Fighting At The Picture Show

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.

It’s strange, but I remember a lot of my fights with Stef more clearly than I remember the really good times. I know that there were good times and many of them, but the really clear moments from our first months together often involve what we were arguing about at any given time.

For instance, we had one silly fights before dates sometimes. When we went to see the Disney movie of the moment, Mulan this summer, we almost didn’t end up going in. I don’t remember the particulars of the fight but it probably involved me not being romantic enough or of being too distant. It might have involved me being unable to find a job for a couple of weeks. I don’t remember what it was about, but I have a very clear memory of us sitting in my 87 Ford Tempo in the parking lot of the Lawrence Showcase Cinemas arguing about whether or not we would even go in to see the movie.

We did eventually go in. I think we called a truce and then resumed our arguing after the movie, which was pretty good.

It occurs to me now that, because the movie had to do with a girl asserting herself and going after her dreams (the type of movie which, during that period, always upset Stef), our fights before and after might have had something to do with me not understanding what she was going through in terms of not knowing where her heart was in terms of her dancing. I was probably too absorbed in my own grand imaginings for my upcoming senior project.

Whatever the case, I thought I should note that we had an awful lot of silly fights during those first few months. The thing is, I never minded them too much. By this point in my life I’d come to realize that relationships were work. And, when it was apparent she wasn’t going to break up with me after every little tiff (which is another place tension might have come from… I was always afraid she was going to break it off with me after two months, because that’s what every other girl did) then I suddenly felt freeer to be me and such.