Sacrifices Must Be Made

I’m amazed at the amount of people (ZERO) who come up to me and say, “Hey Joseph, I too have a Canadian girlfriend that I met through blogging/Twitter who lives 1,000 miles away! Do you have any pointers on how you make it work?”

Well I do, child, and I shall now enlighten you with something that will surely blow your mind. The key to making long distance work?


“….what? That’s it? Joseph, you idiot, ALL relationships need self-sacrifice. Heck, in order to actually be friends with somebody you have to put your pride aside a little bit and make sacrifices. This isn’t anything special.”

Well, little voice that is surprisingly condescending for originating in my head, I am serious about this. Serious, because in distance, it takes even an amazing amount of sacrifice just to sit down and Skype frequently because you often would rather just play your Playstation or [insert whatever Amanda’s hobby might be. I should probably ask her about that sometime]. Even the small things, like communication, take a greater level of sacrifice. Or sometimes sacrifice involves saying that you probably will NOT take her suggestion for a blog post but then writing it anyway because it actually was a great idea and you just hadn’t realized it at the time. (HINT: that’s what is happening here, you idiots)

“Wait, so are you saying that….”

STOP TALKING okay this is MY post so I’m just gonna take it from here.

Now, I feel pretty confident that Amanda and I aren’t an overly demanding couple. As far as I can tell, Amanda’s only true demand is that I not feed her wheat because she’s celiac and will explode or something. And that seems reasonable. However, being in a relationship means occasionally having to tolerate the other person’s interests that don’t interest you in the slightest (except I’m still eating wheat as much as possible).

A great example of this is Amanda’s love of show tunes and musicals. Now, I have no idea why this is a universal female thing, but it seems I could find even the most tomboyish (is that still okay to say? I’m genuinely curious) girl who loves nothing more than a game of pickup basketball and mention Anne Hathaway’s performance in Les Mis and suddenly she’s squealing in a high pitched tone about how moving and inspiring it was. Definitely inspiring. It inspired her character all the way to the grave.

I don’t understand this love and likely never will, but I just have to accept it when we’re driving somewhere and Amanda says “Hey, I need to listen to MY music.” I know it means that the score from Wicked is coming out and I’m suddenly hearing about witches defying gravity or whatever, but it’s only fair because there’s probably only so much Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik she can take. I get it. And it’s a sacrifice I must make. Only partially so I can go back to blasting Outkast.

Another prime example is the strange phenomenon known only as “Pitch Perfect.” When I look at it individually, it seems like so many things I would love: humor, acapella renditions of crappy Flo Rida songs, and Anna Kendrick. Yeah, I have a total Hollywood crush on Anna Kendrick. I’ve never really been one to have a Hollywood crush, but I was sold on Ms. Kendrick the instant I saw her hilarious ugly cry in an Oscar (nomination) worthy performance as Natalie Keener in “Up In The Air”. I know maybe I shouldn’t talk about my Hollywood crush in a post about my lovely girlfriend, but let’s take a look at the facts: she’s a tiny brunette who likes music and has a goofy sense of humor.

Yeah, so maybe I have a "type"

Yeah, so maybe I have a “type”

So anyway, Anna Kendrick reminds me of Amanda and we can now drop the topic.

The fact of the matter is, I should probably like Pitch Perfect. It’s not like somebody could love the numbers 2, 3, and 4 but DESPISE the number 9. Yet somehow the combination of all of those factors makes my stomach turn. Maybe it’s because the cheesiness of that style of movie (in my head it’s automatically grouped together with movies I just don’t care about such as Bring It On or maybe Chicago or….I dunno. It’s not Hoosiers, that’s all I know). But I tolerate it because it is absolutely the type of movie that Amanda loves and for the health of the relationship I will be patient with that self-effacing large AUSTRALIAN AND NOT BRITISH girl I can’t figure out the appeal of.

Who am I kidding? I’ve had no choice but listen to the soundtrack the entire time I’ve been writing about the movie and now I just hate myself.

Sometimes, though, the things that I have no interest in turn out to be pretty good. Take, for example, Downton Abbey. I knew about the hype around it but never really was interested on account of me being a red-blooded American and liking shows where stuff actually happens. This summer, though, Amanda was ranting and raving about how good it was and told me I needed to watch it. Of course, it’s a very well made production and the story is pretty decent so it turned out that I didn’t mind watching it. In fact, we still had a few episodes to go when she went back home and I willingly finished the 3rd season, only partially because she said I had to do it or she would break up with me (that never happened).

