A Bitter Belief

Jack: What kind of movies do you pre­fer, the ones with the sad end­ings or the hap­py ones?

Claire: The sad ones def­i­nite­ly. I like movies that make me cry.

Jack: Then you’re with the right guy.

Jack is the lead­ing man. Such screen time is only reserved for pro­tag­o­nists, though anti-hero’s fit this mould too. You want to root for him, to dis­cov­er that in the end he’s smart enough to give up the crim­i­nal life, to stay out of trou­ble, to tru­ly appre­ci­ate the one who loves him. That’s what Claire is bank­ing on too.

She wants to ful­fill the dream that she’ll get the bad boy, and she’ll be the one for whom he gives up his crim­i­nal life. A sto­ry that’s been told time and time again, in life and on the screen. But he won’t, and that makes her want him even more.

Through their rela­tion­ship, you have a hard time believ­ing that any­one would be so self-destruc­tive to fall for a guy like this, the way you don’t believe a pro­fes­sion­al assas­sin would sud­den­ly devel­op a con­science when dis­cov­er­ing that his mark is a 12-year-old girl. But this is Hollywood, and we’re lead to believe that any­thing is pos­si­ble.

And as he cleans Claire’s blood off his bed­room floor, you real­ize that it’s hard­er to believe he was able to fill a buck­et of water from the faucet when he just got out on parole and his util­i­ty bills have been unpaid for over a year, than a girl falling in love with some­one so bad for her. After all, life has not proven oth­er­wise.

This qui­et­ly fills you with bit­ter­ness.


  1. Women. Want. To. Change. Men.

    Unfortunately, very few suc­ceed. I can’t blame them for the effort. After all, it’s for the bet­ter. GIRLS want bad boys. I don’t believe WOMEN do.

    I’m a stoned-faced, hard nosed Marine Corps drill instruc­tor… who loves chil­dren and sap­py movies and cud­dly things. Women want to change me, with­out know­ing me.

    I’m bit­ter for this with­out real rea­son.

    • I think you have every rea­son to be bit­ter about this. You’re being judged quite unfair­ly when these women don’t tru­ly know you.

  2. Bitterness. Not so much as the desire to prove them wrong. If Hollywood is any indi­ca­tion of main­stream ide­al­ism of love, then by all means, I’ve always sought to show that those ideas can be chucked out the win­dow.

    There are women in the world who don’t want to change the men they are with. Just as there are men in the world who want to change the women they are with. You just need to know what kind of per­son you’re more com­fort­able with. Girls who want bad boys or women who are sick and tired of it.

    For this rea­son I stopped going out with women whom I know are uncom­fort­able with the mor­bid sense of humour and curios­i­ty that I hold on to. Stuck with those that do like a change in per­cep­tion. The ben­e­fit to that, we both stay the same and we both change at the same time with­out notic­ing it. That kind of mutu­al sym­bio­sis in a rela­tion­ship, whether you’re good or bad, is what we should all look for.

    • You bring up a good point. It’s very hard for me to be with some­one who wants to change me. Maybe I’m just too old now, or too stub­born, but I don’t want to change to fit the needs of some­one else (unless it’s an improve­ment that’s in line with my own per­son­al prin­ci­ples). I like me.

  3. I don’t think that women start out want­i­ng to change men. (Girls may, but not women). However, there are two pit­falls that inevitably hap­pen simul­ta­ne­ous­ly:

    1) Men often hide all their bad boy behav­iour until we’re awash with hyp­no­sis and can’t believe they’d do some­thing awful; and
    2) Women are prone to being glassy eyed roman­tics any­way and often mis­read obvi­ous signs due to
    a) fairy­tale and hol­ly­wood rub­bish and altru­ism
    b) girl­friends’ and peers’ mis­in­for­ma­tion and
    c) Misinformation from Mom lurk­ing beneath every­thing
    that makes her feel crap­py about her­self.

    I think c) is the big one that fells most women.

    • What piss­es me off is that I believe I don’t think any of those points relate or apply to me, and yet I’m the one who has to deal with the con­se­quences of them.

  4. You’re so very right. They don’t. It sucks.

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