A few weeks ago, D entered an essay contest (and we just found out he came in THIRD! Way to go, huzbah!) and kept urging me to enter, as well. I was reading some book or another on my comps list and told him I just couldn't do it. Plus, I had no inspiration. It's been a while, actually, since I've felt like I could put down a book and write without losing myself to it, causing me to reject completing the book. No bueno, amigos. But he did push topics at me and, eventually, tackled me into a conversation on Wolverine. We had recently seen the Origins of Wolverine movie and Dustin began advocating Cyclops while we sat, computer before him, book in my hands, in Panera Bread on Hilton Head Island.
"Cyclops is pretty great, too. He got the girl," Dustin remarked, mentally likening himself to the character. "He's a good guy: reliable, powerful, important, smart. He could totally kill Wolverine with his power if he wanted to. AND, he got the girl."
"He has no edge. No...spark. Wolverine is just mysterious and rebellious and he only has eyes for Jean Grey. He's sexy and funny and untamable. Cyclops is the right choice. The smart choice, the guy Jean should be with, but women are always attracted to the Wolverine's in the pack."
We continued to discuss the fact that Cyclops felt intimidated by Wolverine. In the first movie, he tells Wolverine to 'stay away from my girl,' moments after saying that IF he had to tell Wolverine that, then Jean was clearly NOT his girl. Obvious unsettlement on the part of Cyclops. Obviously he's threatened, and who wouldn't be? It's Hugh-Sexiest-Man-Alive-2008-Jackman!
I've had my students watch and write papers on this film. Mainly, they've discussed LGBT Rights, Civil Rights, the Holocaust...etc. But one of my students wrote a paper on Jean Grey's plight of having to choose between the "good guy" and the "bad boy." We spent quite some time discussing how girls always go for the ass holes who treat them like shit and always overlook the wonderful, stable men who adore them. In the end, the paper was just ok, but the points we discussed or that I found my thoughts wandering to when faced with the dilemma of Dr. Grey's choice were accurate.
As a normal woman, Jean was clearly drawn to the unequivocal sexual energy radiating off of Wolverine and immensely attracted to his passionate desire for her and her alone. He was smart, funny, strong, independent, devoted, sexy and capable. But he was also temperamental, unpredictable, at times, frightening, prone to fits of rage and disappearance...in short, completely unpredictable and unreliable. Whereas Cyclops is also attractive in a subdued kind of way when compared to Wolverine (the guy wears turtlenecks and, let's face it, not all men should be wearing turtlenecks...especially if they're trying to appear more masculine than the leather-jacket clad, motorcycle-stealing, on the hunt, steel razor-clawed Wolverine), smart, reliable, loyal, adoring, trusting, responsible, kind, caring, thoughtful...etc. Need I go on? So, why the hang-up, Jean? Why the obvious feelings of hesitancy when Wolverine is around?
The answer is simple: something in us wants to rescue that lone Wolverine, pull him in and tame him just enough to keep him "ours." We don't want him to lose his mystery or passion, we just want him to keep it reserved for us.
The problem is, once Wolverine is ours, or, hers, that is...she wouldn't want him anymore because he wouldn't be what she loved after all. He couldn't be rebellious and independent, temperamental and unpredictable yet loyal and stable, cautious and reliable. In the end, what women really want and what it takes some of us 28 years to figure out, is the calm, certain version of Wolverine: Cyclops.
I lowered my book to look at Dustin plugging away at his computer across from me, glasses clutching to the bridge of his nose, hair tousled from his hands running through it in concentration, tanned face and glowing green eyes and said: "In the end, no one really wants Wolverine because no girl would ever be happy with the kind of life that would mean for her. He would never change or become reliable. And if he did, he wouldn't be the person we fell in love with and the whole relationship would be a great big sham. At the end of the day, once we figure out what's good and true in life, we're all going to go for the guy with the glasses who will love us forever and never make us wonder where he is or if he's coming back. It's why I married you, honey."
I think he was excited that I, too, had likened him to Cyclops. He's right, after all, he's a pretty awesome character, too!
On an unrelated side note, Bogey is doing much better today (thanks for all the well-wishes). I ran 6.2 miles yesterday, which brought my week to about 20 miles. I'm still aiming to do the Roots and Blues BBQ Half Marathon on the last weekend of September so I'll have to get my mileage up, but I am proud to say I ran the 5k distance in 23 minutes...a new PR! And the huzbah did 5 miles, too! Welcome back, D! By the time school starts, I want to be up and finished with my run by 7am...just one week left...ugh.