Thanks For The (Horrible, Unwanted) Memories

The Break Up, Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, Modern PhilosopherOne of the ways I’ve been keeping myself out of trouble during this period of intense social distancing, Modern Philosophers, has been to record old movies to watch when I need a good distraction.

Yesterday, I viewed Clear and Present Danger.  It was cool to see Harrison Ford young and spry enough to dangle from a helicopter.  I’d read the book a long time ago, and the movie was 26 years old, so I probably hadn’t seen it since last century.

It took my mind off the global pandemic even though the title was a subtle hint about what I was trying to forget.

Today’s selection was from 2006.  I’m a huge fan of Vince Vaughn, and Swingers is one of my all-time favorite flicks.  So when I saw that The Break-Up was on, I had to record it.  After all, Jon Favreau, the writer and co-star of Swingers had a supporting role.

Plus, who doesn’t love Jennifer Aniston?

I was hoping for a fun afternoon of laughing at Vince being Vince, of remembering how easy Jen is on the eyes, and maybe even being inspired to write a romantic comedy once my screening was done.

The Break Up, Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, Modern PhilosopherThat plan went straight to hell, however, when the movie conjured up memories of my divorce.

Let’s jump into the time machine for a moment to supply a little backstory here.

It all goes back to Swingers.  I have a very vivid memory of driving with J during our honeymoon, and discussing how badly we both wanted to see Swingers once we returned home.  We were in love, making plans, and enjoying our status as newlyweds.

I’ve mentioned many times in this blog that even though I haven’t seen J in about 15 years, I still have nightmares about her. They are always about the same thing: she has decided to leave me, and I am desperately trying to win her back.

The nightmares haunt me because I never think about J, I don’t long to reconcile, and I don’t ever wish we were still married.

But watching The Break-Up today brought me back to the conversation that ended with J informing me that she wanted a divorce.  I was in my study, writing at the computer, and she delivered the line as she started down the very staircase that I could see from my spot on the couch as I watched the film.

If you’re not familiar with the movie, Vince and Jen have a horrible fight at the beginning, she announces that she is done with the relationship, and instead of going to her to work it out, he leaves the apartment.

Man, did that resonate with me.  I still remember not getting up from the computer when J dropped the bombshell that she wanted a divorce.  In my mind, she was just being overly dramatic again.  It would all blow over like it always did.  Like back in the days when she’d pull off her engagement ring and hurl it at me.

The Break Up, Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, Modern PhilosopherLike an idiot, I didn’t move from my chair to go to the woman I promised to love, through better or worse, until death parted us.

As the movie progressed, I got pissed off with Vince Vaughn.  He really is a total prick to Jen.  All he had to do was go to her and talk, but he just accepted her word that it was over, and then made things worse by both his actions and inaction.

It reminded me of how I was the same way when J and I fought.  I was so damn stubborn and it was imperative to get in the last word and win every argument.

I’d let things stew and allow the silence to go on forever.  All I had to do was use my power with words to open up a dialogue and make things better, but instead, I chose to use my words as weapons.

I kept seeing myself in Vince Vaughn, which really sucked because he is an absolute dick.

Why did I have this sudden epiphany today?  It’s not like it’s the first time I’ve watched the movie.  Maybe I’m just getting more perceptive in my old age.  Perhaps I’m beginning to realize that the reason I’m still single is all my fault.

Maybe riding out a pandemic all alone in the house I bought with J to raise a family gave me a whole new perspective on life.

divorce, relationships, Modern PhilosopherI’ve always proudly touted my introvert status, but maybe I wouldn’t be leading such a solitary life if I’d been this understanding of my behavior back when J was something much more to me than a ghost that forever haunts my dreams.

As much as I like Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, and Jon Favreau, I’ve got to give The Break-Up two thumbs down because today’s viewing made me realize that I am the reason I have those nightmares…

Has re-watching an old favorite changed the way you look at it or your life?

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
This entry was posted in Humor, Love and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Thanks For The (Horrible, Unwanted) Memories

  1. I remember seeing Clear and Present Danger in Slovakia, in Slovak with English subtitles. It added a little flavor.

  2. alesiablogs says:

    haha yep….media is gonna make a killing.

  3. I do a great deal of reading, writing and drawing. Although lately, I can’t watch anything that reminds me of my late husband. It’s too painful to be reminded of all those happy times. I’ve taken to watching new shows and old shows that we never enjoyed together. I guess at some point that will change. I have been able to watch a few old comedies lately. Stay safe and healthy.

  4. markbialczak says:

    You can’t change the past no matter how hard you try in your mind, Austin.

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