ALMOST KINDA SPOILER ALERT BUT NOT REALLY A SPOILER JUST MY OPINION: That entire 3rd season was such infuriating bullcrap. I mean, it’s just kinda bad story-telling to remove any character that was actually likable, but to counter that with trying to take the REALLY unlikable characters and make them pitiable? Stupid. I can’t connect with the show at all, and now it’s NOT just because I’m a sensible and logical and FREE American. It’s because much like the characters or the entire United Kingdom, I feel no emotion when I watch it. Okay I’m done ranting.

So as you can see, despite not really loving Downton, I still have enjoyed it (basically). I never intended to watch it, yet because of making the sacrifice of watching what SHE wanted to watch, I found something that I actually ended up liking.

And that’s the point. Yes, making the effort to sacrifice for the betterment of your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife (or whoever it might be) is a reward in and of itself, because it leads to a healthy relationship. BUT you never know when it will also lead to something you actually end up liking, which is just an added bonus. Sometimes it doesn’t make up for waking up everyday with an annoying acapella version of Party In The USA in your head, but that’s why God gave us Stankonia (I have a slight Outkast obsession, alright?).

Oh, and if you’re reading this, Amanda, I’m still not interested in watching Gilmore Girls.


About The Joseph Craven

I'm tall, but not so tall that people point and stare.

25 responses to “Sacrifices Must Be Made”

  1. Ricky Anderson says :

    Actually, Gilmore Girls was an excellent show.

  2. Chad Jones says :

    I had much the same experience with Bridesmaids. Went because my wife wanted to, ended up finding something I kinda liked. I mean there was a decent story at the heart of the thing that I didn’t expect to find.

    This also explains how, on one date night, we ended up at Did You Hear About the Morgans? What a steaming pile. But the movie wasn’t the point: I was with my girl.

  3. Jeff Sites says :

    Have you seen Drinking Buddies? Anna Kendrick may or may not be in that movie. Just sayin…

  4. Jeff Sites says :

    …AND that AUSTRALIAN NOT BRITISH girl has been in another movie with Anna Kendrick. Is it annoying that I’m saying Anna Kendrick so much?

  5. Jeff Sites says :

    AND I really like Downton Abbey. Genuinely.

    Anna Kendrick isn’t in it, by the way.

  6. Kevin Haggerty says :


    + My wife and I did the long distance thing for a few months when we first started dating, and for another few months while we were engaged. It was really hard. But probably not as hard as what you’re going through, because the distance wasn’t as far, and the time span was not as long.

    + My wife loves wicked. And that Accapella movie with Anna Kendrick and the fat “funny” girl.

    + My wife also loves Downton Abbey, and, like you, I too found myself dragged into watching each and every indecipherable episode.

    + My wife was a massive Gilmore Girls fan, and could probably quote every episode, line for line.

    My point? We’re pretty much the same person, except you have a beard, and I only grow one in November because it’s fashionable, and I want to admired by men and women alike for my momentary lack of a razor. Which, I guess means we’re actually not the same person at all. But we have ish in common.

    That wasn’t my real point.

    My real point is that I currently am married to “the girl.” We own a house. We have a baby. Life is good. We sacrificed a metric crap ton to get where we are, but it was worth it, and it made our relationship stronger than Rafael Palmeiro’s denial of using PED.

    I hope that is an encouragement to you.

    Or something.

  7. Mandie Marie says :

    I’m glad you’re making so many sacrifices so I don’t have to. Bazinga.

  8. Laura McClellan says :

    Gilmore Girls is the one show on the face of the planet I will never convince my husband to watch with me under any circumstances. He loathes it. And he does like Pitch Perfect. I think if you’re a man you just have to hate GG, and I’m willing to accept that. But not Pitch Perfect. That movie is delightful and ELIZABETH BANKS, Joseph Craven. ELIZABETH BANKS.

    Fine, whatever. Next time I come to Canada, Amanda and I will watch it without you and you can’t even come.

  9. moyermama says :

    I’m with you on Gilmore Girls. I KNOW, shocking – a girl who does not like that show.

    I watch Downton Abbey strictly because Bearded Husband begs me, too. He can’t get enough of O’Brien’s bangs. And you can’t dispute this because he’s never online.

  10. Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom) says :

    Ha. Very funneh.

    Not all Canadians nor all women like musicals. It pisses me off when people break out into song when they’re dresses as ____ (pirates/barmaids/weirdos). Can’t they just “say” their lines?

    But my husband and I have a theory (or rather, I have a rule theory he abides by): the Venn Diagram Theory of Relationships. This theory states that for a relationships to be successful, the Venn diagram needs to stay slightly overlapping but a lot separate. Ergo, it’s great your music/sports tastes are different.

    I’ll send you the receipt for my counselling services later. As soon as I turn down Sarah McLaughlin (sp) and find my husband who’s listening to the Clash.

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