I’m a sucker for anything romantic. Most people don’t believe that, but it’s the truth. Books, strangers’ stories at the bar, wedding pictures, blah, blah, and of course…
I’m pretty sure the adoration of romantic comedies and movies based off of Nicholas Sparks’ novels is embedded in most women’s DNA, and I will bravely admit that I share this genetic trait. I cry at all the happy endings. I clap my hands together in sheer joy when the dude frantically runs across a whole city to drop to his knees and proclaim that he’s in love with the leading lady even though he’s always just thought of her as “one of the guys” and then they make out in the pouring rain while onlookers cheer and throw confetti. (Right before they head down to the subway and the passion grips them so tightly that they can’t wait another minute and next thing you know her hands are holding onto a turnstile arm as he gives it to her from… whoa.)
Anyway, what I’m getting at is that I like chick flicks, and because my boyfriend is such a lucky man, he gets the privilege of watching them with me. Right now, we probably average about 2-3 a month- give or take- and
he likes (protect the manhood) he’s kind enough to bare through them.
Last night was a chick flick night.
The movie that Netflix sent us was Friends with Benefits starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. The premise of the movie was that these two cats -both freshly broken up- meet, develop a pretty good friendship, and decide why not, let’s do it. You know, as casually as two people “playing tennis.” The one rule is that they can’t let emotions get involved. I assume that you’re not too blind to see where this one is going…
The characters were pretty typical. He’s emotionally guarded -never brought a chick home to meet his family, really good at his job- kind of guy, yet still silly, fun and handsome. She’s the perfect combination of cute, goofy, and smart, who dresses fashionably and drinks too much coffee. The history of chick flicks tells us- these two were pretty much made to bone. So, they make the agreement. They have magical times together. Every thing’s great.
Of course, at some point, in rolls the emotion all expectedly unexpected-like and some form of uncomplicated complication arises, and they have to work that out, and they realize the actual benefits to their relationship are that they’re perfect for each other and blah, blah and an ending of happiness rounds it out.
Though, as the title Friends with Benefits would imply, there was a sex scene or two.
I have this weird reaction to sex scenes, even just a make-out sesh in movies. I can’t stop smiling. My body starts to feel pins and needley. (I’ve only told one other person about this before- my very first boyfriend Mat- but I figure the next best person to tell is the whole internet.) I don’t think I’m alone in this, honestly. Sex scenes are reminding you that– yes, you also like to have sex.
No matter, when sex is hinted at by some physical means in a cinematic story, I’m piqued and start thinking about everything my brain has to offer on the topic (which by societal standards is too much). Dudes I’ve been with, dudes I haven’t been with, dudes I would never be with, dudes I really want to be with- all begin running around in my head trapezing this way and that, creating an amusement park of dirty thoughts- past, present, and future. My body becomes tense from trying to suppress the pandemonium that is whip lashing inside my skull and the frugal attempt to force away the smile that’s eclipsing my lips back down to that pocket of me that no one is supposed to be a part of.
Normally, because my attempt to hide my accelerated lascivious brain activity was unsuccessful, the person I’m watching the movie with will interrupt my thoughts with the trick question “what are you thinking about?” And at that point, I have no choice but to snap back to reality, smile innocently, shove a handful of popcorn in my mouth, and while spitting out specks of kernels, state rather casually something along the lines of “this jiffy has the perfect amount of butter.”
This sexual scene started out no different. I had no reason to think that it would end any differently, but it did. This sex scene actually taught me some things: 1) Mila Kunis and I have the same ass and 2) my boyfriend Mike thinks he knows me and he does.
Cue Justin and Mila’s ripping of each other’s clothes off…
“Holy shit!” Mike muttered as he reached out and grabbed the DVD player remote. He rewinded just a bit and then paused on a shot of Mila Kunis fully naked from behind.
“Yeah, she’s definitely hot.” I said assuming that his intention was to proclaim just that: Mila Kunis has a great body. I am not one of those girls that gets mad at the obvious- my boyfriend thinks other chicks are hot. In fact, I embrace it, because I also think other chicks are hot. I’m more one of those girls that gets the new Victoria’s Secret catalogue and starts arguments about which chick is the hottest with him. At the beginning of our relationship, he would peer at me quixotically, assuming that I was trying to bait him into a trap, but over the years, he has realized that is not the case at all. I’m just not threatened by other chicks.
“No, Becki…” He stood up and walked over to the 47″ TV. Placing his hand over just the back of her head so all you could see was from her neck down, he continued. “Look.”
I leaned in a bit and squinted my eyes trying to figure out what I was supposed to see. Nothing. Aside from the overt- which was that Mila Kunis was naked and she looked good- I saw nothing.
“It’s you, ass wipe!” He pulled his hand away from the TV and threw it pointing in my direction. “You and Mila Kunis have the same exact naked body! Look at that ass! They put your butt in a movie! And those are your shoulders.” He pointed back to the paused screen, putting an extra amount of emphasis on the word shoulders. (I never got to the bottom of that.)
If there is one thing that I have learned over the years from being a human, it is to watch out for compliments. Sometimes they are little intended torpedoes launched with an agenda to blow (job). And for the most part, I’m pretty good at deciphering them. It’s a pretty easy system to figure out, but right then? Stumped.
