I also have always been the type of person who doesn't just feel things. I FEEL ALL THE THINGS. If you cry, I cry. If you're happy, I'm happy. I want everyone around me to be comfortable because that's what makes me comfortable. I can't watch American Idol (or most other reality TV contests) because I become physically uncomfortable watching other people embarrass themselves.
Recently, thanks to some crazy good books and television, I've been worried about how involved I get with certain fictional people and situations. I read something or watch something that is so good and so REAL and so intense that I spend more of my real life time than I should processing what happened and why it happened and whether or not the reactions of certain characters was plausible (I'm looking at you, Sherlock) and so on and so forth. Really, I think a lot of this is because the creators and authors of these fictional worlds and characters have gotten so good at what they do that it can be difficult to separate the real world and the land of fiction. But, a part of me was definitely thinking that my obsessiveness was due, in part, to my singledom. I convinced myself that I have time to over-think all the fake stuff because I don't have enough real stuff to over-think (this post, if anything, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am an over-thinker).
All this changed after talking to my friend, Jamie, and having a spirited conversation about the merits of Logan Echolls and why Veronica and Logan are MFEO.
Do you see that look? That's true love, people.
We also talked a bit about this article. It talks about how fictional characters are unhealthy love interests. I don't agree with all of it because I think it's casting a pretty wide net. I don't think ALL women who obsess over Mr. Darcy or Edward Cullen or The Doctor are unable to develop stable relationships. They are out there, but they are not me. Also, this quote:
According to the Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Website, from statistics published by the Romance Writers of America, “the three primary traits that readers look for in heroes are muscles, handsomeness, and intelligence”.
"Muscles, handsomeness, and intelligence?" In that order? I am intrigued by the study that produced such statistics, but I digress. There are those fictional characters, though, that are kind of irresistible, and as this article points out, most of the time they are dark, brooding men reformed by love (once again, I'm looking at you, Sherlock). There may be nothing more exciting than that. That isn't to say I want to meet a dark, brooding man (who is usually also egotistical, maniacal, or has some history of violence or the tendency to lose his temper) in real life and reform him. That actually sounds like the worst thing and really difficult and kind of heart breaking just working through the drama that would be involved. Living vicariously is part of the excitement. Excitement once removed? Sure. That could be a thing.
The best part of this entire article and the conversation with Jamie, is that I realized I was not alone in my obsessions. I no longer feel bad for over-caring about the lives of fake people. Or for doing a tiny bit (hours) of follow-up research. This is a real thing and it has nothing to do with what is happening in my real life, but more to do with my character. I FEEL things and I care about people in real life, it only seems natural that those traits would lead to me feeling things and caring about people in fake life. So, for those of you out there wondering why you can't stop thinking about the latest episode of amazing television or why you are still emotionally exhausted from reading your latest awesome book, you are not alone. We are all a little crazy, but it's just because we care.