“What do you want to do tonight?”
“I dunno, I’m down for just about anything”
“let’s watch a movie”
Those are the four most confusing words in a non-committed dating scenario. There are so many opportunities that “movies” present for the budding crushees that, despite their reputation as the go-to easy choice, leave you with a headache from over mental exertion.
To illustrate, I have selected choice examples from my own awkward past.
One winter night last January I was the only one home, horribly bored and talking to a boy. I mistakenly confessed the state of my dreary night to this friend and he suggested I come over, to “watch a movie”.
In my mind this boy, we’ll call him Trevor, was so far buried in the friend zone that he’d never dream of breaching the buddy barrier by busting a move. I expected nothing so I drove to his house to “watch a movie”.
The first sign of trouble came in location choice. Instead of choosing to “watch a movie” in the front room with all his roommates, who by the way had just popped in a DVD I had actually been wanting to see, he decided we’d watch something in his room where there was "more room"
I didn’t catch on.
Warning sign numero dos: he chose a chick flick. Chick flicks prey on female emotion. They extract all the lonely inside and slam it back in the form of guilt for not possessing the ability to mold a random stranger into the perfect Hollywood boyfriend. No girl can watch The Notebook or How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days without lusting for Mr. Right. Chances are, however, you’re not “watching a movie” with Mr. Right, so you settle for Mr. Right Now and end up canoodling for two hours before returning home still single and slightly sleazier than when your night started.
While I found the movie choice odd, I was just happy we weren’t watching one of the seventeen WWII documentaries lining his shelves and I, once again, did not catch on to Trevor’s schemes.
I started to get an inkling about Trevor's intentions when he pulled the first of his poorly conducted moves. He first attempted the hand inch.
Normally the hand inch looks something like this:
Mutual satisfaction = Successful Hand inch.
Trevor's Hand inch looked something like this:
A normal guy would have taken a hint and given up at this point, concentrated on the movie and talked to me much less in the future.
Not Trevor. For better or worse, Trevor is a tenacious fellow. Instead of toning it back a notch, he progressed to a full fledged arm reach.
When executed correctly the arm reach should resemble the following:
The same result can be achieved via the pirate:
Trevor tried neither of these maneuvers. Instead he just squirmed his arm around my neck until it ended up behind me.
I was not impressed.
He remained ignorant.
I improvised with less genius this time.
I spent the rest of the night as a contortionist, folding myself further down and scooting away from him with each adjustment.
The next few days were spent with a crick in my back and very sore hamstrings, but I successfully evaded a potentially disastrous cuddle session and who knows what else. I wasn't looking for a cuddle buddy or any benefits from this friend, all I wanted was to be entertained for an hour or so and GO HOME!
This experience led me to explore the cryptic meaning hidden beneath the phrase "watch a movie".
Sometime between the birth of movies and now someone discovered that the silver screen is a great excuse to get “close”. It used to just mean holding hands in the theatre but the world slid down the slutty slope and now movies are rarely used for anything more than a background while you romp around on the couch.
I do not understand this phenomenon.
The movie is distracting and the sound effects invite others in the house to join you. If the end goal is just to score why go through the charade of picking a DVD, discussing how great the film is going to be and waiting the appropriate time allotment before shoving your tongue down your date’s throat? Why can't we just advertise what we're selling instead of morphing movie night into make out bouts?
Obviously this isn’t always the case, but that's where the problem lies - it's not always the case. Nothing is ALWAYS the case. You can go into the situation expecting anything from two hours of cinematic artistry to two hours of jam packed action. This can only result in confusion and subsequent panic.
Obviously the ambiguous connotation "watch a movie" carries is creating problems. I have a suggestion: If you want to actually watch the movie, make this clear. If you're only using the T.V. as a cover for your scandalous intentions, come out and say it. Save your poor date the confusion and clarify.