Finding the Who that matters …

Today, Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin begin to battle it out in the romantic comedy Something Borrowed. Of course I will go to see it. And of course I decided (earlier this week) to read the book. Don’t worry, it’s not that complex of a story.

Overall, I like how Giffin immerses you into the characters, especially Rachel (played by Goodwin). You legitimately feel bad for her, falling in love with her best friend’s fiance and all. I mean, she did have three years of him all to herself and seven or so of a dating relationship, but I digress. One night and much alcohol later, she finds herself in love with the one man she can’t have.

The problem isn’t that she has an affair with her best friend’s husband (at this point, the difference is slim). It’s not even that she and Dex have absolutely no regrets about what they’re doing or that part of her sees him as a way to get back of twenty-something years of Darcy walking all over her. No, the problem is that as I am reading this book, I am rooting for the illegitimate pair.

I want Rachel and Dex to end up together. No offense to Hudson, but I really hate Darcy. She’s obnoxious and self-obsessed, and she represents everything I hate about young America. We have absolutely no space in our personal bubble for other people’s problems. But, even me wanting the affair to make it is only part of the problem because that’s how I’m supposed to feel.

When did we start wanting the demise of a committed relationship? Think about it. We’re in a point of culture where marriage is sidled right up to the “ball and chain” metaphor. We like having the freedom to roam where our heart desires, eat whatever, drink wherever, and sleep with whoever we feel is right in this moment.

I’ve spent the last year of my life living directly in the moment. We moved to Austin on a complete whim–houseless and jobless, yet completely certain that this was in fact where we were meant to be right now. And yes, everything did turn out good for us. We found jobs, we found an apartment, and we started to develop a life. However, I’m beginning to realize that those things–the where and the what–are the things that can in fact change without much harm. But the who–the one that you pick and you stick with–that is the thing worth holding onto. We need to stop celebrating noncommitment and start believing in something that is real with someone who will be there tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that.

Now, as I step down from my soapbox, I understand that this is in fact the point of the book. Rachel is searching for that very part of life–the who–and she wants so badly to be able to wake up next to Dex morning after morning, to the point that her job and the life she had worked so diligently to build didn’t matter any more.

But the question still remains: Why does it take an affair to learn this lesson?


About katepadilla

I write for the Spencer Daily Reporter in Spencer, Iowa. I keep blogs lifebythebooks, Save Me, San Francisco, and Beauty and Beast Buy a House. I'm also hard at work writing a short story collection inspired by the music of Train.

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  1. Blue and Beautiful « life by the books - November 6, 2011

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