After being told several times over dinner by my friend last night that I am indeed a hopeless romantic (something I argued), I got home and thought I’d put on An Officer and a Gentleman. Apparently, I needed a good cry. I also love Debra Winger.
So there I am watching the movie, eating burnt popcorn because I’ve yet to figure out how to make it in a pot with oil, and I’m cursing at Zack (Richard Gere) for stringing Paula along (Winger), and all that usual stuff I do when I watch a movie alone.
Since I’m not about to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it (although you really should have by now), basically the character Lynette (Paula’s friend) fakes a pregnancy in the hopes of making herself a Naval officer’s wife so she get the hell out of her shitty little town. It’s not about love, it’s about escape.
When Sid (the supposed impregnator) finds this out, he does the “right” thing and proposes to her. Because that’s what people did back then when they knocked them up: made them their wife. But the clincher is that Sid, in wanting to immediately become a responsible husband and father, and having been under a lot of stress during his training, has actually DOR (drop on request) earlier that day before he heads to Lynette’s to propose. Of course she’s ecstatic with the proposal, says yes, but then when he tells her about his DOR, she freaks and tells him there is no baby — there never was a baby. More drama ensues and there are a lot of tears, but the takeaway, or at least the major takeaway from me when I first saw it (it came out in 1982), but I didn’t see it until years later, because babies don’t understand such things, was that women actually do this. Women actually fake pregnancies.
Of course, at the time, I didn’t understand why they would do such a thing. It’s so wrong, and this is coming from someone who isn’t exactly known for having upstanding morals. But as I got older I even had friends who admitted to having lied about being pregnant in the hopes of keeping a boyfriend around, even a few acquaintances who have done it solely for attention. Attention? So you have the legitimate reason to buy baby clothes for your dream child?
It just seems like the most dishonest thing a woman can possibly do, in my humble opinion.