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Laura on Life

Chick flicks and other horrors

By Laura Snyder

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[August 15, 2008]  My husband is like any other man with a lick of testosterone. He would rather see a movie with violent explosions or be scared out of his pants by some horror flick than be subjected to a romance or a musical. But he is different in some ways, too.

He will see a romance or a musical if it's something I really want to see. Before you think, "Well, that isn't so different," let me tell you one more way that he's different.

He will go with me without complaining about it and even tell me that it was good when it's over. He does this so well, now, that sometimes I really think he means it.

Those kindnesses have kept our marriage a happy one for 27 years. He also understands that there is a difference between him seeing a chick flick for me and me seeing a massacre movie for him.

No matter how strong my stomach is when it comes to diaper-changing and other horrors that would traumatize my husband, I just can't stand to watch some villain threaten, hurt or kill someone else. I'm not that strong. It would severely damage my psyche.

My husband senses this and wouldn't have it any other way. He needs that sensitivity in me as much as I need the tough part of him. Part of being so tough is surviving a chick flick with such grace.

My oldest son could learn something from his dad. His girlfriend and I wanted to see "Mamma Mia." We could've and would've gone together without the men, but my husband and I don't see them that often, and it would've been nice to do something together.

Picking up on this, my husband immediately volunteered to go with us. He's been introduced to many chick flicks in our 27 years and is used to them now. My son, however, declared that he'd rather stick a hot poker into his eyeballs than watch a musical. He wasn't being literal I hope. But needless to say, he really didn't want to go.

It took quite a bit of cajoling, and probably a promise from his girlfriend to see "Lord of the Rings" trilogy with him again, before he agreed to go, but that didn't stop him from complaining about it every step of the way.

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His girlfriend and I were really looking forward to it, though, and my husband was just happy that I was happy. When we arrived, we bought some snacks. My son bought what he called his "Chick Flick Kit," which, incidentally, may be a new way for theater owners to market their wares. His kit was comprised of an order of nachos, the largest popcorn he could get and a large drink, which was refillable. The refillable part was mandatory because it would give him the necessary excuse to exit the theater in the middle of a particularly mushy musical segment.

We had to stand in line for a short time. During that time, my son imagined that every able-bodied man who was going to see "Dark Knight" was staring at him as if trying to determine what his sexual orientation was. I pointed out that there were many men standing in line for "Mamma Mia," but he decided they were all missing a Y chromosome.

I looked again. What I saw were happy couples, and I knew that these men were still in love with their wives. They were men who intended to stay with these women forever and were committed to their happiness, even if they had to choke down a stupid musical every now and then. Either that, or they lost a bet.

When Pierce Brosnan began to sing, my son could've been a poster child for spontaneous combustion. Suddenly, he decided he needed more soda and popcorn.

When we finally left the theater, my son's girlfriend and I were still humming ABBA tunes while my son turned green. We soon found out that it was not because of the songs we were humming, but because of the amount of popcorn and soda he had consumed. He said he felt like a humongous bag of wet packing peanuts.

No wonder he didn't like chick flicks. He got sick on popcorn and soda whenever he saw one. Well, he'll learn someday, I thought.

Thankfully, my husband gets it, though. I looped my arm through his and hugged him as we walked to the car.

[By LAURA SNYDER]

You can reach the writer at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com Or visit www.lauraonlife.com for more columns and info about her books.

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