a person talks about Greys Anatomy

America has less than a week to go before GA comes back on. The PR machine has ramped up and so have the fans. There’s lots of debate about this and that, dissecting of every little word, tweet or promo from the cast. Shonda Rhimes, you are a genius!

But I’d like to talk about how some of the story lines in GA reflect my experience of life and how it affects me when that particular storyline is debated.

I don’t know how they did it but the writers/creators/actors of GA’s lesbian couple Calliope Torres and Arizona Robbins have beautifully captured the struggle faced both by the individuals and the couple, of coming back after trauma. For the sake of TV drama, this trauma falls in the shape of a plane crash, an amputated leg and infidelity. Don’t forget, this couple has already worked through a split, an unexpected pregnancy and a near fatal car crash.

In GA world, Arizona boarded a plane she wasn’t supposed to be on, was badly injured, eventually lost the father of her child, nearly died and lost her leg. Her focus on her limb, setting up the whole breach of trust/betrayal storyline is interesting. As a doctor she would know the leg had to go. As a viewer I find it hard to work out why she wasn’t able to rationalise the leg = death, no leg = life equation. But the God of this show is Shonda Rhimes so we shall leave that aside for now.

Meanwhile, her wife Calliope had to adjust to seeing her hitherto strong, independent, sexual woman reduced to tubes, incapacity, mentally and physically broken. She had to make the choice to cut the leg to save her dying wife – a no brainer – knowing this would cause distress to both Arizona and their relationship. Then she had to live with a person who felt less than whole, unlovable, angry, resentful, incapacitated, and quietly accept that crap while fielding endless ‘how’s Arizona?’ questions. Still working. Still parenting. Still trying to be a person. Still having to make decisions. Still trying to keep the ‘house’ running. While her wife sits in a chair wanting her there; hating her for being there; hating her for needing her there.

It’s an impossible position. You just can’t be the person that your person wants you to be while keeping everything else going.

If this is all starting to sound a bit personal, it is. While the trauma is not quite as dramatic as a lost leg/plane crash, the resulting effects on the relationship are very similar to real lives – like mine.

My wife has a chronic illness. And currently that’s manifested as a confronting, incapacitating arm infection. It required 12 days in hospital, three surgeries and an open wound that is still weeks away from being closed. I tweeted a lot while sitting at her bedside in hospital while she slept. It kept me distracted.

But it also made me realise there are a lot of people who don’t have much life experience talking about fictional characters and their story lines as if a)they were real and b)they knew what was going on.

A lot of them were judgemental, harsh, critical of the storyline, the actors, the creator.
I get that. When you are younger things are more black and white. Frankly, if you don’t have any trauma in your life – lucky you! But as life experience touches you, black and white becomes more challenging to maintain.

The storyline that some say is ‘unreal’ is very real to me. Sure, not the leg drama or the cheating drama – that is TV stuff. No, it is the two people trying to work out how to be in this new world of incapacity, changed roles, pain.

Relationships aren’t always happy. We are not always healthy or unstressed. Until you have to get help from your lover to wipe your ass, comb your hair or help shower you, you can’t really know the things that you have to give up and get over in a love/marriage relationship. If you haven’t had to re-imagine your relationship because you’ve had to help your partner in this way, then maybe consider before judging.

Watching GA takes me out of my real life. That is what it is there for and in the end, it’s just a story. But it does sooth me to see some of my experiences reflected in characters on screen. It makes me feel less alone.

But again this pre-season interview round has fans debating the people as opposed to the characters. Shonda has a boyfriend – why shouldn’t she? Capshaw doesn’t like infidelity – well der, she’s been married for nearly ten years.

I’m not saying fans can’t have an opinion. I enjoy watching and participating in the banter on my twitter feed.

What I’m suggesting is that TV drama is supposed to be a ‘hyper-real’ representation of life so we watch it. The agenda of the writers, actors and creators is to entertain and provoke – it’s art. That we are debating about it means they are doing their job, so let’s talk about that instead of the real people behind the show.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
A person

Twitter addiction

For 24 hours I was suspended from Twitter. Don’t know why.

But I was interested at my reaction to it. A bit lost. Pretty annoyed. Worried I’d done something wrong.

Why did I care? What had I lost? I don’t really know anyone on there.

Was it that someone had told me I was not good enough? Was I not sure enough of my own actions that I thought I’d done something wrong?

It’s disappointing that I still care so much about a social media account and use its rejection of me to hurt myself.

Don’t do that. You are more than an icon on a screen. You are a person. A valid person not defined by an online presence.

Wishing you all the happiness that the Universe can bring
A person

To appreciate…

To appreciate health, have sickness.
To appreciate having money, be broke.
Be grateful that you are warm because you could be freezing cold.
Remember when you felt lonely? Love those around you.
All things are temporary.
Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,
A person

Dear Jessica Capshaw et al.

Dear Jessica Capshaw, Angie Harmon, Zoie Palmer, Sara Ramirez et al all the other celebrities with fan-girl fandom who seem to somehow become so obsessed they go a little nuts…

Do you remember when you were 15 and everything was THE MOST IMPORTANT IN THE WORLD to you? Or maybe when you were in your early 20s (and some celeb crushes may not be that far off then…) and you were just trying to work out how to be in the world?

I do. And thank goodness there was no internet and no social media. Because goodness knows, obsessiveness feeds itself with access, and with these two inventions, fandom, celebrity, the meaning of fame, news and connecting like minds changed.

For example, when I was being obsessed with Jodie Foster in my 20’s I had to wait weeks for photos to come from England that I paid for to hang on my wall (Yeah, wow, I know, right!). Now I can just call up hundreds of different images, videos, chats, fan groups, blogs as fast as my browser can handle it (sorry Jodes, I’ve moved on).

I never contacted any of my celebrity crushes. The only reason I might contact them now is because at 42, I think (hope) I can actually talk to someone I’ve never met in a sensible, respectful and fun way. Because I’m a person who is just as valid as a ‘celebrity’ person. But I wouldn’t hunt you down, or invade your personal space because I wouldn’t do that to anyone else. And if I do tweet you, I kind of expect you have better things to do than tweet back (but feel free because I do like to chat!).

But JCap et al., I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this is the price of fame and social media presence. This is the price of your life choice, your artistic endeavours, your long hours at the gym, plastic surgeon’s office (I hope not), eating lettuce when you want chocolate (please say you at least have some chocolate…).

You want the fans and you get paid for those sacrifices and the attention. You get paid for the adulation and the obsessiveness, and the sex fantasies, just like Bieber and One Direction et al. (I know, different fandom, same characteristics). You don’t get to choose that.

BUT…
You don’t get paid to be bullied or harassed. And you don’t get paid to have your partner/children/friends/family harassed either. You don’t get paid to be probed, or poked or prodded.

Jessica, as much as any one fan girl might LOVE YOU SO MUCH I JUST CAN’T … they don’t have the right to intrude into your real world. Unfortunately though they will, because just like us all at one stage or another, some of them haven’t learned enough about life yet. And now they have access, real access, via social media.

I don’t know how you people cope with this but I don’t blame you for shutting accounts or hiding away.

Does that hurt the fans who are respectful? Well yes, it does because like the less controlled ones, we ‘love’ you too (as much as we can love someone who we actually constructed in our own minds – some of us actually realise we don’t really know you ‘for real’ at all).

So Jessica et al., do what you need to do to protect yourself and know that the non-boundary crossing fans will still be crushing on you all in the meantime.

It’s OK. We understand.

Wishing you all the greatest happiness that the Universe can bring,
A person