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In Spring, Love’s Labors Lost

It was one of the hardest phone calls I’d ever had to make.

We’d been seeing each other since last fall. Now it had finally become clear that things just weren’t going to work out.

Even when you know you’ve got to end it, though, it’s always hard to tell the other person.

Our relationship had seemed so right at first.

She was local, we knew a lot of the same people, and she was very easy-going. She didn’t care if we didn’t go out much. In fact, she preferred just to stay around the house and watch TV or a movie.

We enjoyed a lot of the same things, such as “Family Guy,” “The Simpsons,” and pretty much any kind of sports.

Beginning last fall, we followed the Patriots all the way to the bitter end at the Super Bowl. We caught lots of Celtics and Bruins games. Even reruns on the Major League Baseball channel were fine with her.

Sometimes it’s the easy relationships that are the ones we choose, even if in the long run they’re not the right ones for us.

Maybe I should have tried dating other people, but she was so accommodating. And not to get too personal, but I could tell that I really turned her on.

I was surprised to find out that while we lived in the same town, she knew a lot of famous people: Dustin Hoffman, David Duchovny, Mary Louise Parker, Don Cheadle – she was on a first-name basis with all of them.

Maybe that’s why she liked to go in style. She had expensive tastes, but for a long time it seemed like she was worth it.

As things warmed up this spring, I suppose I should have realized that we would be seeing less of each other.

But nothing prepared me for the strong urge I had to be out more and more by myself. The same pursuits we had once shared so happily just didn’t do it for me anymore.

I realized that there were women out there who were much better conversationalists, who could engage me on many more levels.

Soon enough, I began sneaking around to see other people. I didn’t feel right about it – one never does – but I realized I needed more in life than she could bring me.

And so it was that last week, I made the move I had been dreading for months: I called DirectTV and told them to cut off the premium channels.

No more new episodes of “Treme.” Lena Dunham and her goofy young friends will just have to make it through Season 1 of “Girls” without me.

I won’t be staying around to watch Mary Louise Parker jump the shark, now that she’s out of prison and back to dealing dope on “Weeds.” The lovely Mary Louise and her stoner crew will have to make it through another set of improbable, pot-fueled adventures without my guidance.

David Duchovny, Class A Jerk with a Hidden Heart of Gold, will have go solo in surviving the latest weirdness Hollywood has to throw at him. Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte and the rest of the crew of the excellent “Luck” are gone for good anyway, done in by bad ratings and the death of three horses on the set.

While I don’t regret leaving behind the hokum of shows such as “The Borgias” (Note to Jeremy irons: How could you?), I’m sure I will miss the process of discovering new gems on HBO and Showtime.

Maybe there are some good films out there these days. But it seems to me that the caliber of the scripts on premium cable channels is way better than the pap they’re serving up in movie theaters these days.

Few films offer the deeply involving, morally nuanced dramedy of “Californication” from Duchovny and crew. And for anyone who works at a company that uses outsourced talent, Don Cheadle and his team in “House of Lies” offer a hilariously troubling look at the high-priced people who advise corporate decision-makers.

It’s not all Emmy Award-winning, of course. For every excellent show on the premium channels, there are a couple of bad pieces of original programming (see “Game of Thrones”) and five mediocre movie reruns.

I knew Adam Sandler had made a few weak comedies, for example. Too bad for Adam that the expensive cable channels seem to feature a couple of them every night.

Nonetheless, my eight-month experiment with the premium channels has me wishing those horses hadn’t died on the set of “Luck.” I’d like to find out how the mysteriously shady characters played by Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Farina made out in their attempt to take over that California racetrack.

I’m leaving “Girls” just as Lena Dunham’s character may finally be getting a boyfriend and not just a bedroom partner. I’ll have to wait several months to learn the fate of that young couple, until the series is out on DVD.

Sometimes, though, the best relationships are worth waiting for.

– 30 –



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