Guest blogger Judi Lembke is filling in today, to discuss again how what you once enjoyed in popular culture before infidelity, may now revolt you.
By Judi Lembke
Before STBX and I were married one of the cable channels had Bridges on heavy rotation – I think I must have watched it more than a dozen times in a single month. And I cried each and every time I watched it.
I cried when the Clint Eastwood character was trying to get her to run away, saying ‘this kind of certainty comes but once in a lifetime’. I cried when she realised she couldn’t do it to her children and husband, no matter how much she wanted to. I cried when she was in the truck, holding tightly to the door handle while good old Clint was in the truck ahead, fondling her necklace hanging from his rear view mirror. Hell, I was cheering that bitch on, screaming ‘goooo! GOOOOO! This is love! Dump that boring-assed sad-sack of a husband of yours who always slams the porch door, is more interested in the cows than you and who just doesn’t get your need for excitement. ‘ I even cried when she realised it was meatloaf for dinner. Again.
Now I look at that film and I feel sorry for the husband, as well as the kids. I think ‘you silly cow, you left Italy for what you thought was going to be an excitement-filled life in the States and now you’re pissed because it’s the same life you probably would have had back home, but with worse food and in a foreign language? Boo fucking hoo. You’re now thinking of tossing it all in for someone you’ve known FOUR FUCKING DAYS???’
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? The photographer, Robert, with his handpicked flowers and beer in the back of his truck and those glamorous yet playfully charming stories of shooting chimps in the wild are enough to make her consider throwing her whole life away, the life she built for a couple of decades. Throw in some socializing on the ‘wrong’ side of the tracks along with a lot of hot monkey sex after banging farmer boy for all those years and she lost her dang mind in less than a week.
Sure, she ‘comes to her senses’ and stays, but what does she do for the rest of her life? Slumps about mooning over her ‘lost love’ and when her devoted husband is lying on his deathbed HE ends up grovelling and apologizing to HER for her boring-assed life and not ‘giving her what she wanted’. Like it’s up to him to ‘make’ her happy.
And then? THEN??? She leaves her diaries to her kids, lets them know that cheating is awesome and says she doesn’t want to be buried next to their father, who honoured her throughout their marriage. No, instead she wants to ‘be with Robert in death’.
The whole thing pisses me off. You want to know why? Because you know and I know – we just KNOW – that had she ditched her family and run off with sexy picture boy the hot monkey sex would have worn off within a year or two, she’d have ended up stuck in some shitty apartment keeping the home fires burning while he went off on more shoots and she’d be going nuts wondering if some other lonely housewife had caught his fancy while he was on the road. When he returned from his jaunts she’d be there, ready for a bitch-fest because she already knows he’s a cheater.
Or maybe he’d be the one going nuts while on the road, knowing that she’s easily bored and maybe some guy was going to come along and ‘relieve’ her boredom while he’s trying to make enough dosh to bring home the bacon.
Either way it was a clusterfuck from the get-go and the movie now irritates me beyond words because it sells that fantasy of true love at first sight and how people just get ‘swept away’ and ‘it just happens’. Francesca and Robert didn’t get swept away and it didn’t just happen; they chose, very consciously, to have an affair and it was probably a million times more exciting than their normal, hum drum lives. But in the end, it would have been a disaster, the collateral damage would have been enormous and once they got past the initial la la phase it would have ended up with him slamming the door the ‘wrong’ way and her producing fart bubbles during their long baths together.
And the unicorns would have run away long ago.