Say Anything was named the most romantic movie since 1975 by Entertainment Weekly. Even the Washington Post has commented on the popular obsession with this movie. But I've never been enamored of this movie--probably because before I ever saw Say Anything, I dated my own Lloyd Dobler.
Like Diane I was an over-achieving high school senior and like most seniors, she and I both looked ahead and saw an uncertain future as we made the transition from high school to college. Having someone’s unconditional love as reassurance during that transition time encouraged us both to leave home and challenge ourselves.
I met D when he was still spending summers working at the movie theater, even though he was a high school teacher nearly 10 years my senior. He had aged out of his trench coat phase before I met him and at first he was just someone to safely flirt with as I broke out of my shy mold. After I replaced him as the object of my affections, he began to subtly pursue me.
We started seeing each other at Easter and our relationship became public in June after I graduated. After our summer together, I went away to school and our connection continued through expensive hours on the phone, visits and special packages that arrived for me. Sometimes they were just letters—sent with humorous return addresses to make me smile before I even opened the envelope. Once he sent flowers, but more often they were mix tapes complete with detailed explanations of why he included each song. Included on the first tape was “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel from the romantic climax of Say Anything.
During our second summer together D continued his mission to show me classic 80s teen flicks, but despite talking about it, somehow we never saw Say Anything together. That August I broke up with him as we sat in his car—paralleling another pivotal Say Anything scene.
Once, months after we broke up, he told me that he’d already planned when he was going to propose to me and when we were going to get married. No boomboxes outside my window or taped letters would be able to bring me back to him because by that point I’d already moved on from my Lloyd.
Unlike the women quoted in the Washington Post article, I’m not still looking for Lloyd—now I’m hoping for Jake Ryan.