In Which We Are the Exception

I look around at my close circle. The intimate few. And I think about their love stories. Not one is typical. Reminds me of one of my favorite movies, he’s just not that into you. “You are not the exception,” is the lesson of this film. And frankly, I always wanted to get on my feet and applaud every damn time Justin Long exasperatedly tells this to Ginnifer Goodwin. (total girl crush by the way) I’ve felt this way as I watched friends get crushed and hang onto people for far too long because letting go of even an awful relationship is terrifying. Because heaven forbid we have to spend a little time with just ourselves.

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The message in my head plays along, People will not change in the way you want them to. You are not the exception sweetheart. Even typing these words I’m like yes, yes, yes. I should make a banner. Not very catchy though.

Then I look at that circle again. The faces looking onto their loves softly. More than one of them has an atypical story. Stories that if you read only the beginning of you would not think ended in love or anything of the sort. Stories where I stood by quietly wondering where they would go. More than once closing my lips to the skeptical thoughts struggling to burst out. Does that make them the exception? Am I surrounded by exceptions?

I’m realizing there are few stories of love – friendship included, which follow any kind of plot curve. Humans are pressed together with a thousand layers, and we only see the top one with our cursory glances. The filmstrip the rest of the world sees isn’t always the same story we ourselves know to be true. The behind the scenes reel tends to only make appearances for a special few.

Maybe every love story is an exception. It’s a choice to put someone else in front of ourselves, and damn if that isn’t an exception to just about everything flying past our eyes. A choice to wrap your arms around someone after they were just the world’s most royal asshat of the day. A choice to look past someone hurting you to understand why they are acting this way. A choice for them to hold your face after you let sharp words ink their heart.

Instead of pining for someone to make us their exception I want to learn to start being an exception. Pleasantly surprising someone with compassion, when honestly, other words might be more deserving. Dropping a sweet note on a friend’s desk or into the mail for the one who’s scraping by. Then again we all know how the movie ends…


I might have swooned with the rest of ya, but I still don’t believe in being the exception. I do believe in becoming one.


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