One of my top 5 favorite movies is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. There are elements of realizing the memories we wish we could eliminate, and how important even those memories are. It shows the parts of our hearts we often overlook as either expected or painful and thus necessary to cover up or forget. The movie really is wonderful, full of great quotes and scenes; like the very first spoken line, “Valentines Day is a day created by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.” But the very last scene is my favorite. The scene goes like this:
Joel: I can’t see anything that I don’t like about you.
Clementine: But you will
Joel: Right now I can’t
Clementine: But you will. You know, you will think of things. And I’ll get bored with you and feel trapped, because that’s what happens with me.
[Clementine nods…Joel smiles]
[Clementine cries, but laughs]
[They both laugh]
I love this scene and what it has to offer to us. It is a great reminder for those of us who are in relationships. We spend so much of our lives trying to run away from people because we are afraid of not liking something about them. We are afraid of getting bored with something they do. We get afraid that they will run away from us. We’re afraid that something will come up that we don’t like, and “then it will be too late.” I love Joel’s response, “Okay.” It signifies the realization that Clementine will probably find something boring about him. He probably will find something he doesn’t like about her later. But okay! If we thought we could wait until a relationship that would be absolutely perfect, without arguments, annoyances, pain, temptations, we will be waiting forever. By saying, “Okay,” Joel opens himself to trust Clementine. Real trust! A trust that says, “Okay! Fine! You will likely do something I don’t like, but I love you and I trust you. Let’s do this.” As if to say, “That’s a risk we gotta take.” Its not even that it was a risk. It was simply an expectation we have to be willing to take. We have to be willing to understand that things like that will happen. We will find something we don’t like, but are we willing to love them and trust that they love us anyway? Okay.