQ is in Memphis. And Blue Coast has a salsa bar with your choice of sauces for your food.

– My apartment building rocks. They’ve rented a party suite for us for the opening Redbirds game on April 7, with a free buffet and beer.

– The membership phonathon for Mpact, which I helped put together, turned out to be a success. I went to a dollar store and bought about 50 bucks worth of prizes. Every time a caller got a renewal, they got to reach in a grab bag for a prize.

– Ordering pizza for the phonathon turned out to be a challenge though. Papa John’s put me on hold no less than 10 times, asked me to repeat my phone number about 4 times, asked me to repeat my credit card number about 8. Then, after “hold on,” the guy came back on the phone and said, “Give me that credit card number again.” I told him that this was getting ridiculous, that it shouldn’t take 15 minutes to order pizza and if he couldn’t get it right this time, I was hanging up and calling Pizza Hut. Then I gave him my card number for the 9th time. He said, “Hold on,” and then I heard a crash, and in the background I heard him say, “That motherfucking bitch just broke the credit card machine!” Then he got back on the line and asked for my card number again. Pizza Hut got a $35 order as a result. It’s the first time in years I’ve been mad enough to get on a company’s website and complain.

– More fast-food stupidity: I went to Wendy’s the other day and ordered a Caesar side salad. “What kind of dressing you want with that?” asked the cashier. Um, let’s see…it’s a CAESAR salad, you think maybe CAESAR dressing, moron?

– Am watching the Democratic Party with interest now that Howard Dean has been elected as its chair. I like Dean’s grass-roots style and ability to think outside the box. I’ve always thought of myself as being a nonpartisan liberal, but with Dean in charge I guess I’ll go ahead and label myself a Democrat.

– My latest stock pick: SanDisk (SNDK). SanDisk makes the flash memory cards and sticks used in computers, MP3 players, and digital cameras. I think they’re already more relevant to the photography industry than Kodak. They’re about a $4.5 billion company right now; I put them at a $90-billion market cap in 10 years. I also believe SNDK will be listed as one of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow.

– Places around town where you’re likely to see me: Cafe Francisco Thursday night, March 24, where Mpact is having After Hours with singer/guitarist Drew Holcomb; later that evening I’ll be at the Flying Saucer to see The Dempseys. Friday, March 25 I’ll be in the South Main District for the Trolley Art Tour. Sunday, March 27 (and most every Sunday) I’ll be at the Blue Monkey. Friday, April 1 I’ll be at the Mid-South Coliseum for Artrageous, which is always one of the most fun parties of the year. Later in April there are two crawfish festivals (one in Downtown and one in Midtown), and I’ll likely be at both. It’s Paul On Tour! If anyone is stalking me I’ve just made it easy for them.

– What the bums are drinking this week: Last time I walked by the liquor store I saw an incredible EIGHT empty cases of Wild Irish Rose waiting for the garbage man. Also: Dark Eyes vodka, and strangely enough, Jagermeister. Then again, a lot of the bums drink NyQuil to get drunk, and Jagermeister isn’t that different from NyQuil.

– And that’s it for this journal entry. I kind of like this format, may do it again.