Tinder isn’t all hookups. In fact, it gave me my girlfriend. And with her, unlimited Netflix and Chill tokens.
Netflix and Chill can also be a struggle. My girlfriend and I have the Chill part down. Netflix? That’s a bigger battle. One of us cares about quality control. The other, well.
Her: OMG Slow Motion Goblin Destroyers XII! Let’s watch that!
Me: Babe. No.
Her: 51 Shades of Paint Drying! The Documentary!
Me: BABE. We can do better. Hang on. Let’s keep looking.
I’ve learned recently, that there’s more at stake when you Netflix and Chill than simply picking a bad movie.
In fact, a movie can pressure-test your relationship.
We were on the couch together looking for a movie to watch.
After scrolling for a full 10 minutes, we finally just decided to pick one at random from the classics menu.
‘Legends of The Fall’ came up and I clicked it on a whim.
In retrospect, I actually really enjoyed the movie. But I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. The film is a total fantasy sesh for women. It’s about 3 brothers and their complicated relationships with each other.
And what helps a strained relationship between three single 20-something brothers? Let’s put plop a beautiful woman between the three of them, with not another woman in sight for hundreds of miles.
There’s an opening scene as she arrives in town in a buggy with one brother. We meet Tristan (aka Peak Brad Pitt). He’s ‘the rebellious one’.
He comes galloping up on his beautiful horse. They have matching beautiful long blonde hair.
He walks over to introduce himself.
My girlfriend laughed and said, “Jesus. He’s so obnoxiously attractive. I can’t even focus.” We made a few jokes about his over-the-top looks.
But then I realized, maybe I shouldn’t have put on a movie that not only has Peak Brad Pitt, but is also filled with hundreds of horses, and handsome men riding said horses.
Why? Because my girlfriend is a verified, Goldstar, horse girl. She’s ridden her whole life. In her family pictures, she had horse shirts on as a toddler.
She also has a fine appreciation for men. Brad Pitt. Likey, likey.
Even I was joking, “This is like the ultimate gay test. Every time he looks at me I squirm. He…he…so purty.”
We kept joking and watching. Then, a few minutes later, I looked over and saw her eyes. She was in a trance.
Laura’s horse suddenly panics. Its front legs go vertical and she tumbles off the saddle, falling with a loud thud. Everything went black.
She opens her eyes. Looking down at her is a long-haired Brad Pitt.
“Are you ok?” he reached down, patting her forehead with a washcloth.
They’re in a dimly lit bedroom. There are candles to her right.
“You took a nice fall there. I tried to catch your horse but he took off. I have a spare to help you get home.
Or you can stay here with me for a few days if you want.”
“Babe?” I said.
“Huh?” She replied.
“You were staring very strangely at the screen. Just wondering if everything is OK?”
We kept watching as the brothers fight through World War I.
As Peak Brad Pitt ran across the trenches, bullets whistling by his head, I noticed my ordinarily-indifferent-to-movies girlfriend suddenly clenching the side of the couch. Her mouth was open. She was once again in a trance.
<phone rings, Laura picks up phone>
Brad: Hey Laura, It’s Brad. Want to come to ride horses in Montana with me? I found this 2,000-acre field of rolling green hills. I wasn’t sure where you were.
Laura, in an extremely brief moment, considers that she has a boyfriend named Sean Kernan. And he’s totally amazing and loves her.
Laura: Well…I don’t know if I should but…OK fine. Just don’t post on Facebook about it.”
I was watching my girlfriend fall in love with Peak Brad Pitt.
He chases her on his horse across flowery meadows. They have a picnic on a cliff at sunset. He tells her about his fondest childhood memories and his contrarian philosophies that his brothers disagree with.
She calls me in a free moment to say her business trip was going great, that she couldn’t wait to come home and see me.
I’m like, “Oh great! She’s totally not sleeping with Peak Brad Pitt!”
Then, Brad begs her not to leave and they get into a huge fight. He says a bunch of things he regrets and she storms out.
He comes back later, “Laura, please forgive me! I’ve been a fool. Look! I found your lost horse and brought him with me!”
Laura never gets through movies. Invariably, she is snoring at the 75% mark.
But once this one ended? Her eyes were wide open.
She turned to me and said, “Wow! That was such a good movie! Want to watch it again?”
I realized in the moment that I had two choices: be jealous of Brad Pitt, or understand that our relationship was strong enough to withstand the pressure-test of his ridiculous blond hair.
Couples could benefit from joking about this stuff. When I hear someone say they can’t even acknowledge the existence of an attractive person around their partner, a part of me dies. It’s insecure and neurotic.
See the world as it is, together. Make it fun.
Cause guess what guys, yeah, your girlfriend is allowed to think a lead actor is hot. Just get over it and go with it.
But, sadly, I know how weak-sauce some of these guys are. Out there, some guy is like, “Yeah, I had to end things with her. She told me she found Chris Hemsworth attractive.”
These damn Hemsworths. They make too many of them.
For the record, I ran the story by her beforehand.
She’s an academic and edits, a lot :)