Fellow readers and writers, tell me I’m not alone.
Tell me that there are others who will get into slumps over people who don’t exist.
Tell me that I’m not the only person on this earth who regards fictional characters as people.
Tell me I’m not the only one who experiences that connection, and thus, am not a freak.
I can’t even describe how defensive and somewhat stupid I feel every time something happens to a fictional character I know.
Let’s start with Little Men and my two-day pout over a certain Dan.
I had to read a book for English as my final, and then make a blog about it. This blog was a lot of fun, because I chose a book that I had read before, but never really enjoyed before: Little Men. I loved its predecessor, Little Women, but had yet to regard it in the same manner.
I loved it. I’m telling you I fell in love with some of the characters. The narrator, Nat, for one, captured my heart with his sweet boyish ways. I enjoyed Daisy and how she loved her brother more than I, without siblings, could imagine. But most of all, I loved the character of Dan; this rough, rough boy who came from a bad situation with so much negativity, and turned his life around, ultimately being redeemed as a person and developing beautiful, wonderful qualities.
I mean, sure, he’s like, one hundred-something years older than me and doesn’t exist, but he was fantastic.
Another part of my final project was finding literary criticism on the work that you chose. I managed to dig up an article or two on Little Men, and was utterly horrified by one of them.
Not only did the article insult me, but it told me exactly what happened to every character in the third and final installment, Jo’s Boys. I cringed as I read of who died, who started schools, and then finally, settled on one piece of stone cold ice which drove into my heart: my Dan went to jail for manslaughter.
This stupid article didn’t warn me that it was about to spoil the entire next novel! It didn’t care who it offended!
And me? I was sad for at least two days. It was ridiculous. He didn’t exist, and even if he did, he’s one hundred years older than me, so it wouldn’t have ever worked out.
As I speak this to you, I’m getting sad again, so let’s move on to the television show, The Middle. As not to follow the horrible, non-spoiler-warning example that certain articles have shown me, I’m now warning you, my reader, that this will be spoiler-y.
At some point in one of the seasons of The Middle, the characters Sue and Darrin began to date. They had a rocky relationship, because Sue’s older brother was a jerk about the whole thing. Eventually, Sue developed a huge crush on Darrin, and for her prom, wanted nothing more than to go with him. Somehow, because it’s a television sitcom, she ended up with five total dates to the prom, so Darrin retracted his offer. When he found out what he’d done, how upset she’d been, he ran to the school and made it up to her. He explained that he didn’t care about prom–he only cared about her (again, television sitcom, but romantic none-the-less). They began to play this song, which was really beautiful, and Darrin ran all over his words and finally kissed her. For months, I associated this song with something good, something beautiful, something sweet and romantic and “awwww”.
Television sitcoms, why you gotta rain on my parade.
A season later, with Sue and Darrin dating again, Darrin proposes. Sue freaks out, and an entire episode revolves around how she can say no without hurting him. When, at the end of the episode, she finally gets a chance, the ordeal is sweet. She explains that she’s not ready for marriage, she has other things she wants to do (understandable, not being out of high school yet)–even though he might be her “forever”, she isn’t ready to start forever just yet. Darrin seems to understand, and states his point of view. He’s ready for marriage. Sue takes off the ring and again explains that she still loves Darrin, but she’s just not ready for marriage yet. They embrace. The song, which is attached to warm and fuzzy feelings, begins to play. As the beautiful melody floats through the air, Darrin breathes and says, “Goodbye, Sue Heck.”
These fictional characters are so good together. You want them to be together, just maybe not this moment in time. And now, every time I hear that song, I think of this beautiful moment of a relationship being reborn, and the next thing to envelop my mind is, “Goodbye, Sue Heck”–a moment of utmost finality and misery.
Again, I’m getting sad. The music makes me want to cry. And it’s the most beautiful song…
Am I the only one who suffers from this? This connection to people who don’t exist, people that I want to exist, people who endure so many trials?
…fictional is tough.