A Twenty Year Old Lie

I have mixed feelings about today.  On the plus side, after I got dressed I realized that my tank top and my underwear match quite perfectly on accident.  It makes me want to frolic pants-free.  On the downside, I think all the pollen and dust from the surrounding ag fields was pumped into my apartment overnight by the giant maid-shaped spaceship in Spaceballs, cuz I woke up gasping for air and my nose still won’t clear up.  Just pretend that the soggy tissues scattered around me are remnants of the fact that I finally sat down and watched The Bodyguard last night for the first time.

I’m assuming it’s common knowledge by now, 20 years after this film came out, about what happens and how it ends.  At least I thought it was.

A few years after the movie came out, I remember one of my little peers (I totally don’t remember who this was…but it was one of those little peers I hung out with) commenting on how everyone who was getting married these days was picking I Will Always Love You as their first dance song, and how stupid this was. 

Stupid?  I thought, How could that be?  Was it because of the forbidden love?  She was employer, he the employee?  He was the protector and she needed protecting?  He was white and she was black?  Her career gave us I Wanna Dance With Somebody, I Will Always Love You, and I’m Your Baby Tonight and he went on to give us…Waterworld?

I asked my friend why she thought this was stupid.

Her response: Because the guy totally dies at the end.

So on I went with my life, thinking that The Bodyguard ended that way.  Every time I heard that song on the radio, I felt sad for him, since he had died, and sad for her, since her employing him had probably caused him to die.  And sad for all those schmucks whose marriages had been doomed right from the start for picking such a sad, sad dooming song.

All these years, I had blamed the rising divorce rate on this movie and this song.

I guess I owe all you guys an apology.  I am sorry I misjudged you for your (falsely) horrible choice in wedding songs.  I should have judged you for your choice to get married at all.  For that, I apologize.

So imagine me last night – there I was, just waiting for poor, doomed Kevin Costner to die.  And it felt like I was waiting a long time.  I got antsy towards the end, and then checked the Netflix sleeve, and it said that this movie was over 2 hours long.  TWO HOURS? I thought,  This was pre-Titanic.  I thought all movies before Titanic couldn’t be more than, like, an hour and 45.

This movie was breaking all the rules.

When we finally got to the climactic scene where the crazed gunman is revealed, and Kevin jumps in harm’s way to save dear Whitney, I thought, This is it!  With relish.   I was tired of feeling so anxious, waiting for what I knew was coming.  I just wanted to get it over with so I could go on judging people and feeling smug about it.

Whitney’s character kept saying, “Stay with me, stay with me…”  And I wanted to help prepare her for the inevitable.  He was going to leave her, and then she would sing about how much she loved him (always) for giving his life to save hers.  Because that’s what the song was about.

But he didn’t die, and I was mad.  Mad that my expectations had been violated.  Mad that one of my friends gave me false information.  Mad that I believed that false information.  Mad that I can’t for the life of me remember who this friend was!!

After a bit, I felt relieved that Kevin had lived, that the movie (and thus my anxiety) was over, and that I now knew the truth.

And if you, or someone you know of, went around telling cruel, heartless, damaging lies about the ending of The Bodyguard, please have that person contact me.  Thanks.