Wit & Wisdom: Love Means Never Having to Hide Your Comic Books

Angela Henderson-Bentley

    People define true love in a number of ways. But to me, true love means never having to hide your comic book collection. It’s a little something I picked up while watching a Julia Roberts movie.
    “Runaway Bride” stars Roberts as Maggie Carpenter, a woman who’s become famous in her small town for leaving men at the altar, abandoning three weddings and preparing for a fourth. National newspaper columnist Ike Graham (Richard Gere) writes a scathing column referring to Maggie as “a maneater,” but when the column gets Ike fired, he’s forced to prove he was right about her.
    However, Ike ends up discovering he was actually wrong. Maggie wasn’t trying to destroy men; she was actually trying to please them too much. With every fiancé, she adopted his interests and likes – even switching the way she ate eggs to match him. And in the process of trying to make the man happy, she lost herself. So when she realized she was walking down the aisle toward someone who had no idea who she really was, she ran.
    Of course, she and Ike fall in love, making him the new groom - number four. All signs point to Ike being the one, but Maggie still leaves him at the altar. Why? Because Maggie realized that even though Ike knew exactly who she was, she had no idea.
    When we first start a relationship, we want to make a good impression and sometimes we hide little parts of ourselves. Maybe it’s an interest we think the other person won’t like or will find silly. But at some point, we have to find the courage to be ourselves and take the risk that the real you might be someone the other person doesn’t like, with the potential reward of a lifetime of happiness.
    I always hid my comic book collection. Now, I didn’t bury it in the backyard or anything; I just didn’t mention it because I thought some guys might find an adult woman still reading comic books to be silly. Eventually, I met a guy with whom I was willing to take the risk. And he didn’t run, in fact, he’s still here, and so is my comic collection.
    So many times I’ve seen women – and men – who end up miserable because they give up who they are to be more of what their significant other wants. They stop doing certain activities or throw out things that mean something to them. But as I learned from “Bride,” if you love someone, you accept them for everything they are – silly hobbies and all.
    And for my husband Roger, there has been much to accept over the nearly 10 years we’ve been married – my addiction to “Days of Our Lives,” my zealous support of Homer Bailey (my favorite baseball player), my nearly encyclopedic knowledge of Joe Burrow, and a burgeoning Funko Pop collection. But he’s accepted and even helped support all of it, and I accept and support all of Roger’s interests as well – although his are not nearly as geeky as mine.
    In case you haven’t seen “Bride,” Maggie does find herself – including what kind of eggs she likes – and she and Ike have a beautiful, simple wedding like she really always wanted. And because they allow each other to be themselves, I’m pretty sure they lived happily ever after. I’m not saying that Roger and I will live happily ever after, but I’d like to think we’ve got a pretty good shot. And I’ve got a pretty extensive comic book collection to prove it.