Thursday, October 13, 2011

proposals gone wrong: the one where I die inside

Consider this post to be the ceremonial ripping off of the band-aid as we transition into those most memorable proposals gone wrong i.e. the ones where it's not mutual now, but will be later. I should preface these last four proposals with this side note: I know these stories wouldn't be the same without that first rejected proposal and I love them for that. But that doesn't mean you won't still find me sitting there completely shell-shocked in the battle field of broken hearts, shattered dreams, sorrow snot tissues (again: you're welcome), and empty boxes of chocolate, otherwise known as my bed, every time I watch them.
(x)
And now... *deep breath*... let us look to the cause of my first heartbreak. I am, of course, referring to the spirited Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables (technically the sequel since we're talkin' movies). If you had seen me re-watching (read: screaming over) this proposal in my kitchen last night, you'd understand that even though I've been watching this series for over half my life (I feel old), I'm still not over it. They say you never forget your first love and mine, dear readers, was Gilbert Blythe. Fictional boyfriend numero uno. Gilbert has been in love with Anne ever since that first day of school when she smashed a slate over his head for calling her "Carrots." While all the girls in Avonlea were fawning over him, his thoughts were always with the one who'd bury her head in her hands if she was forced to sit next to him in class; the one he actually had to fight for. She's brimming with life and imagination and FEELINGS (hmm... this sounds vaguely familiar), not to mention she's his intellectual equal. Over time their competitive relationship melts into a friendship full of encouragement and challenging the other to be better. But he keeps his mouth shut about being completely smitten with her, knowing it will scare her off. Anne is feisty, independent, ambitious, and stiff-arming adulthood with every ounce of energy she has. Gilbert supports her in everything she does, never suggesting that she change her ways, because he doesn't want her to change. He loves her exactly as she is, temper tantrums and all. And while she's off chasing escaped cows in muddy cabbage patches, he's waiting on the sidelines, falling more in love with her with each and every mishap. Finally it reaches the point where he's literally bursting with affection for her and can't hold it in any longer. Unfortunately for him, this happens a moment too soon for her.
 
 
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So many FEELINGS! To make up for the horrible quality of this video/just because I can/want to, I'm going to take you through my reactions to this monstrosity line by rip-your-heart-out line. Yes, I have a problem. I know, alright?! But  my first true love demands it! All my commentary is, of course, in ITALICIZED CAPS.

Anne: I have a feeling things will never be the same again. Will they?
DON'T ASK QUESTIONS YOU DON'T WANT THE ANSWER TO, ANNE WITH AN E!
Gilbert: Well, I won't change. That's the least I can promise you.
OH GILBERT! YOU'RE SO CONSTANT AND TRUE! AND YOU'RE USING PHYSICAL CONTACT NOW- I CAN'T EVEN!
Gilbert: Anne, there's something I want to ask you.
YES! A THOUSAND TIMES YES! WAIT, WHY AREN'T YOU SMILING, ANNE? 
Anne: Gil, please don't.
ANNE, PLEASE DON'T. 
Gilbert: What is it? You've been avoiding me all spring, ever since we graduated.
WHA-??? WHYYYY???
Anne: I never wanted to make you care for me so. I kept away so you wouldn't.
WTF?
Gilbert: Well, I won't be coming back to White Sands in the fall. Dalhousie Medical School's accepted me. 
COULD YOU BE ANY MORE PERFECT, GILBERT? COULD YOU? COULD YOU?!
Anne: Gil, I'm so proud of you!
BY PROUD, DO YOU MEAN "IN LOVE WITH"?
Gilbert: I'm sorry about last week. I only wanted to show you how much I care.
I LOVE THE PERFECT WAY YOU SAY SORRY IN YOUR PERFECT CANADIAN ACCENT! 
Gilbert: Now maybe you don't think I'm good enough for you now, but I will be some day.
YOU ARE PERFECT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE, MR. BLYTHE! 
Anne: No Gil, you're a great deal too good for me.
DIE.
Anne: But you want someone who'll adore you. Someone who'll be happy just to hang on your arm and build a home for you. I wouldn't.
HERE IS YOUR FRIENDSHIP CHARM. I'M TAKING IT OFF AND IT'S GOING IN THE DIRT!
Gilbert: Anne, that's not what I'm looking for at all.
FRUSTRATION STATION!
Anne: We'd end up like two old crows fighting all the time. 
MAYBE, BUT THEN THERE'S MAKE UP TIME!!
Anne: I know I'd be unhappy.
I BEG TO DIFFER!
Anne: And I'd wish we'd never done it.
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOUUUUUUU?!?!?!
Gilbert: Everybody expects it. You must feel that.
THAT IS... NOT SO MUCH THE PERFECT THING TO SAY. BACK PEDAL! BACK PEDAL!
Anne: Well then, it would be for all the wrong reasons, Gil.
BECAUSE REASONS LIKE HE LOVES YOU AND YOU LOVE HIM EXCEPT YOU'RE TOO DRUNK ON KEATS AND TENNYSON TO REALIZE IT, REASONS LIKE HE GAVE UP AVONLEA SCHOOL FOR YOU, HOW HE CALLS YOU CARROTS, AND STOLE YOUR DANCE CARD WAY BACK WHEN JUST TO HAVE A PIECE OF YOU, LIKE HOW HE RESCUED YOU IN THE LAKE, AND HOW HE GIVES YOU HIS HONEST OPINION AND CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM INSTEAD OF FAWNING OVER YOU WHEN YOU GET SOMETHING PUBLISHED- THOSE AREN'T GOOD ENOUGH REASONS?!?!
Anne: You just think that you love me.
GILBERT BLYTHE IS LOVE AND LOVE IS REAL.
Gilbert: Anne, I've loved you as long as I can remember.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHSDLKFJLKEJFLWJERIOWJRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gilbert: I need you.
GAH!
Gilbert: I can't go away knowing that if I had just-
STOP TALKING! KISS HER SENSELESS!
Anne: I promise that I'll always be here if you need me. Good friends are always together in spirit. Let's not change, Gil. Let's just go on being good friends.
THE LADY DOTH PROTEST TOO MUCH. AND NOW YOU'RE HUGGING HIM?! HAVE A HEART, ANNE! LOOK AT HIS TORTURED FAAAAAAACE! YOU'RE BREAKING HIS PERFECT DEVOTED HEART!!!!!!
Gilbert: Friends, huh? I thought we were kindred spirits.
HERE COME THE CREYES!
Gilbert: Please say yes.
GODDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *INFINITE SOBS*
Anne: I can't.
*SMASHES A SLATE OVER HER HEAD*
Anne: Gil, I'm so desperately sorry.
NOT AS SORRY AS ME! FML!!!!!

