This morning I was listening to the end of Carrie Fisher’s new book Shockaholic, where she describes a scene where her father brings Elizabeth Taylor a necklace. The scene Fisher captures is so beautiful, incredibly loving. She even admits that even though their love affair wasn’t meant to last, they had their moments. All love stories have their moments, be it real or fictional.
I tend to love love stories/couples that are a little unconventional, the ones you might not think “Ah, yes! Their love will go down for the ages!” But I am a romantic, and here’s some love stories today be it novels, real life, songs, movies or television.
Charlie Chaplin and Oona O’Neill Chaplin: He was fifty-three, she was eighteen. Yet they were meant to be together. Although for O’Neill taking care of Chaplin wore on her in his later years (she developed an addiction to alcohol), there’s no doubt that their love was strong. When Chaplin found out he couldn’t go back to the states (according to Jerry Epstein’s Remembering Chaplin), Oona went back, paid off their staff, made arrangements for their house to be sold, then made sure that all their business assets were taken care of. When Epstein took her out for dinner, many diners called her “Commie red.” When Epstein tried to protest, she laughed it off. It was true bravery, and true love on her part.
Love Story: I’ve written how much I’ve loved this movie in the past. Yes it’s cheesy. Yes it’s screwy the doctor tells Oliver that Jenny is dying but doesn’t tell Jenny. But when Oliver takes Jenny in his arms the last time in the hospital, I dare you not to cry.
Beth and Phillip, Guiding Light: Beth and Phillip made me the fan girl I am of GL; she was a shy girl who loved books; he was the misunderstood rich boy. Together they were beautiful. After she was raped by her stepfather, they ran away to New York. They were mimes, read F. Scott Fitzgerald, and dreamed. One friend of mine says they made her decide to become an English major after hearing them read literature to each other. How many soaps can have that claim to fame?
Beth and Lujack, Guiding Light: When they put Beth with Lujack, I thought, "Oh, hell no!" She belongs to Phillip! Yet the thing is Judi Evans and Vincent Irizarry (who played B&L) had the most amazing chemistry as she taught him to read, and he taught her to drive. When Lujack died twenty-six years ago, you could hear a thirteen-year-old me yelling “No! No! Damn it, no!!!” (By the way, still bitter about this. But I’ll get over it... someday!)
Joey and Caitlin, Degrassi Junior High/Degrassi High: He was the class clown, she was the smarty pants reporter. Together they showed how love could develop in an awkward, shy way. After breaking up in Degrassi: School’s Out, they got back together in Degrassi: The Next Generation, only to break up again. Yeah, I’m dizzy too. Yet it’s a credit to Stacie Mistysyn and Pat Mastroianni that on Twitter many Degrassi fans say to the show’s writers “Bring back Joey and Caitlin!” You should have Joey and Caitlin get MARRIED!” “We want Joey and Caitlin back!”
Judy Collins’ “The Blizzard” I LOVE this song that tells of a woman finding herself in a café after a breakup. She meets someone there, who tells her “You know, you’re too good for him.” While not a traditional love song, it shows that a heart can heal when you feel like you can barely move. Collins’ version is great, but I also love a version by Justin Vivian Bond.
Truly Madly Deeply: This is one of my favorite movies, where Nina (Juliet Stevenson) is grieving over her boyfriend (Alan Rickman) who died suddenly. Yet he comes back as a ghost! But here’s the thing: he moves the furniture around, he brings his ghost friends over, he’s a pest. Then she meets someone else, and realizes that in order to live, you must live in the present.
Snake and Spike, Degrassi The Next Generation: So I was housesitting one summer and watched many episodes of Degrassi when I was there. I was delighted that Snake (Stefan Brogren) and Spike (Amanda Stepto) got married. He was the tall lanky boy who had bad luck with girls; she was the punk rock girl who got pregnant her first time. Yet they're proof that love can come if you're patient. And if you want high ratings for your television show.
And now, a couple who has been together through thick and thin, who have stood the test of time:
Miss Piggy and Kermit: She’s a pig with anger-management problems. He’s a amphibian who does crazy things with his flippers. When they met, it was love, love, love! Okay he’ll never admit it, but he’s crazy about the girl. And she him. Together they weathered many trials, made movies, and always always had songs in their hearts. Who else can say this?
Now go out and live your own love story. Don’t forget to have fun.
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries