I have just finished watching Bright Star, a biopic of Keats that involves more romance and costuming than any film ought to. The star-crossed love story ends in death (from tuberculosis, of course) and the movie is directed by Jane Campion. All of those things means that I’ve come to one conclusion:
This is why we’re all fucked.
Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It’s just that I also think that movies like this should come with a warning label or require some kind of license to rent. These things, these stories of love that is expressed in flowery poerty and doesn’t even stop after death, are dangerous.
It would be lovely if, when your man has to travel to Italy, he would devote much of his time to writing you ornate poems about how much he misses you. It would be lovely if they were hand-delivered and sealed with bright red wax bearing his initials. But we don’t do that here in the 21st century. Here, we have email. We have Facebook. Those things are instant gratification, but they are not particularly romantic. Ladies, if you get any bright ideas about hand-writing poems in fountain pen, proceed with caution. This tends to scare the hell out of the 21st century male. You might as well go find some moors to wander. In the rain.
Even if your man were to write you ornate poems from Italy, half of you would think it he was just up to something. Like, “he’s just trying to get in my pants” or “I wonder what he did that’s about to piss me off.” Guys, forgive us. Years of being 21st century women have taught us that guys who do things like this probably ARE up to something.
It’s like guys can’t win.
Ladies can’t win either.
Ask us about the virgin/whore problem sometime.
Actually, maybe you can win a little. At the end of the day, it’s not about the wax-sealed poems. It’s not about flowery language that could only be managed by a master of Romantic poetry. It’s about us women just wishing we knew how you felt about us. If you go to Italy, we just want to know that you’re thinking of us. We’re all screwed because modern technology has gotten us used to knowing exactly where everybody is 24 hours a day. One tiny hole is someone’s Foursquare timeline, and our stupid girl brains start wondering. It’s silly. It’s insane. It’s the 21st century. Five years ago, we didn’t have this kind of access to each other, and now it’s become commonplace, and sometimes expected.
There’s a part of me that really enjoys having every status update from everyone I know sent to my phone. There’s also a part of me that wants to run screaming from that, move to the country, and communicate only via fountain pen.