A drab, emotionless couple sat across from each other eating in silence.Â Bite after bite of food was consumed, but no conversation or eye contact spiced up the meal.Â Audrey Hepburnâ€™s character, Joanna, looks at Albert Finneyâ€™s character, Mark, and says, â€œWhat kind of people just sit like that without a word to say to each other?â€Â He replies,Â â€œMarried couples.â€
Two for the Road, the 1967 movie to which Iâ€™m referring, was broadcast on PBS last night.Â My husband and I, snuggled in on a cold Minnesota night, watched with mixed emotions.Â We were in our pajamas enjoying our usual television/movie positionsâ€¦my feet were in his lap as he gave me a lazy foot rub, and I massaged his back as he sat forward.Â Think Gumby meets Kama Sutra, and youâ€™re close. Â After the film ended I looked at him and said, â€œWas that a happy ending?â€Â He nodded somberly before replying.Â â€œI know what youâ€™re saying.Â Iâ€™m not sure either.â€
The movie follows Hepburn and Finneyâ€™s characters from first meeting through ten years of marriage.Â There are a lot of troubles along the way, and they wonder if they should have gotten married, and if they should stay married.
Why am I writing about this?Â Because I found the movieâ€™s message blatantly bitter towards marriage and fidelity, commitment and acceptance.Â The line about married couples not talking during meals had my husband and I looking at each other and shrugging.
Case in pointâ€¦today after church we went out to lunch.Â We sat and talked nonstop through our meal and through two large pots of tea.Â (I had to pee really bad by time we were ready to leave!)Â There were no awkward silences, heavy sighs, or sightless staring.
Are we newlyweds?Â Well that depends on oneâ€™s definition.Â My husband and I have been together for a total of 26 years.Â We knew each other for 12 years before dating, we dated for 2 years, and weâ€™ve now been married for 12 years.Â Using my fingers, toes, breasts, eyes, and ears to count–la la la, carry the one–yep, that equals 26 years Iâ€™ve been in conversations with this man.
But truthfully, I still feel like a newlywed.Â We are still discovering things about each other, still finding reasons to giggle and be naughty, and are still excited when we touch each other. (See description of couch behavior in second paragraph.)Â Are we anomalies?Â I donâ€™t think so, or at least I pray we are not.
The movie endsâ€”spoiler alert if you havenâ€™t yet watched it after it came out in 1967â€”with the couple deciding to stay married.Â It was a love conquers, um, most,Â Hollywood-style ending (both had extramarital affairs, she admitted it, he didnâ€™t). Â I guess I was supposed to be happy they chose to stay together, but it felt more like they were frustrated that they still had feelings for each other after 10 crippling years of marital commitment.
Iâ€™d love to hear from anyone who has happy marriage stories.Â Tell me Iâ€™m not alone in adoring my husband after knowing him all these many years.Â Are my husband and I perfect together? Hahahahahaha!Â Heck no.Â Thatâ€™s what makes it so deliciously fun.