You’re My Charlie Brown

Those who read here will realize that I don’t often post on weekends. I do often post from what inspires me. Often that’s good writing by others, either musically, cinematically, hell . . . even phonetically or telephonically. Regardless, when something strikes me, I tend to share it.

This is one of those times.

My oldest, Abbi
My oldest, Abbi

Abbi, my oldest, convinced me I needed to see this movie that starred, of all people Alyssa Milano. You remember her, right? The little girl from Who’s the Boss and that show Charmed from the ’90s (of which I can only remember that a Morrissey song was the theme . . . sorry!). I didn’t groan but must have had a skeptical look on my face. Abbi, you see, has a heart of gold, though she tries to act sometimes that the gold has some frost coating it. That golden pumper in there absolutely adores a good romantic movie, particularly a comedy.

The funny thing is, I began to love those same movies . . . the crazy silly ones, not the sappy classic ones . . . and sat many nights watching them with her. We saw Carey Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charade and loved it. We’ve compared what works best from each version of Sabrina – the Billy Wilder and Sidney Polak versions. We saw John Cusack, Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Tom Hanks, Bogie, Bacall, all of them.

Then came this movie . . . titled My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend.

Abbi informed me that the writer struggled to get it made and finally . . . Milano offered to help produce it just so the film could get to the screen. She plays a lead along with a character actor who’s in some decent television stuff. Abbi hooked me in when she told me Beau Bridges and Carol Kane were in it as well.

But she got me to watch because she said the main guy reminded her of me. He’s a writer – who makes little money at it. He buys gifts for Milano that mean something rather than just expensive things. He jumps in front of her and covers her when a car is about to splash them rather than bemoaning how awful it was. She said all those things were actions she’d not only heard I had done but witnessed them herself. . . things I couldn’t tell you about but she swears are true.

So I watched the film . . . and it’s just . . . good. I mean, it’s not Citizen Kane, don’t get that impression. But it’s, I don’t know, just more accurate to life. I won’t give away the plot twist – though I had it pegged fairly early – but it’s a film I watched and for weeks it’s stuck with me. One line, which my daughter called to my attention before we watched the film, in particular.

“You’re my Charlie Brown,” says Milano to her boyfriend.

Kissing my wife, Andrea
Kissing my wife, Andrea

“What?”

Here’s the brief explanation . . . and I remember the reference from the Charlie Brown specials. Eventually, after years of angst and pain, Charlie Brown gets a kiss from the Little Red-Haired girl on the cartoons. When she does it, Charlie Brown floats and flies through the air.
“When you kiss me, I feel like I can fly,” she says, “just like Charlie Brown in that cartoon. Nobody’s ever done that before, but you. You’re my Charlie Brown.”

“It’s so cuute!,” my daughter says. And she’s right . . . and so’s the movie.

It’s really not how good you kiss, or how great you are in bed or even how many people you’ve dated. It’s the feeling you get when you’re with that person who sees you and gets you. You do feel like you can fly.

So many people say to settle or lower standards or even to just be happy. But I don’t want my daughters . . . hell, my sons, even, to feel that way. I want them to kiss that little red-haired girl (or brown, or blonde or brunette) and fly. Love is the one thing that simultaneously separates us from both animal and machine. We feel our whole bodies change when that person even approaches us. Our brains are basically organic computers . . . so why do smells or songs or stories make us suddenly remember and our hearts start to race?

I want my kids to have that.

I kind of want it again, too.

Now if there was just a little red-haired girl nearby . . .

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