“I prefer the darker ending.”

Hubby and I recently watched two versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  The 1978 version with Donald Sutherland and the original black-and-white from 1956.  Each of the story lines were similar, each had its own “special” effects, but the endings were very different.


In the original, the invasion starts locally, in a small (fictional) California town.  Soon almost everyone in the town has been affected, and there are plans to further the proliferation of the alien race all along the coast.  But when the lone survivor is able to escape, he reaches humanity and is able to warn them of the coming devastation.

The final scene of the 1978 version begins a bit ambiguously–is Donald Sutherland pretending, masking his emotions, seeming to fit in with his alien conquerors, all the while planning a daring escape and counter-attack?  Sadly, no.  He’s one of them, and when his friend approaches him in the desperate hope that she’s not the last human left, he turns on her, alerting the other aliens of an impostor in their midst with a horrifying shriek.  The entire city of San Francisco has been taken over–likely, the whole world.

And the viewer is left with no glimmer of hope, no silver lining, no hero on a white horse coming to the rescue.

Guess which of the two endings I found more satisfying?  Okay, maybe satisfying isn’t the right word, but the dark, hopeless ending feels more realistic to me.  More bleak, yes, but closer to the truth.

We also watched Brazil last night (it’s been a weird week).  I confessed to Hubby that when I thought the movie was going to end on a hopeful note, I was pissed.  But when it changed–without giving too much away–the darker ending again felt truer to me.

I’ve told Hubby before, when he tries to convince me to cheer up and look on the bright side, that I prefer to be more realistic–which he calls “pessimistic.”  To quote Lloyd Dobler (again), “If you start out depressed everything’s kind of a pleasant surprise.”  To be fair, he’s not talking about himself.  Lloyd Dobler’s not that guy.  But I am that girl, apparently.

Hubby had his blood drawn today.  He gives his other sample on Monday.  I’m hopeful we’ll get good news, but even if we do, what do we do with it?  We can’t move forward with treatment until we decide where we’re going to live, where Hubby’s going to work, what kind of insurance we’ll have.  Etc., etc., etc.  Once again, I just feel stuck.

It’s been another week of hearing nothing (good or bad) on Hubby’s job search.  He’s applied for what must be hundreds of jobs by now, and he’s never had a call, never an interview, never a hint of interest.  No hero.  No white horse.

I don’t want the dark ending for us.  I don’t want Hubby to have to compromise on his dream job–because it’s just not happening–for a job that pays the bills and insurance that maybe covers IVF.  But I don’t want to remain in limbo, either, in a Twilight Zone of forever waiting.  It’s not even an ending I’m looking for at this point, it’s forward momentum.  It’s a plot twist, something to carry our story into the next scene.  Whatever that might be.

So, as I pretended to debate in my last post, I am ready for whatever happens next.  I guess the concern is that I’ll be out of shape.  We’ve been stuck in one position for so long, I’m afraid we’ve atrophied.  But even if moving forward means muscle cramps, bring it on.  I’m so tired of standing still.


23 thoughts on ““I prefer the darker ending.”

    • Uh, yeah, that’s the problem. We can’t move until Hubby has a job to move us to. We’ve made zero progress on that front. I hope change is coming soon, though.

      • Gotchya. Sorry, you probably explained that before, I forgot. I wish I had some genius advice…
        *internet hug*
        I know it’s easy to feel like the endings are either good or bad. I think real life is somewhere in between, just trying to do the best we have with the options we’ve got. But I’m glad you were able to enjoy a little entertainment… A reprieve from real life. I’m currently enjoying Iron Man … I know, I know, I’m a closet comic book nerd!

      • No worries. I think my previous comment came off a little bit bitchy, but that’s not how I meant it. I’m just frustrated that, job-wise, we’re still in the same situation we were in four years ago, and it doesn’t look like it’s changing anytime soon.

        We have been watching a lot of movies lately. We just saw Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in the theater tonight. Definitely a good distraction.

  1. I have to say that I think your personal situation is some special kind of torture. I have a hard time handling my own situation sometimes on a day to day basis but the kind of Limbo/stuck you’re in. I don’t know what Id do. There has to be a way to move forward, something has to change. And I hope its SOON!

    • Thank you, Jeanette. I hope it’s soon, too. It does feel a bit like torture these days.

      Oh, and be on the lookout for a package from amazon headed your way later this week!

      • you didn’t. Really. No you didn’t have to.

        Something has to break soon for you both, not only do you need it, you deserve it and everything in me hopes it happens soon! I know that a project to focus on, some change of scenery, some new adventure would make you so happy! Just try to be ready to embrace the change, because I think, when it comes, for you, it will be HUGE!

  2. This was a really interesting post. I have a huge problem with un-happy endings: they make me angry. Although, I love tragic romances. Maybe I just like a little resolution at the end? I certainly don’t like happy endings that are not earned: I HATE bad romantic comedies probably more than other types of ending.

    Hm. Very thought-provoking…and I hope change comes soon for you…

    • In movies/books/tv, I’m okay with darkness and ambiguity, but in my own life, those things just suck. And, yeah, the sappy, predictable romantic comedies are the worst! But sometimes I think it would be nice to have that kind of predictability in real life.

  3. I’ll be honest. I skipped most of this post b/c “Body Snatchers” scared the crapola out of me back in the day when I saw it. I didn’t want to dredge up old nightmares! 😛 However, I did read the end of your post. I think “standing still” is the worst part of any struggle in life. I need a plan. I need action. All my fingers are crossed for you that something happens soon so that you guys can move forward in some way!

      • I don’t know b/c it was a long time ago, but I think it was an updated version. Spaghetti noodle worm aliens going up your nose it what I always think of! Is that the same thing as one of the versions you watched?

      • The versions that I watched both had “pods” where the new bodies were being grown. The Donald Sutherland version had these hair-like things that would grab onto you, but nothing going up the nose, as far as I remember!

  4. I’m looking forward to that plot twist! Hope hubby’s tests come back with good news. Being in limbo, waiting is the worst, I know the feeling. xx

  5. I’m with you, the darker plots/endings are ok in fiction, but real life is a different can of worms! Whatever happens, however your story goes, it will NOT have a dark ending. From what I know of you through your writing, you just won’t let that happen. Yes, there will be bleak moments, dark chapters. But a dark ending? No, you will be your own white horse before you let that happen. 🙂

  6. The waiting really is the hardest part…. maybe it’s a good thing, though, that you’re conscious of not wanting to get stuck in one place? I’m not saying this well – I guess I think it’s better to know that you will move forward once you can, versus being happy to just be in limbo forever. Does that make sense?

    Also, mad props to you for making it through “Brazil”. That movie gives me the creeps!

    • Yeah, I think I know what you mean. At least I haven’t gotten so comfortable where we are that I’ve fallen asleep.

      And Brazil? Kinda creepy, but also, just weird.

    • Well, without getting too specific, he’s in academia and wants to be a professor when he grows up. But the job market is really tough right now.

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