Real marriage real love I found something so, so, long ago that within this soul it was her mate!
Welcome to February, one and all! Yes, it is the month of Valentine’s Day, which if gender stereotypes are meant to hold true, I should be absolutely terrified of because guys aren’t supposed to be romantic and Valentiney. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve always been a romantic at heart, so this time of year doesn’t really scare me. I’ve got better things to be afraid of.
As for the whole stereotype of guys not knowing how to be romantic, I find that bull. Real men know how to be romantic, and know how to enjoy romantic media. Still, since traditional romantic fiction may not be everybody’s cup of tea (I can only handle so much gooey, urple prose and people staring longingly into each others eyes going on and on about how terribly in love with each other they are without anything else happening), I have decided to dedicate this month to some of my favorite romances that you’ll find in traditionally “guy” media. Yes, that’s right, this month I am looking to sci-fi, horror, cartoons, gross-out comedies and action movies for some of my favorite sweet, romantic and occasionally downright tragic couples. Kicking off this list, we have none other than…
This one deserves a disclaimer up front. On the surface, Homer and Marge are actually a pretty dysfunctional couple. Over the course of the show’s 25 years (also, dear god this show’s been on a long time), they’ve broken up and gotten together and nearly cheated on each other more times than I can count, and that’s just in the time I watched the show, which I haven’t done actively in more than a decade.
I’m not going to say they’re perfect all the time. If they were, they wouldn’t be any fun to watch. No, Homer and Marge are dysfunctional as hell most of the time, but the episodes that truly focus on their relationship and what makes them work are truly some of the sweetest ever put on television.
Perhaps the best for this is the old-school episode The Way We Was, which s a flashback explaining how Homer and Marge got together in high school. He was a lazy slob, she was an overachiever, and after a chance meeting in detention after she got caught burning a bra in protest, Homer is head over heels in love with Marge. He makes up a little white lie that he needs her to tutor him in French, they spend some time together, and hit it off enough that she accepts his invitation to prom. When he tells her the truth, she says she doesn’t want anything to do with him and goes with fellow popular kid Artie Ziff to prom, completely humiliating Homer (who heads to prom alone and dejected) and leading to this utterly heartbreaking exchange:
However, when Artie gets too grabby post-prom and rips Marge’s dress, she realizes that she should have gone with sweet, if slightly dim-witted, Homer, and drives him home instead, leading to this unbearably sweet Homer quote:
All their problems aside , I tend to prefer the sweet, supportive side of Homer and Marge. The side where Homer divorces Marge so he can give her the wedding she always should have had, or the one that enlists help from the mob to support her struggling pretzel business, or the one who tries to make the most out of going to a romantic theme hotel without a reservation and getting stuck in the Utility Room.
I prefer the side of Marge who is, well, usually pretty blameless in their problems, but who will still defend Homer to people who call him stupid (especially her sisters) and who asks her Homey to put on the Mr. Plow jacket before they… snuggle.