Because I like chicks.
I know, to you manly men out there it sounds silly. I guess to you girly girls it sounds silly too.
Let me clarify by first explaining the subset of chick flicks I like. I like “How I Met Your Mother.” Yes, it is a TV Series and a sitcom, but at its heart?… chick flick… Then, more traditionally classified as “chick flick” TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy… I like that too. Then, there are some movies that strictly fit the bill, like “Love, Actually” and I guess “The Princess Bride” may qualify too.
What do all of these things have in common? Emotion. I don’t know if it’s strictly a function of ADHD, but I can only pay attention to very few things in life. Number one is coding. Number two is reading. Number three is writing(thank god for blogging). Number 0 is emotionally charged anything.
I was talking to a girl once, and she talked about giving up on herself intellectually. I became instantly emotionally invested in her and the next morning I remembered the name of her dog. That was the first night I ever got really drunk and the start of a 13 year relationship that included marriage. There was another girl I met a few times, and then once, she was offhandedly talking about her son and it hit me like lightning that she was there. It was right out of a cheesy 1980’s rock song, hair blowing in the wind, the whole 9 yards. I am sure she would have loved to have been in one of those videos. Emotional investment is this tremendous counter to my attention problems.
I have no problem telling you that romance gives me emotions to reach out to and as a result I become much more invested in the characters and can genuinely enjoy the shows and movies more. It is very simple, actually. It clearly explains why a movie about thugs running around with guns does nothing for me, but I am invested in the Godfather(s) and anything about organized crime. The Untouchables touched me. I mourned for The Departed. And I have ridden the roller coaster with Meredith Grey.
Horror movies are about sparking fear and adrenaline responses and do little for me. I jumped out of an airplane and even that was not about adrenaline for me. It was serenity and serotonin and dopamine. I wish I could tell you my heart was racing and if my blood pressure skyrocketed, or that that wasn’t the case, but all I can say is I don’t think they did. Next time I will record those details for posterity.
The bottom line is very simple, I think all human beings require this emotional bridge so we can share the illusion that no man is an island. Some people were raised to feel connected through competition. Some people were raised to feel connected through cooperation. I am comfortable enough to appreciate that connection in any form it comes.
All that being said, I cannot stomach Sex and the City(sex IN the city?). I cannot stay awake through The English Patient. I cannot just hang out at the mall when my air conditioning breaks and I don’t want to go home. I cannot hear you when you talk about that purse you were just dying to buy. I am by no means a girl, but I can appreciate some of the stuff tailored to your mountainlike personalities.
Now to shove all that background into the ultra simplistic answer. Chick flicks remind me of women. They stir parts of my heart that allow me to focus and pay attention. There are plenty of other movies that stir my emotions just as deeply, but I need that emotional connection.