Happy, Happy Uh-Oh!
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My brother describes love like this: "It's happy, happy uh-oh."

This morning we got into a discussion about the movie Red Eye. When you watch the trailer, it starts out like a romantic comedy, and then the happy music changes to something dark and sinister, and you think, uh-oh, something's not right here.

Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams) meets Jackson Ripner (Cillian Murphy) in an airport. He comes to her defense against a complaining fellow flyer; he's witty, funny, charming, and good-looking enough to be attractive, but not so good-looking that you would become suspicious of why he's paying any attention to you if you were in her place. (Even beautiful women can be insecure about their looks.) You can almost read her thoughts. Finally! A decent man in this world!

Keith and I were crawling around on the floor at the office one day trying to find the phone jack, so we could switch his phone to a better one that didn't sizzle and pop and sound like it was transmitting garbled messages from Mars. Exasperated, Keith stands up and says, "There's got to be an easier way to do this." He picks up the old phone on his desk and starts fiddling with the line on it.

The line disappeared into the back of the phone as if it were built into the phone. I say, "I think that thing's stuck in there permanently."

He gives me a would-you-get-real look and says, "Nothing's permanent. Not love, not marriage, and certainly not this phone line." A few moments later, when the back of the phone snaps off to reveal a compartment for the jack, he proves his point. "Ah ha! Told ya!"

"There's a cynical dude" you would think, and which of course, I did think. But in all likelihood, he'd recently smacked into the uh-oh half of happy, happy. I've been there, you've been there, we've all been there.

You know that feeling, girls and boys. You're breathless, happy, jittery, and all warm inside. He buys you roses just because, calls you every night, does little things to make you smile, and makes you feel like you're the most special woman in the world.

Then a few weeks go by, and the phone calls dribble down to three or four a month. When you question him about it, he not so politely tells you there's more to his life than you. You haven't seen flowers since spring, and that was one lone daisy growing out of a litter-strewn ditch. He yells at you to quit standing in front of the damn television because he can't see the game. "And where's my damn beer?"

And then one morning you wake up on your birthday, which he has dutifully left the house for work and forgotten, and scream, "Holy hell, I'm with the King Kong of assholes. How the crap did that happen?"

Our heroine, Lisa, discovers it a bit sooner. As the movie progresses, a slow devious change takes place in Jackson, until it gets to the point where you can literally feel her stomach sink, and you know she's reached the uh-oh part of happy, happy.

In real life, the uh-oh part isn't quite as harrowing as the movies, although it might oftentimes feel as if it is. No, in real life, the uh-oh of love is usually when you discover the person you're with isn't the person you started out with - okay, so maybe it is a little like the movies.

"Sure, Baby, you can go out drinking all night long with your friends. I'll just curl up on the couch with a book like a good girl while you go out and flirt with everything wearing butt-peeking skirts. Have fun!"

You make your buddies pea green with envy when you talk about how wonderfully understanding your gal is, and how she doesn't mind you running around at all hours with the guys. Then one morning you stumble in around three, and she's standing there in curlers and a flannel nightgown, tapping her toes with a look on her face that would send a killer bulldog with rabies scurrying for safer ground.

"Where in the hell have you been? And who with?" she growls through gritted teeth. Good-bye happy, happy, hello uh-oh.

Every human being on the face of the earth has experienced happy, happy uh-oh moments in every relationship they've been in.

So how on earth do some couples stick it out for fifty years or more?


They've found someone they can live a happy, happy uh-oh life with.

If you can still love someone furiously, deeply, tenderly, even when you're so mad you feel like picking up a shovel, whacking them in the head, and then burying them in the backyard with it, you've found your mate for life. Those of you who know what I mean have found it. Those of you who don't well - move on and keep looking.

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