Sunday, August 02, 2009

Horror movie

Okay, though I promised this blog will only be shallow and happy, this post will stray from that and offer you a peek into what really goes on in my mind. And, as most of my closest know, my mind hardly dwells on shallow and happy things.

Vince and I watched Revolutionary Road. We wanted to watch this movie before since it stars the marvelous actors Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, who, in this film, are both utterly brilliant, magnificent and terrifying in their rawness. I can't believe Brad Pitt got nominated for that CG-heavy flick and Leo didn't even get a nod for this movie! Anyway, we also avoided this film because from the trailer alone, it scared us. But, because we spent the weekend stuck indoors due to me feeling under the weather, we finally watched it.Revolutionary Road is the story of a young couple seemingly leading perfect lives--he's rising in the corporate world, she's a beautiful homemaker, they have lovely children and they live in a large house in a good neighborhood. Perfect. Of course we all know that it isn't perfect--perfection can be a burden and Frank and April Wheeler show us, with frightening honesty, how perfection and conformity can unravel you.

The movie horrified Vince and me because it's too close to home. Everyone thinks we're the perfect couple. I'm telling you now--we're not. Put two moody writers together, one almost an OCD with cleanliness and the other a cluttery creature, both with terrible tempers and you've got two people who are armed and ready to tear each other down. We don't... but we have, regrettably so, and we can, and that threat of destruction hovers over us.

Then there's that pressure to conform. When Vince and I got engaged after eight years, we laughed at how people were not so much as congratulatory as relieved: "Oh, they're normal. They're getting married!" Of course now that we're more than two years married, everyone's impatient for us to have kids and when we tell them we have utterly no plans on procreating, the worry creeps into people's eyes and we can see that they think we're unhinged: How can anyone in their right minds not want to have children?!

Well, as Frank and April laughed about in the movie, "Did you see their faces?! Let them think we're crazy!" Brave words but soon enough, they allow normalcy and societal standards to swallow them up and they are overwhelmed and tragedy ensues.Vince and I don't want to be normal. But it's hard not to follow society's rules and expectations. For example, when Frank and April told their neighbors, the Campbells, they were going to live in Paris, the other couple thought they were insane. Later in their bedroom, Mrs. Campbell collapses in hysterical tears, relieved her husband has no such crazy ideas and petrified that her perfect little suburban paradise--husband, the house, its pretty trappings, the family car all bought with respectable bank loans and rv finance plans, position in society--was threatened by the Wheelers' decision to break from normalcy. People feel that way towards us, and it used to be funny but now it's unsettling.

As most of my family and friends know, Vince and I are unorthodox. But we've grown up, and even we realize that we have to be grown-ups if we are to be taken seriously. Still, we're relieved we have no children yet because we can still be crazy, there's no need for us to be good examples for the next generation. There is so much freedom now. One day, however, the kids will come and then... how do we stay free when our children need structure, how can we tell our children to be good citizens when their parents are troublemakers--a role we revel in?

We know that we have to sacrifice our dreams and adopt the dreams of others (kids, the corporate jobs, the religion, etc) so that people will accept us. And in this world, do we really want to remain outsiders? We understand what society expects. We are asked to "grow up." We have begun to succumb to the demands. Because we also know that in the end, it's not so bad. And yet, the claustrophobia descends.

Sigh. Sorry. Regular programming after this.


  1. I haven't had the chance to watch this movie, but I can so relate to this post. I think we all go through this at some point.

  2. Would you believe this is one of your best? More!

  3. Oh what a relief, StyleKit! I thought everyone in the world just wants to have babies! I guess V and I just need to get used to the idea...

    Thanks, Tito Henry! Thanks for understanding and not judging me =D

  4. You shouldn't have kids - because you're not ready to have them. I mean, you maybe very well capable o raising them and caring for them, but you still may not be ready. And kudos to both of you for accepting that. Many couples cant wait to have kids even when they have no right to have them yet.

    Maybe you don't have to be in a hurry to grow up.

