Happy Friday, y’all! What a week it’s been! I’m going to be doing things a little differently today. I have been fortunate and blessed enough to have so many wonderful grandparents and great-grandparents in my life. Four of those grandparents (my mom’s parents and stepmom’s parents) celebrate their anniversaries today. Their love stories are something out of a movie and will always be my favorites. But today I’d like to honor these four with a list of my other favorite love stories.
1. Chandler and Monica
I love Friends. It’s just such a funny, feel-good show. And while Rachel and Ross might be the main love story throughout the series, Chandler and Monica’s relationship is the best one. They love and support each other through all of life’s challenges–from career changes to family discourse to infertility. They accept one another’s faults and imperfections, like Monica’s obsessive need to clean and organize and Chandler’s immaturity. They are able to work through their problems and grow stronger after every obstacle. Friends may not be considered high-brow classic literature, but their love story is sure to give you butterflies and an endless supply of smiles.
2. Elizabeth and Darcy
Yes, this one is super cliche. And yes, I’ve already mentioned the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice in a different post. But it really is one of the greatest love stories of all time. I’ve always identified with Elizabeth: she’s so stubborn and sure of her own opinions that it’s often hard for her to see things any other way. And Mr. Darcy’s standoffish and stoic manner makes it even more difficult for her to see his true feelings and motives. Their love story is more than just boy meets girl and gets married. It’s the tale of a near forbidden love, a story of learning to look past our own preconceived notions and prejudices, a story of true love and how far a man will go to preserve it.
3. Jim and Pam
Okay, this one is totally cheesy, but I don’t care! My favorite show of all time is The Office, and it’s mostly because of Jim and Pam’s realistic and beautiful love story. Jim is in love with Pam from the moment he meets her, but Pam is engaged to Roy. It takes them a while to find each other and get the timing right, but they eventually do. Even then, their lives are not happily ever after. Two kids, new jobs, and different views of the future make this perfect match a little less perfect and a little more believable. Of course, they eventually work things out through counseling and hard work. Although it may be the cheesiest entry on my list, Jim and Pam’s love story is one of my favorites.
4. Belle and the Beast
Yes, I am well aware Beauty and the Beast is a children’s movie. No, I don’t care. This is one of the most loved and timeless of all love stories. Belle does not have Stockholm Syndrome. She learns that there are often reasons for people’s behavior. And Beast learns the importance of love and compassion. He’s willing to die so that Belle can be happy. That’s true love, animated or not. Through the catchy musical numbers and classic Disney flair, Beauty and the Beast is–at its heart–a very important lesson for all of us: never judge a book by its cover.
5. Scarlett and Rhett
Anyone who knows me knows this was definitely going to be on the list. Gone With the Wind is my very favorite movie, and Scarlett and Rhett are my absolute favorite love story. No, it isn’t perfect; it’s complicated. Rhett is in love with Scarlett from the first time he sees her at the barbecue at Twelve Oaks. Scarlett spends her life pining over a man who will never love her back, even after she and Rhett are married. When she finally does realize her feelings for Rhett, it’s too late. This isn’t the happiest of endings, but it’s often the truest. Life is complicated, and love doesn’t always happen the way we want it to.
While all of these love stories make me swoon and often bring a tear to my eye, the best love stories are always the real ones. Happy Anniversary Granny & Pa and Grammy & Poppy!