Column: ‘Pretty Woman’ ruined my love life


I spent most of Saturday in the kitchen experimenting with recipes and cooking for a party I’m catering in a few weeks (and yes, I’m for hire).

However,with the last of 150 mini meatballs and 50 peanut butter pie tarts finally in the freezer — and a few other things prepped to finish up on Sunday — I was ready to decompress.

I popped the top on an adult beverage, “Schofferhofer Hefeweizen Grapefruit Bier” and started flipping channels.

My TV remote — as it has at least 3o times over the years — stopped on Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in “Pretty Women.”

They were at a polo match. Vivian (Julia) was wearing that brown dress with the white polka dots and a matching hat. Admit it, you know the one.

But while I was enjoying Julia’s big smile and infections smile, it came to me, like a bolt of lightning.

Vivian and Edward (Julia and Richard) ruined my love life.

Those two are the reason I’m 50-something, living by myself with a dog and two cats and eyeing retirement rather that what I will do be doing with the grand kids this weekend or where we can go on vacation next summer with my kids and their kids.

Yep, Vivian and Edward changed my outlook on romance forever.

At the end of “Pretty Woman,” Vivian gets her fairy tale. I guess Edward does, too.

That’s what I’m waiting for, too.

My fairy tale ending is apparently still in development. I’m still waiting to hear Roxette’s “It must have been love” playing in my background.

I’m the opposite of social butterfly, or whatever the male version of social butterfly is. I don’t easily strike up conversations with women I don’t know, no matter how much I want to.

I’ve never been the guy who walks up to someone they see — someone they are instantly attracted to — and opens up and charms my way to a conversation, a phone number, an email address, a date, a relationship and who knows … perhaps a wife and children and and grand kids and family vacations in the Outer Banks.

And neither am I a millionaire who can afford to put Julia Roberts on retainer for a few days.

Although it certainly would have made life a little easier.

I’ve been married once, which I guess is kind of rare these days … to be married just once, I mean.

Most of the people I know have been married at least twice — a couple of them three or four times.

My immediate family is a lot better at marriage them my friends an I. None of them have been divorced.

I’m happy for all of them, but I do feel a bit like an outsider during the holidays.

Still, I’m OK.

I married late, so that means I got divorced late.

And since then, I’ve adopted a dog and two cats.

At this rate, by the time I retire, I’ll have three dogs and six cats.

All I need is a couple of rocking chairs, a blanket and a shotgun filled with rock salt beside me on the front porch to help chase away those neighborhood kids.

But seriously, I’m doing OK. I’m content, and have almost no one to answer, too. Well, my one cat gets kind of aggressive when I don’t feed him on time.

But other than that, life is OK.

And it will be, until I stumble upon “Pretty Woman” again and I hear Roxette and Roy Orbison in the background.

I actually have “Pretty Woman” on a CD or a Disc or a VHS tape somewhere, but the thrill of coming upon it by accident is more pleasurable for me.

It’s kind of like that fairy tale I’m waiting for.

I wan’t it to show up out of the dark, while I’m not expecting it or looking for it.

Apparently, it’s better that way.

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Russ Kent

Galion Inquirer

Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him with story ideas or comments at rkent@aimmediamidwest.com

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