“You just want a blow job.” I looked at him. My eyes narrowed with suspicion. I knew this was probably untrue. I’m not the type of girl that needs a compliment to precede a sexual act. (I prefer my compliments afterwards.) I could tell by the way his face twisted into a give me a break expression, he knew this too. However, the likelihood that I would be able to accept that someone thought I had the same body as GQ’s sexiest woman alive was low. Because despite what everyone may say– I am genetically wired to be a woman and women are programed to think they are fat– always.
“I think your boobs may be a smidge bigger though.” He tilted his head, glancing back at the pixelated shot that was acting as a still rather than a motion picture for the time being. He began rewinding and fast-forwarding: studying her body as if it were a map being charted, dropping pins where Mila and I shared the same geographic features by pointing with his forefinger.
I tried to do the same, but I’ll be honest, I am not an expert on my body- particularly my backside. I tried to see what he was seeing, but all I saw was a chick that was not me with a banging body. It became clear though, that Mike knew every little dimple, crevice, and bump that made up the body of moi.
“Somebody should tell Mila that she’s been paid a compliment of the highest stature.” I said.
“Wait, so if you close your eyes and concentrate hard enough… it’ll be like you’re putting it in Mila’s butt!” I immediately followed up with.
“Now that I know precisely how hot I am, looks like you’re going to have to work harder for me to put out, big guy.”
I began firing jokes. One right after the other. While some girls trash-talk others to feel better about themselves– my defense is to turn a comic eye onto the situation.
He knew too much.
Instinctively I began to get self-conscious. Some of you may be pondering, why would compliments -of all things- make you feel slightly insecure suddenly?
It’s not the compliment; it’s the attention.
I like attention. Anyone that knows me, knows that on some level. But this was the sort of thing that showed that someone was paying more attention than I realized. How did I miss this? Who else had a carefully constructed blueprint of me head-to-toe tucked away in the file cabinet of their dome? What if someone knew more?!
As far as people go, I’m pretty open. I’m also pretty confident. I really like me, and so I like to share it. That was not always the case. I used to think I sucked. (I legitimately feel bad for any man that dated me before I turned 25. Insecurity is the absolute worst thing to try and have a relationship with because you can’t.) I used to be pretty guarded and with certain people, I still am, but not with most. I do not think I would be regarded as someone who is emotionally vacant. (There are probably some dudes that would like to debate that…) In fact, some might even say that I get too emotionally invested in certain things and that my ability to get people to listen to me is simply attention-seeking, annoying bravado. This is an opinion I don’t mind people having.
Because it means they’re not paying actual attention.
They’re focusing on the surface. And that is not intimidating. They know nothing more than what they assume.
But Mike was paying attention. Like real attention. It had become apparent -thank you to Mila’s nice ass- that he had formulated a delineation of my bod and filed it under ‘data important enough to remember.’ It seemed as if he knew my makeup from top to bottom better than the back of his own hand.
So… what the fuck else was he observing and storing? For all I knew, he had a whole secret lair in the back of his mind; walls plastered with different pictures of me and articles cut out from my Facebook page and people’s inboxes where they were discussing my business– strands of my hair tucked in a ziplock baggy and the whole room illuminated by a computer screen that had a flashing beacon pinpointing my exact whereabouts at every moment.
It dawned on me that evening, as much as I like attention, I only like a degree of it. Once that attention starts to ax-pick away into my core, that’s when I back away and turn the eyes elsewhere. I battle with jokes and guard with one-liners. I keep people at bay. I don’t argue with people’s assumptions of my character or their possibly hollow opinions, because I want to keep them at that place: a place where they actually don’t observe shit.
As Mike gave up on trying to convince me that I was Mila Kunis’ body double, he nestled back down on the couch, remote in hand, but before he started the movie back up, he turned to me.
“Do you want me to start the whole sex scene over again?” He tapped my head. “You know, so you can go off into your 20 second secret montage of sex?”
My mouth dropped open and my face flushed red.
It was worse than I thought. This was a total security breach.
My mind began to get defensive and come up with excuses to deny what he thought he knew -and did- but then I stopped.
Wasn’t this what you were supposed to want out of a boyfriend? A guy who would watch chick flicks with you even though he knew you were going to cry at the happy ending and inevitably throw a slipper at him while you said something like “why haven’t you ever orchestrated a flash mob for me?!” A guy who knew you were the sexiest woman ever without having to be told by a men’s magazine? A guy who recognized all those little details that everyone else skipped over or was easily distracted from by a joke? A guy who understands you without you always having to speak it? A guy who actually wants to crack the surface aside from just seeing you naked? A guy who was without a doubt, 100%, head-over-heels for you?
I mean, shit, isn’t that exactly what every chick flick ever made is essentially saying the dream man is? That guy? The guy sitting right next to me? Christ, we women are stupid sometimes.
“Yes,” I said “Start it from the beginning.”
(Side note: If you care to see what I look like naked, apparently a good place to start is seeing Mila Kunis naked. Or a shot of whiskey. That’s a good start too.)