Monday, April 26, 2010

She’s Out of My League

She’s Out of My League is a fun romantic comedy about a guy who’s a “5” who suddenly finds himself in a relationship with a “10.” The cast had some familiar characters although I couldn’t place any of their earlier work without help from Wikipedia. The plot is the standard chance meeting, second chance meeting, date, break-up, and reunion. Somehow the flow of the movie was really good. The physical comedy was terrific and on par with American Pie and other modern classics.

The central theme I found was a typical guy who has poor self esteem due to a variety of factors. This particularly guy has been beat down by his family, bad relationships, mediocre job and less than exceptional genetics. He is a nice guy who just hasn’t found his place in the world nor is aspiring to anything. When he crosses paths with this uplifting woman, he is initially happy then stunned and then in a sabotaging spiral. With the taunting of his friends, he feels that this happiness if fleeting. The terrific wrap up at the end is that having high self esteem is a valuable and attractive trait that has to be nurtured.

I find my own self esteem on an up and down roller coaster from time to time. Fortunately when I met my wife, I was on an upswing. This upswing was a combination of factors. I was confident in a steady job. I was physically fit through road running and mountain bike racing. I had been able to meet women and ask them out successfully. Finally my head was just kind of on straight with the help of support groups and family. I also had plans for the future which included starting night school to complete an MBA.

Currently I find myself in a job with little opportunity for promotion. I have struggled athletically and am about 15 pounds overweight. While I am happy in my marriage, I have lost the positive reinforcement that comes from meeting new people. Finally the pressures of fatherhood have been mentally draining. I have also failed to maintain a circle of friends that has proved to be grounding. Finally I don’t have anything on the horizon that would promote personal growth.

While my self esteem is not connected directly to a single aspect of my life, I find that when I am mentally, physically or spiritually unfit, my self esteem goes down.

As a result I find myself questioning my abilities as a father, husband, employee and athlete. This downward spiral usually culminates with a strange argument with my wife that leaves me asking whether she is happy and whether I am present for our relationship and life. Watching the movie made me long for the first few dates with my wife as we were getting to know each other and I liked everything I discovered. Watching the movie also forced the question do I take my spouse for granted and am no longer interested in discovery?

The take home message for me was that even though I don’t have a great physique, gobs of money or a stellar wit, my wife still loves me and I should have confidence in myself and our marriage.

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