11 December 2011

"One Day" takes me back to my own British Romance

Jenny and I had some time for a movie night at home last night, and after a look around, we decided to indulge our Anglophilia with a look at "One Day," an Anne Hathaway vehicle that came out last August.

The movie follows two friends whose relationship begins on July 15, 1988, the night of their college graduation, and follows them through every July 15 for the next 23years. They engage with other lovers, and they forge new careers, but their friendship remains a constant and pushes them inexorably toward romance.

This blog isn't meant to be a review of the movie, which has its flaws, but  it was easy to connect the movie with some experiences that had a huge impact on my life--and it is my own story (and that of my Bride) that the movie brought to life for me.

There are two connections:  one basic and one much, much deeper, that the movie raised for me.

I went to college in England for a year, my sophomore undergraduate year, 1990-91.  When I left at the of the year, I had built a close friendship with a woman named Jenny George (among many of the close, lifelong friendships I formed that year).  Emma and Dexter, the characters in "One Day," are thrown together on the last night of the year.  My friendship with Jenny grew over the course of the year, and involved numerous adventures which have been posted on this blog and will continue to present themselves, I'm sure, as the years go by.

One of the great challenges that our friendship faced that year--and in the years that followed--was how it would impact our relationship going forward. At one point during the year, Jenny talked to me about becoming more than friends, but I wasn't ready for a "real" relationship yet.  It was the frank honesty of our relationship that allowed me to express that to her--and let us remain friends.

By the time of my sophomore year, when I met Jenny at Newbold College, I had been through many swift romances, and I had had my share of dead-end physical relationships.  I needed friendship, I knew, and while I had many close female friends, I knew that doomed, whirlwind, physical relationships were sure ways to kill a friendship.  By the time I got to know Jenny, I had drawn a clear line between "Women I was Friends With" and "Women I Wanted to Date."  She definitely fell into the former category.

Suffice it to say, it is a challenge to manage the expectations of a close relationship with a member of the opposite sex.  A few years later, I "saw the light," as I described in this blog from Valentine's Day, 2007.

In "One Day," it takes Emma and Dexter twenty years to consummate their friendship.  And for them, it works out just as well as it did for Jenny and me, who were married four years after we became friends.  Had we followed the twenty-year timeline of the movie, we would have been married in the fall of 2010!

I can only imagine the dramatic ways in which our lives would have been different had we followed the "One Day" path--the dead ends, the bad relationships, the adventures and misadventures.  I'm so grateful for my friendship with Jenny George; that it was able to blossom into love; and that our love has endured through 17 years of marriage.  One day has become one lifetime with  person whom I respect and love immensely.


Amanda said...

Hey JD, your link doesn't go to the Valentine's Day post, it sends your readers to the One Day trailer. Too bad...I'd like to read about your park bench proposal again. So romantic.

JD said...

I fixed it Amanda.