Watching Chick Flix (and Maintaining My Man Card)

If you’re a man and married to a woman such as my lovely Bride, you have (at least from time to time) been coerced into watching a chick flick. I used to moan and complain when this occurred; but lately, I’ve given in with much more ease. The reason is, actually like a few of these.

Take, for instance, “You’ve Got Mail.” This innocuous, little flick has an interesting storyline and some snappy dialog. It gets tuned in at our house every time it’s aired. Don’t tell anyone, but I still get a tad teary-eyed when Joe and Kathleen finally get together.

A few others get viewed each time they’re scheduled. They are (in no particular order) “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Raising Helen,” “When Harry Met Sally,” and “The Lake House.” I particularly like the later of these because of the sci-fi/fantasy element embedded it. Playing with time the way it does can cause one’s brain synapses to fire at odd intervals. It’s highly stimulating.

James Garner is the Best

Then, of course, there’s my fave love story of all time (aside from “The Natural”) which happens to be “The Notebook.” I’m not sure what it is about this movie, but it tears me up every time I see it. For whatever reason, however, it doesn’t seem to be broadcast with the regularity of the others (which seem to be playing on some channel at least every other day).

“The Notebook” is a fabulous story of l’amour (at least in my view). As an extra added plus, it stars James Garner who happens to be one of my all-time favorites. Ever since my childhood when he starred as Bret Maverick in the old time western TV series, “Maverick,” I’ve enjoyed almost everything he did. He was a master at taking a serious role and making me laugh in the middle of it all. Gena Rowlands does a great job as well. Still, I must admit, it’s just another chick flick.

My son-in-law has threatened to have my man card revoked over things like this. I should say, for the sake of any woman reading this, this is one of the worst threats a dude can receive. We’d rather hear almost anything but that. On some level, our manhood is all we’ve got. Risking it for a few moments of amorous joy and nostalgic emotion can be a big gamble (even if it’s presumably to please your spouse). I try to avoid letting him know when we’ve watched one of these films. It’s just easier all the way around.

Maintaining my Man Card

Of course, I can rationalize all this to my advantage because my lovely Bride also watches baseball and football games with me. A certain amount of give and take can be good for any relationship. As the Apostle Paul once wrote, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33) I’m guessing that chick flicks are part of the equation. Amen.

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently pastor of Smith Chapel in Great Falls, VA.]


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