Breaking point

“Maybe I dissect each little thing, and put myself out there too much, and maybe even thrive on the drama of it all — but at least that means I still care. You think you’ve won because women are expendable to you? Sure, you don’t get hurt or make an ass of yourself that way, but you don’t fall in love that way, either. You haven’t won, Alex. You’re alone. I may do a lot of stupid shit — but I know I’m a lot closer to finding someone than you are.” – Gigi, He’s Just Not That Into You

he's just not that into you

I remember the first time I watched this, back in early April. I hadn’t been very keen on it when Sophia had mass-emailed saying she had passes to the premiere, if anyone was interested. And at Becca’s insistence (“I really think this is something you and I have to watch!”), I agreed to go for it.

With so many characters and storylines in the movie, it was easy to get them all confused. I couldn’t remember how one person knew the other, nor how each story became intertwined. I only remembered coming out of the movie in a bit of a daze, nodding vigorously when Becca vehemently announced that we were going to delete every text message that we had kept in our cell phones out of sentimentality or false hope.

I write about this now, nearly five months later, because nearly five months ago I was at a loss as to how to put into words the effect the movie had had on me. But after watching it for the second time last night, on DVD — losing spectacularly to Becca, who has watched it a good ten times or more — I was reminded of how I had come away from it the first time, thinking, Yes, I know what I have to do now.

I used to think that everyone had their breaking point, and when they reached it, there would be no going back from it, because that would be when they knew they had exhausted all their efforts in getting what they wanted, and were ready to admit defeat and walk away before they could hurt themselves any further. I used to think that I had a breaking point, and when the time came, I would reach it and completely let go of everything I had hung on to that had defined my life and the pain I had put myself through.

But time and time again, I thought I had reached it, only to bounce back and stretch that line a little further, thinking that if I could just be a little more patient, wait just a little while longer, everything would turn out all right. And time and time again, I turned away from that breaking point, terrified that if I reached it, it would be too late to turn back even if I wanted to.

And now here I am, at a point — breaking or otherwise — where I can’t do anything but move forward, because to turn back would not only be fruitless, but also hurt other people besides myself.

Naturally, Becca was more successful at keeping her vow than I was, and possibly less sentimental too: the text messages I had saved dated as far back as December 21, 2007, and even after watching He’s Just Not That Into You again last night, I’m no more successful than I was the last time.

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