You know what sets this proposal apart from all the rest? The misunderstanding here isn't over an event or personality clash, the misunderstanding lies in Anne's concept of what true love really is. Yes, she's an independent young woman, but she would get married that instant if the brooding Byronic hero of her dreams came around. I can't help but think back this conversation concerning Gilbert that she had with Marilla the week before:


Anne: He's hardly my idea of a romantic suitor.

Marilla: You have tricked something out of that imagination of yours that you call romance. Have you forgotten how he gave up Avonlea school for you so that you could stay here with me? He picked you up every day in his carriage so that you could study your courses together. Don't toss it away, Anne, for some ridiculous ideal that doesn't exist.

Now, allow me to preface. I am very well acquainted with delusion and high standards when it comes to men. And I get my bloomers in a twist like you would not believe if somebody says I need to lower my standards. It's like... who asked you? Anyway, I'd like to think that if I had a Gilbert Blythe in my life and was pulling an Anne Shirley, that I'd either a) realize it and, hello, MARRY HIM, or b) have someone there to tell me to snap out of it. Even though Marilla's not one to get swept up in romance, she cares deeply about Anne and sees what she can't. She suggests that it's not about forbidden romance, exchanging locks of hair, or drippy poetry. It's about devotion. And she's right! Gilbert is completely devoted to her. And he's going to step back and pursue his own dreams while patiently waiting for her heart to catch up to his. Because the last thing he wants is for her to feel like she's losing part of herself by marrying him then. That's what I love about this story; the true love that blossoms from a true friendship. It's beautiful, innocent, simple, and complicated all at once, that blending of one into the other. Nevertheless, it only takes three little words to completely ruin me and they are, "Please say yes." Honestly. We could be watching the weather channel together and you could turn and say this to me and I would start wailing like a banshee. In the words of Anne Shirley herself (though concerning something else entirely), watching Gilbert say this is "the most tragical thing that has ever happened to me." On a scale of joy to the world to world annihilation, I'd say this one is the black hole of proposals gone wrong. And... I just... have to stop here... or I'm going to need a therapist.

3 comments:

  1. i couldn't stop laughing during your commentary, and then when the part where he whispers, "Please say yes," i did a 180 and my heart became "a perfect graveyard of buried hopes." if she hadn't gotten it together in the end, i think i would have had to jump through the screen and shake her.

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  2. Sarah! I almost quoted that line too!!! WE ARE KINDRED SPIRITS (as if we didn't know). But yes... "Please say yes" is the WORST!

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  3. I die inside a little as well. ANNE SHIRLEY, why WHY would you even think of saying no! Gilbert is perfect. PERFECT, I tell you. Silly, carrots.

    Way to make me all teary-eyed before work, Sally.

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