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“Damn the man! Save the Empire!” February 24, 2010

Posted by osyrn in Me being me!.
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9 comments

A week or so ago one of my good friends Doug picked me up at my house.  We were going to dinner and a play with a girl he’s been dating and a friend of hers.  He picked me up first and our next stop (a few blocks away) was to his date’s house.  I got in the back seat so she could sit up front with him.  As he got in the driver’s seat he turned to me and said “Where to sir?”  Without hesitation or thought I instinctively said “The opera Rattigan.”  (Ten points for getting that last quote right before I tell you what it is).  Doug looked at me and said “The Secret of My Success.”  We both laughed as he drove down the street.  That little exchange got me thinking.  I do the movie quote thing a lot with my male friends (and female friends for that matter, although I usually get the “are you talking to me?” look from them, haha).  Why is that?  Why do men quote movies all the time?  So I started doing a bit of research.

The internet being what it is these days, anything is within pretty easy reach if you know where to look.  I think Boomhauer said it best, “that dang ol’ Internet, man. You just go on there and point and click. Talk about W-W-dot-W-com.  Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. It’s real easy, man.”  Well, it is real easy.  Within a few minutes I found what I was looking for.  Chris McKendry, an ESPN Sportscenter Anchor and online columnist wrote an article about this exact thing several years ago (the original article can be found here http://a.espncdn.com/page2/movies/s/mckendry/020828.html ).  If you don’t feel like reading the entire article, I’ll regurgitate her five main points.  1. It’s a bonding exercise.  2. Men can’t express themselves, and need the help. 3. Nothing to talk about. 4. Fear of intimacy. 5. Quotes become part of the subconscious.

Now, while I don’t necessarily agree with numbers 2, 3, and 4, as that doesn’t describe me, nor my friends necessarily.  I think 1 and 5 are spot on.  Number 5 you witnessed in the opening story with Doug and happens more times than I can count.  Most of the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it.  As for her first point, there is one incident that clearly stands out in my mind.

One of my good friends Greg Gordy is in the process of starting his own vineyard/winery.  Back in May of 2007 I went down to Ringgold, Georgia (Gordy’s home town and where he’s starting his vineyard/winery) for a week to help Gordy work on the vineyard.  We spent a week working in the hot northwest Georgia sun, digging around in the red Georgia clay.  While out working on the vineyard, we passed the time by quoting movies.  It started with “Oh Brother Where Art Thou.”  Once we had basically quoted the entire movie we moved on to “Pulp Fiction.”  Once we exhausted that movie we went back to Oh Brother, haha.

To this day, we can be sitting around and one of us will go “*sniff*, ‘speck you want them chains knocked off?”, and it just starts all over from there.  Admittedly, it’s kinda sad, hahaha, because one of us will take one or more roles and the other will pick up the remaining characters, and basically act the scenes out almost word for word.

Is it because we have nothing else to talk about, can’t express ourselves, or fear intimacy?  Absolutely not.  We talk about plenty of other things (some of then intellectual and thought provoking), but somehow, invariably, movie quotes always insert themselves into our conversation.

This also seems to work with people I’ve just met or barely know.  Quote a movie, they pick up on it, and all of sudden you’ve got a common thread that ties you together and often will lead to more stimulating conversation.

Those of you who know me are sitting there reading this either shaking your head thinking, “yep, that’s Chuck,” or nodding your head thinking, “yep, that’s Chuck.”  It doesn’t make me unique or special, although, I am unique and special (my momma told me so :)), it just makes me a guy!

So what did I learn from all this?  The big thing I take away from this, is men use this as a bonding tool (at least I do with my friends, can’t speak for all men).  Sure, there are other reasons too, but it brings us closer together in a “manly” sort of way (yeah, sports do that too, but not all guys watch sports.  I know, the horror!).  So ladies, the next time you hear a guy quote a movie, or several guys are standing around holding a conversation in nothing but movie quotes, maybe now you’ll have a better understanding why, and guys, maybe you’ll understand too.

Are men cluttering up their brains with useless movie quotes when we would be better off using our grey matter to remember what we should be picking up from the grocery store on the way home?  Yep!  But hey, we’re men, cut us some slack!  That being said, I’ll take my leave of you for now, I’ve got a movie to watch!

“…and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!”

Why I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day! February 14, 2010

Posted by osyrn in Me being me!.
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12 comments

So why don’t I celebrate Valentine’s Day?  For those who know me, you may think it’s because I’m currently single.  While that may seem the logical choice why I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, it is not the reason.  Even when I’m in a relationship I still really do not celebrate Valentines Day, not in the traditional sense (i.e. cards, flowers, candy, etc.).  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against Valentine’s Day, the idea behind it is great.  Take one day out of the year to show the person you love what they mean to you (or anyone special in your life, friends, family, etc.).  The problem I have with Valentine’s Day, well, really two problems, is one, the commercialization of the entire thing, and two, the fact that society states that “you must show your significant other you love them on this particular day of the year or you’re a bad person.”  That you have an obligation to buy stuff to show your love.

In all honestly, those two problems are really one in the same.  Think about it. You have all these commercials/advertisements on television, radio, internet, in grocery stores, drug stores, etc. saying “buy something expensive to show your love!”  Actually, it doesn’t even have to be something expensive.  Anything and everything is peddled, like the shady street vendor in a back alley selling knock-off Rolex’s for $5 one day and fake Coach bags for $10 the next.  Candy, cards, teddy bears, jewelry, flowers, mints, balloons, lingerie, and the list goes on and on and on.  Society says “you must buy one (or more) of these things for your significant other to show your love.”  My question is why?  Why do you have to do that?  The answer is you don’t!

Now, I know ladies, you love getting flowers, candies, etc. (and I love giving those sorts of things), but why do you have to get them on just this one day?  I say you don’t.  Me personally, when I’m in a relationship, I do those sort of little things any day of the year.  I mean seriously, how nice is it for her to come home on a random Wednesday evening, after a tough day at work, and there is a beautiful bouquet of flowers on the kitchen table, just because.  Every day should be a day when you tell/show that significant person in your life how you feel about them, even if it’s something as simple as an email or a text that says “Hi!”.  Not a day should go by when that person should ever wonder whether you love them or if they are on your mind, even if it’s just taking a few minutes out of a hectic work day to call and chat for five minutes.

So again, I ask, why should you buy all that stuff, just because it’s Valentine’s Day?  And again I say, you don’t have to.  I have several couple friends who feel the same.  They still do things for one another on Valentine’s Day, but it’s simple things like, leaving a love note on the bathroom counter in the morning, or cooking a romantic meal together and eating by candlelight with a nice bottle of wine.  Valentine’s Day can be simple, inexpensive, and just as romantic (if not more so) without all the commercialized crap.

Me, I’m just a hopeless romantic and all the hoopla of Valentine’s Day is lost on me.  You shouldn’t need Valentine’s Day to show appreciation and love for that special someone in your life.  By all means, do it on February 14, but do it the other 364 days of the year too.  Take the spirit of Valentine’s Day and spread it throughout the entire year.  Take a spontaneous romantic weekend trip the beach. Go out for a walk, hand in hand, and buy an ice cream cone.  Have a nice Saturday night in, light some candles, order take-out, and watch a movie.  It doesn’t matter what you do.  Sure, we have deemed today is Valentine’s Day, but Valentine’s can and should be any day of the year, not just February 14.  So put the chocolates, card, and teddy bear back on the shelf.  Walk out of the CVS, go home, hug your significant other, and tell them you love them.  Not because it’s Valentine’s Day, but because you mean it!

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody!

With much love!