My prince thinks he’s a frog

Here are some of the entries for the "Cast a 'Casablanca' Remake" ticket contest. Winners have already been chosen, but feel free to leave a comment with your own ideas.

As for tonight:

1. Pre-party is open to everyone. It starts at 6:30/7 p.m. and goes until 8:30. It is at Orleans in Davis Square. It's first come, first served, so try to get there on time. It is a pre-party, not a post-party -- I think the movie theater's website said "post," but it's pre, for sure.

2. At 8:30ish, movie ticket holders should make their way to the Somerville Theater. Right at 9, Wesley Morris and I will do a quick Q&A/introduction and screen the film.

3. I think it's about sold out, but there might be a ticket or two here.

4. See you there.

Hi Meredith,

I am engaged to a wonderful man. We are both in our mid-to-late 20s, and have been together for four years. Our wedding is set for next year, and after we got engaged a few months ago, we moved in together. We are obviously not without our squabbles, but at the end of the day, I can honestly say that I am marrying my best friend.

There's just one small thing that has started bugging me more and more. My fiance went to community college and then went on to a not-highly-ranked state school due to numerous financial and familial problems. He graduated a few years after he was “supposed” to. He now has his Bachelor’s degree and a job that he has been in for several years, which he enjoys and plans to make a career of. I went to an impressive university and got a post-graduate degree in my field. My career is a bit more fast-paced and demanding, and my colleagues are all quite intelligent.

My fiance does not lack self-esteem. He tells me quite often how he knows that he will be successful in his life and how driven he is. That is one of the things that I respect most about him. His ambition is something that I know I will always be attracted to. But sometimes he doesn't do himself justice.
For instance, friends of his have joked that I am smarter than him. This is by no means the case. But sometimes I think that he buys into all of it. For instance, a few weeks ago we watched a movie that was difficult to understand and when I tried to have a conversation about the plot, he brushed it off and said something like "I just loved watching it with you." While that is very sweet, I want to have intelligent conversations about books, movies, and plays with my spouse and I was bothered that he didn't want to discuss it. When I try to talk about work issues with him, he tells me that he doesn't know how to respond because he doesn’t have a background in my career -- but sometimes my problems are just about interpersonal issues. He shuts down discussions that I try to have with him about things that are bothering me (not about him, about other aspects of my life) by just saying "Well, I love you," but I'm looking for more of a conversation. When I vent to him, he listens, but then he changes the subject without really acknowledging what I've said, telling me he doesn’t know what to say. I honestly don't know if he does it because he thinks we are not on the same intelligence level.

I have told him many times how smart I think he is and how envious I am of the things that he is good at. When interacting with my colleagues, though, he often "defers" to me in a way that he thinks is cute, but I think it’s embarrassing. I want a partner, not someone who puts me on a pedestal.
He is usually a strong-willed guy who knows his own mind and is not afraid to share his opinions. How do I get him to treat me like an equal? I honestly don’t think I’ve done anything to make him think that I view him as anything less than my partner and I think that he thinks he is showing me how much he loves me by treating me like a princess. And while I love him for that, I am just as lucky to be with him. How do I get him to see that he's just as smart as I am and that I value his advice and opinions?

– This Princess Wants Her Frog to Know He's a Prince, Cambridge

You know, TPWHFTKHAP, I'm not convinced that your frog doesn't know he's a prince. He values his job. He has self-respect. Is it possible that he just didn't feel like discussing a movie he didn't enjoy? Is it possible that he defers to you in front of your work friends because he's counting the minutes until he can escape a party that bores him? Is it possible that he doesn't give you advice about your problems because he's not the best listener?

I think that he's proud of you -- maybe even in awe of you -- and that he likes to show it. But he has different interests than you do, and he doesn't always like to broaden his horizons. My advice is to give him the option of saying, "I don't love your work parties," or, "That movie was great, but now I'd like to watch 'Road House' and not talk about it."

You have to accept him as he is -- a smart guy who can't be everything to you. You might have to have some of those work conversations with a friend who gets it. You might have to go to artsy films with a family member.

My gut tells me that he's a prince who knows he's a prince. He just doesn't feel comfortable in all situations. Unfortunately, some of those situations are the ones you have to put him in because you're his fiancee. Accepting his interests and his social strengths and weaknesses will make the marriage much easier. I assume the married folks will tell you the same thing. He's just not going to be good at everything.

Readers? Is this about intelligence or does he simply shut down when he can't relate? How can she teach him to have big discussions? Is this something that will affect their marriage? Discuss.

– Meredith