We’ve all seen them, the cutesy holiday movies that Hallmark is running 24/7 until New Years. You know the ones I’m talking about, Candace Cameron Bure is trapped in a snowy town falling for the last guy in the world she expected to, but he ends up being perfect for her. Or one of my favorites is when a woman goes from being a regular American girl to a princess in a matter of two weeks. Completely believable, right?
Well last week they aired ‘Family For Christmas‘ with Lacey Chabert and while I’ve seen this plot quite a few times (ie: ‘The Family Man‘ with Nicholas Cage and Tea Leoni, ‘A Snow Globe Christmas‘ with Donald Faison and Alicia Witt to name a few) and it got me thinking. Those movies focus on a single person who’s fairly successful in their career field. They might or might not be in a quasi-serious relationship, but in the back of their mind there’s always that question of what if? What if they’d stayed instead of getting on the plane taking them to an internship across the country? What if they said no to the awesome opportunity that led to their successful career now? What if they stayed in that small town with that high school sweetheart instead of going to an out of state school for undergrad? How would their life be different? How would it be the same?
I’ve had my fair share of serious relationships over the years, but I feel like two of them stick out the most when it comes to this situation. Both times were with guys from small towns and both have since gotten married and had a kid or two. But what if that was me? What if I was the one settled down in Small Town, TX or Small Town, LA with a kid? Would I be that mom who put her career on hold to stay home and take care of the kiddo(s) until they were in grade school or even older? That’s what typically happens in these Hallmark movies. These women go from being driven and well-respected members of their career field to Suzie Homemaker overnight. Now I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with that but it’s a huge 180! I’m also not saying that I’m the world’s best project coordinator, but I’m damn good at my job and cannot see myself as a SAHM or homemaker at the point of my life.
Both times I was presented with the opportunity to settle down with a great guy, in fact I think both guys are great husbands and fathers much like the characters in these moves; and in all instances the person who’s life is completely turned upside down realizes that they’ve made a mistake and want to give up everything for their new family life. Don’t get me wrong, there are days (and nights) when I feel like it would be nice to be in a serious relationship and possibly getting married in a few years, but just not right now. But in these movies it’s like that’s not an option. Their careers are so demanding, in the Lacey Chabert it was said more than once that the only thing she’d have time to love is her career (don’t get me started on how that’s perpetuating the stereotype that you have to have a career or be a mom, not both).
Now I’m not sure if it was the two glasses of wine I had before watching that movie, but there’s got to be a reason why these types of movies are so popular. That ‘what if’ factor of life is kind of tempting and it looks like it’s great for movie plots. What about y’all? For those of you who are single, have you ever sat back and thought about how different things could be if you’d stayed with that high school sweetheart? Didn’t take that internship? Stayed with that undergrad sweetheart? And for those of you who are married I pose the opposite question. Do you ever think about how life would be different if you’d said no instead of yes? I know that last question may seem pretty controversial, but it doesn’t have to be. Maybe you got married before you were ready and you’ve grown to love each other more? Maybe you weren’t financially ready to make that leap? Or maybe you had to say yes for religious or familial pressure. Would you do things differently? Comment below (or email me) with your thoughts!