    I'm just saying. :)

  5. Hey, Verabear, thanks! You're right--we're really still just too selfish at this point. Some people have told us what you said--that it's good we're aware of our limitations and what we really want. But most people are really just, "Everyone does it! Now get with the program!"

    We want to have kids when we're really really ready. It can be next year, it can be 5 years from now, it can also be never.

  6. love this post! hey I'm not married and I'm not sure I ever want to be - you should see the face I get when I share that :)

  7. Oh, Bucca, I also never wanted to get married and people actually got upset! My dad was especially shocking when he said, "Get pregnant so that he'd marry you!" And he's a fundamentalist Christian!!! I did finally get married but only when I was ready. Well, at least my dad's happy now =D

  8. Hi Frances - I can totally relate to what you say in this post, especially in regard to people expecting you to have children. Me and my hubby are the odd couple out, because we consciously choose not to have kids and devote out time to other beneficial causes. We have long agreed that what is 'normal' for the majority does not apply for us. We strive for balance rather than perfection!
    Great post!

  9. Hi Frances. Yes children need structure. My husband and I are quite unorthodox too.It's hard for us to provide as much structure in our little family's lives as we can. Don't have kids when you're not ready. We really love our children, but sometimes my husband and I would look at each other and ask, "What in the world did we get ourselves into?" :)

  10. my hubby and i think that the movie is more about marital relationship and not about conforming with the society. its about being true to each other, being sensitive of your partner's needs. it teaches us not to be selfish but be giving to your partner instead. i agree with the other comments here that you are not ready. more maturity is needed. in the end, life is more than shoes. you should widen your topaz horizon. have a nice day! :)


  11. Haha, Terence, life is indeed more than shoes! Don't you see that I see that? =D

    Unlike a lot of people who just blindly get married, blindly get pregnant, I see that marriage and parenthood is a HUGE responsibility--a realization that requires a good depth of insight and maturity. I just don't understand why people insist that for me to be complete, I have to be married with kids.

    Goodness, I really feel bad for the single people out there, or those who are unable to have kids! Society looks down on them--on me!--with scorn!

  12. Uh, Terence, your husband and you clearly MISSED THE POINT of Revolutionary Road. It was based on the Richard Yates' novel on the fact that the American Dream is actually an AMERICAN NIGHTMARE of the cookie-cutter suburbia and conformity. You've obviously never read the novel, and even when you watched the movie, its true message was lost on you. The book and the movie were commentaries on how we all become FOLLOWERS and how that can subsequently destroy a marriage. YEESH! Ang babaw mo!

    Frances, you don't have to have kids. Despite saying you're "succumbing", I can see na ayaw mo talaga. Okay lang yan. I honestly like your blog for its happy vibe--cyberspace is already overcrowded with all these mommies saying one boring thing: I LOVE MY BABY! Yeah, yeah.

  13. Hi Duni, yes, V and I also believe that we'll be more productive and better members of society if we remain childless. But we're young so we may yet change our minds! I do admire you and your husband for your decision!

    TaniV, haha, then I will most definitely be needing your advice if ever I become a mom!

    RomyA, thanks for pointing out to Terence the real message of Revolutionary Road. But I didn't publish na your more violent comments, okay?

  14. Hmmm. Been wanting to watch that movie. And in a way, I can relate to the whole nonconformity and people seeing those who think differently from the norm as nothing less than crazy. I guess in a world where so many of my peers are having babies left and right (and we're all in our early twenties!), they all look at me expectantly and are aghast when I tell them having children--or even getting married--is so far down the road for me, I might not even get there.

    It baffles them even more that I'm perfectly okay with it.

    The movie seems like a nice commentary on society's expectations and how much harder we have to fight against it if we wish to live the lives WE want as opposed to the lives the rest of the world says we SHOULD have. Will definitely watch na. Haha.

  15. Wow, Neighbor. This is so powerful and wonderfully written! Like what Papa said, "More please." :)

  16. Maris, yes, why is it so wrong to live and love the way we want? I mean, as long as we aren't hurting anybody, right?

    Neighbor! Thanks! You and your dad are very kind.


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