Happy Valentine’s Day From Your Friends in Third-Wheeler Purgatory

Originally written January 11, 2017 at Shamrock (New Orleans)

I once dreamed of making feature films worthy of the highest accolades and prestigious awards. I heard the gift bags at award shows were legendary, and my eBay account could have used a ratings boost. The closest I ever got to professional film-making was the few times that friends hired me to film their most public of displays of affection; I made wedding videos.

Then I sold my camera and equipment to buy books for school (hello, eBay ratings!) And while I’m no longer paid to document PDA’s, I am still hopeful to one day make my films a reality.

So I sit here in Third-Wheeler Purgatory (the bar), subjected to all of the weird touchy feely things you do around me and unknowingly fueling fodder for my film scripts. I got to tell you, what I see is very uninspired. On behalf of single people everywhere, I’d like to share some of my notes with you.

***

First off, own it. Here’s your motivation: While us single people have a hole in our hearts that used to be filled with love, you have a hole in your good senses that used to be filled with a sense of shame. You have sober what us single people will be cleaning out our wallets for.

I see far too many people stealing pecks on the sly. Even worse, I’ve seen you freaks macking uncontrollably, then staring at each other like it’s a moment shared between only the two of you. Well, surprise! We are all in on that moment as well. Since we all have an equal stake in your love life, here’s how we would like to see that kiss happen:

 

INT. BAR – EVENING

DAVE and MARSHA cozy up across the booth from Marsha’s work friends, WHOSIT and NOBODY.

DAVE

So there I am, in front of the whole office, and I tell the man that he-

Dave leans over and kisses Marsha (French style) for a solid five-Mississippi.

DAVE

…that he can keep his shitty sales bonus.

They all laugh except Marsha.

 

Also, we really like fights. Not that we delight in your misfortune, remember- we’re all in this together. Like the kiss, you can’t be too aggressive in your fight, nor can you do it too passively. Enjoy this sample, and feel free to riff.

 

Marsha slaps Dave across the face. It’s so awky that it feels like it lasts five-Mississippi. The whole bar falls silent.

MARSHA

What the hell was that?

DAVE

Wha… what the hell was that?

MARSHA

You think you’re a dentist? You think you can just lean over and perform a spontaneous molar inspection?

Laughter erupts around them. Someone at the bar whistles.

DAVE

          I was being romantic, Marsha.

MARSHA

          Is mouth rape romantic?

Dave

It would be if I were a dentist!

Ooh’s and ah’s from the bar.

 

See that? A little kosher domestic violence and a little cinematic exposition, but at no point do Dave and Marsha force us out of the scene by escalating it to an unreasonable level.

One last bit of professional insight. You could probably direct your own wedding video using Go-Pros and selfie sticks, but that would be way too much effort and uncomfortable for all involved. Especially for the spectators (guests). So why, for the love of god, do you take selfies every time you kiss? Hear this: you don’t look carefree and cute and hopelessly in love. You look desperate for attention and affirmation.

In the spirit of enabling you to further disseminate your PDAs to the virtual world without ruining the moment for all of us, I’d like to offer my humble services as an ethical voyeur and document all your PDAs for you. We can work out payment/legal forms after the fact. So before I go, here’s the makeup scene.

 

MARSHA

          I’m sorry I slapped you.

DAVE

          I’m sorry I-

He kisses her without warning and at no point during those five seconds does anyone take any pictures or selfies, and everyone at the bar gets back to drinking and we all get on with our lives and I get paid.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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