If there’s one thing that has held true, one belief and one thought that I’ve carried with me since childhood it’s this:
I don’t want kids.
From the time I was about 8 or so, I decided that I’m never having kids. While this thought did waver for a certain someone, at the end he was right in saying I wouldn’t be happy in that life. I’m not the domestic type, I don’t want kids running around, I don’t care about school plays, car washes, student council... I hate snotty, bratty, disgusting, self centred and whiny little leeches that drain both your wallet, time and energy.
But if you want kids? Give’er.
I’m not actually that against them, when my friends have them I’m sure I’ll love being the aunt that feeds them full of sugar and spoils them rotten before handing them back to their parents. Just that type of life? I’m not the mothering type.
However, while kids were never on the agenda, marriage always was. I guess I can fit into the cookie cutter life at least at that aspect. Sure, I might not know who, or what they’ll be like, but wedding, marital bliss? Sounds good to me.
That is, until I saw ‘The Kids are All Right’.
Cheap movie Tuesday has become a bit of a not-so-guilty pleasure of mine. The cheaper price makes it a little nicer on my wallet to see movies I wouldn’t normally see in theatres. Well, that and the fact that since I quit my job at Rogers, my movie rental list has been waaaaay down, I get my movies when and where I can.
I had heard/read various reviews on ‘The Kids are All Right’ and it seemed like an interesting premise. A family piece looking at two lesbians with a long standing marriage that’s a little worn around the edges dealing with the entrance of the sperm donor daddy when their two kids get curious about their other side.
I heard how realistic it was, how it painted a real picture about a real family. It’s a movie about love and most of all, about the messy part of relationships and family. And the fact that the gay couple at the centre of the piece was treated with the same “normalcy” as a straight one was lovely to see. It wasn’t an attempt to be “different” or play up for the Oscars. It was just a relationship that had seen better days but still had a lot of love. Sort of like your baby blanket that you cart around for years, it’s still full of love and warmth if a little frayed at the edges. Anyone who’s had a relationship that’s lasted longer than the honeymoon period can relate on some level with these people on screen.
And really, that’s all it is. It’s brutal, it’s honest, it’s loving, funny, heartbreaking, dramatic and at the end of the day it’s just putting a slice of life up on screen for you, watching scenes unfold. It won’t be for everyone--certainly someone looking for action or fantasy can look at any of the summer block busters out there. ‘The Kids are All Right’ is a simple story, acted beautifully that shows the lives of the type of people who could be your friends, your neighbours, your co-workers.
It was everything life should be: sweet, heartbreaking, endearing, funny, caring, full of life, bumps, bruises and sex.
However, and I guess this is just a little girl who’s kind of naive in these types of things, it’s also scary. It shows that marriage isn’t always bliss, that it’s exhausting and daunting as one character describes it ‘a marathon’.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t for a second believe marriage was going to be perfect. I knew it would be work--relationships are work. But, I had hoped that it’d at least get a little easier once you grew older. I had hoped that once you committed yourself to someone that maybe it was a little easier. Maybe it got a little comfortable, little more worn but it was there.
I don’t think I’ve seen a movie that examined that side of relationships before. I haven’t felt that crushing feeling at the reveal at someone’s betrayal on screen like that. I haven’t felt a character’s exhaustion with being with this person for this long. There were plenty of laughs, plenty of love, but for a confused twenty-something commitment phobe? It just added to the misery I think relationships often bring.
When someone asks me what my “favourite” films are, I have a tough time answering. There are the type of movies like Serenity when I can throw on at any time and have a blast sitting through each time. And then there are the movies that really change something in me, that sit with me beyond that initial viewing. They’re often movies I won’t re-watch but they’re always something that stick with me for days, weeks, months, sometimes years later. ‘The Kids Are Alright’ I think would be one of those movies. It came at an awkward time in my life, when things were falling apart around me and made me realize that if I wanted that white dress and that ring that it’d be a lot more work than I can handle now and even perhaps in the distant future.
So for now, as lonely as I may be, as much as I'd like to share myself with someone, I know that in the end the decision is right for right now.
Maybe I’m just not the relationship kind of girl.