Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Week With Nicholas Sparks

I may or may not have previously admitted in this place that I like Chick Flicks. Well, not all of them. Not the really sappy stuff that borders on or is soap opera. But give the movie a little solid mystery or intrigue, and I'll go along with the sensitivity.

Enter Nicholas Sparks. Pam and I haven't seen Message in a Bottle or The Notebook, though folks we respect have certainly suggested that these are fine films. However, while on our recent vacation Pam had ventured into Spark's world, and suggested that I join her.

So, I read Message in a Bottle, The Notebook, and The Wedding while lapping up the Sun in Kihei. I will review all three over the course of the next week or so, but here is the impact segment (apologies to Bill O'Reilly.) I don't know a thing about romance. And I'm probably at the top of my class among men. Not a brag, just true. So where does that leave the rest of womankind in their need to be romanced? I can assure you that my wife wishes I were more romantic, and I wish that for her. Is there any hope for slugs like me to become like characters in a Sparks novel?

In The Wedding, Wilson Lewis has been a perfect provider for his family over 30 years of marriage. But he has been either a typical husband, or possibly worse, when it comes to expressing his feelings, love, devotion, concern, empathy, and encouragement towards his wife and kids. The empty nest arrives, and wife Jane takes a hard look at Wilson, and doesn't "love" him any more. It won't ruin the plot or the ending to tell you that Wilson "gets it" and makes a dramatic course correction.

So, I read these three books (and to make it even more interesting, my Bible study is currently in Job), and my only conclusion can be that when God was building me, he must have left out some of the parts.

I don't do certain feelings well. OK. Some I don't do at all. No interest in anger, depression, angst, pity, negativity, dwelling on the past, or pessimism. Not having these in my tool kit will undoubtedly lengthen my life and allow me to live that life healthier. But it results in some folks thinking I'm fake. "Nobody can be up all the time," as one close friend observed.

So, my conversations with my wife, kids, or other intimates, may seem one dimensional, and I suspect that wives want to feel included in all dimensions. That inclusion is part of intimacy and is apparently romantic.

I'm through with this for today. Can anyone help me with this?

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