Back in 1998, I held a strong belief that if you liked Third Eye Blind’s “Motorcycle Driveby” we were soul-mates. It was that simple. It was on every mixed CD I made and if you got one, I probably–most definitely–loved you.
I came to my senses years later, and finally buried that misconception on love when I saw my last 3rdEB show last year at Foxwoods. The writing was on the wall: Stephen Jenkins can’t sing live and you shouldn’t love someone just because they know the same lyrics.
So, if you’re in a relationship like myself right now, you know there exists an expansive world of compromise. What food do you want to eat? Should we stay in tonight? Why do we need to hang out with that person? I fancy myself pretty easy-to-please in some matters of life. Unless it’s sushi–which has become a real sticking point lately–I can find something on some menu. Stay in? Sure. Go out? Sure. Hang out with that person? I can fake it.
But the real compromise for me, and the truest way for me to show my love–is the Apple TV compromise.
Studies that I cannot provide links for, suggest there are three types of couples when it comes to TV/Movie viewing:
1.) The Equal Opportunists
This is the couple that may have completely different tastes in viewing entertainment and really values fairness. On Monday, she picks Dancing with the Stars and that’s what you watch. You may be just sitting there on your phone but you’re present, putting in your time like a checked-out employee. You chime in with some line about who you think should be voted off but tomorrow is Tuesday and you’re finally watching The Revenant. It’s actually not a fair trade (1 hour vs. 3 hours) but it’s Tuesday and you won Tuesday in the couples draft. This back and forth is how it goes for the rest of eternity. There is a caveat that if someone picks something completely unfair, it’s an unsaid rule that they “owe” the other person. So if she watches three episodes of the Kardashians, you get a non-judgement card good to be used when you go on a disgusting binge of your own.
2.) The Lone Rangers
These are the couples that watch their shows on their own time. If you live together, it may mean that when you’re watching your show, she’s off doing something productive. My girlfriend does this sometimes. She respects me enough to watch Jane the Virgin when I’m not around. I can stomach One Tree Hill and New Girl but Jane the Virgin happens when Scott is gone. If I’m an asshole, sometimes that means I have to watch Jane the Virgin and it serves as a deterrent for future asshole infractions.
3.) The Middle-Grounders
Right now, this is where I’m at. It can be a real tough spot to be in and I hope to get out someday. The middle-grounders are the couples that can’t agree on any show or movie. The amount of time scrolling through possibilities is like a bottomless pit of disappointment. I’ve been with my girlfriend for almost three years and we’ve scrolled for one of those years. What hasn’t helped this is the fact that I’ve seen 80% of all the TV shows from the past 10 years and any decent movie since 1996. I won’t go for Sushi and my girlfriend won’t go for the Independent movies. Nobody has budged yet but I think I’m losing because we’re doing sushi next weekend.
So what inevitably happens to like-minded middle-grounders is a compromise that fully satisfies nobody. By definition, I don’t think that’s a compromise but we’re middle-grounders and that’s what we do. She wants to watch Nicholas Sparks’ “The Choice” and I want to the newest episode of Game of Thrones. We love each other so what do we do? WE watch LEAP YEAR.
This movie has love in it and there’s a guy in it who is Irish so I obviously must want to see it. Rotten Tomatoes has it at a 42% but she says it’s going to make me love Ireland and that those reviewers must not know what they’re talking about. I go to IMDB to look at the reviews like it’s some Groupon vacation destination. The reviews confirm my worst fears but TOO LATE, she already started it and I’ve predicted the ending six minutes in.
Depending on what type of person you are, I can either be a nightmare or a real treasure to be around watching a movie or TV show. What I can guarantee you is my 100% attention. I do not talk during these events and I prefer all lights off. If you have your phone out or talk at a movie theater, we’d never be friends and you’re just below TV-spoilers on Santa’s shit-list. A month ago some people were talking loudly during a preview and I got visibly irate. My girlfriend got scared but fortunately nobody died. I’m a bit of a snob and if I don’t talk after a movie, it usually means I’m harboring some sort of judgment. I prefer not to ruin the other person’s experience (they may have liked it) but then when you beat it out of me, I ruin everything.
There’s a fourth couple out there that doesn’t watch TV or movies together and I really have no room in the Tub for you. You’re probably hiking and judging my habits and I don’t have time for that. You’re a liar and probably have two shows that you call your own–The Walking Dead and Scandal. I’d say something about those but I don’t want to ruin it.