The Summer of Awesome – Day 11

At this point, I am just about 1/3rd of the way through The Book of Awesome. I’m probably going to start running out of stuff to say soon enough…

(61) The first scoop out of a jar of peanut butter (pg 117)

Oh, well, I haven’t run out of things to say here!

I used to love peanut butter. It was toasty, tasty and still relatively healthy compared to other snack foods.

BUT THEN…

Around 2011, my allergies started to get weirdly out of control. I’ve always had allergies – trees, pollen, dust, some foods. Suddenly, as of this year, I was getting itchy all the time and headaches and sinus pains much too frequently. I knew I had sinus issues, sure, but this was too often. And then the worst happened…

I found out I was allergic to apples. My favourite fruit, that which everyone associated with ME, and I was allergic to it!

From there it was a steady fall of other fruits – peaches…pears…plums…pineapple…

Then other foods – shrimp, mushrooms, zucchinis, cashews, almonds, pecans and yes…peanuts.

I am very fortunate to not be anaphylactic at this stage, but it has reached the point where I can’t even have regular – non-peanut, just chocolate – M&Ms because my throat starts feeling bruised and swollen.

Allergies are thought to be cyclical, so there’s a chance I might not always have them, but I’ve been having allergy injections for about two years now and I still have had pretty severe reactions, so it’s not something I like to risk. (I can’t even go near apple trees or orchards because I start to react – I even had a reaction walking by some in our kitchen one time.)

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Hooray for peanut-free, but look what other food just happens to be on this label… -_-

So, with all this on my plate (or, that is to say, not on my plate) – I am relegated to eating soy nut butter. Namely – as seen to the right – WOW Butter.

And lemme tell ya, it’s okay as a substitute, the consistency is close, as is the look, so you don’t feel so left out on the peanut butter front… but it’s still not peanut butter.

I have yet to find anything aside from Wow Butter that I can actually eat and even that I shouldn’t have to often because it’s made of soy and apparently it’s easy to become sensitive to soy too…

I have tried Sunflower Seed Butter, but it’s not creamy and doesn’t taste anywhere close to the deliciousness of peanut butter.

I am very jealous of people without allergies! I would even settle for just the peanut allergy as long as I could have other nuts – almond butter and almond milk and the like seem like fine substitutes to have!

Alas, I guess those things are just not meant for me…

(62) Hearing a stranger fart in public (pg 119)

Honestly.

What am I supposed to say about this one??

It is pretty funny, I’ll give you that. Sometimes it’s mortifying, though, and you feel so bad for that person. Actually, you know what this makes me think of – that German word that means you feel embarrassed for someone else’s embarrassment.

Ah, here it is:

fremdschämen

That’s me. That’s how other people’s public farts make me feel.

(63) Perfectly toasted toast (pg 122)

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This. This is my perfect toast.

To some of you, this is probably WAY under-toasted to be a good piece of toast and some of you will think it’s even too toasted. The point is – we all have our ideal and I can bet no two people have the exact same version of perfection.

Even when it comes to what you put on your toast – what does everyone prefer?

As you’ve seen above, I eat Wow Butter, so my current favourite of late is slathered in Wow Butter, with a bit of raw honey. On the days when I am trying not to have too much Wow Butter, some regular butter and honey, or coconut oil and honey are good too. If I could still have peanut butter, I’m sure that’d win out though!

(64) When someone unjams the photocopier for you (pg 123)

These angels, who come along and do this are a GOD-SEND! I am glad now that I have had a ton of experience with a variety of photocopiers at my various jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities over the years because at first they were just so intimidating.

The intimidation factor goes up when you consider that photocopiers in this day and age aren’t just about photos or copying, they have all this newfangled computerized technology so you can email and scan and download your entire genetic makeup and life history (okay, maybe not that…yet).

About 4 years ago, at one of my jobs, I realized something that I feel I ought to share with all of you, as a Public Service Announcement, just in case it ever happens to you:

Sometimes the “jam” isn’t a JAM at all! 

It’s the computer memory thinking it’s a jam

…but there’s nothing at all in the way!

For a good half hour, my coworker and I ripped apart our photocopier, trying to find where the pesky piece of paper had gotten lodged. We literally pulled out EVERY paper – all stacks, all loose sheets. We managed to find a moderately jammed piece of paper and got it out in one piece – not a single tiny corner left behind (sometimes those are the culprit that’ll ruin the whole thing!) and yet the screen kept flashing “Paper Jam.

She eventually gave up and went back to work, deciding she no longer had the time or patience for the infernal device, but I was determined.

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That’s right, you heard me you dang boxy robot (droid)!

I wasn’t about to let some boxy robot tell me what’s what!

After double checking all of the trays again, I started to wonder…

Wait a minute…

What if it wasn’t an issue with the photocopier itself, so much as it was the computer screen?

I scoured the photocopier for some sort of indication of the make and model, and managed to find a number I could search.

Sure enough, I found out that it was not uncommon for photocopiers, particularly of that make, to accidentally store when a jam had happened in its memory!

I found instructions to clear the memory and voila! Good as new.

This happened again recently on a different photocopier at a different work place, so it is much more common than you’d think. So the next time your photocopier is telling you it has a jam and you’re sure it doesn’t, heed my advice!

(65) Reading the nutritional label and eating it anyway (pg 124)

Sometimes, he’s right, you just have to live a little! It’s okay to take that chance every so often – so long as your personal health allows for it – but…it is a bit scary to look at something and see your ENTIRE’S DAY worth of sugar allotment.

(66) When you’re watching one of your favourite movies and you realize you don’t remember how it ends (pg 125)

I can’t see this ever happening – at least not with me. If a movie is a favourite, I will definitely remember what happens because that means I’ve watched it a billion times.

non-stop-movie-poster.jpgcan see it happening with a good movie that, maybe, I’ve only seen once. This actually did just happen a little while ago with my family and the Liam Neeson movie, Non-Stop.

We’d all seen it before, we’d all enjoyed it and yet, for the life of us, none of us could remember who the actual “bad guy” turned out to be.

We knew it wasn’t Liam Neeson, but it literally could have been anyone else.

And even though we’d seen it before, we were all gripped, trying to remember until the big reveal. (Just a note that my dad was right on with his guess.)

I find this is something that happens often too with shows like Law & Order, where you remember the episode is good, but you have no clue who actually did it. (That is, until they started to have a lot of famous and flashy guest starts, then it just turned into, “Oh, hey, *insert big name celebrity here* is guest-starring…They did it.” :p )

And that’s where we shall adjourn for today (that Law & Order bit and The People vs. OJ Simpson are getting too into my brain!)

 

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The Summer of Awesome – Day 7

Wow, we are only a few days from the end of July? When did that happen?!

I guess time flies when you’re writing about The Book of Awesomes awesome things…

(37) Licking the batter off the beaters of a cake mix (pg 76)

Ohh yes. As a child this is the whole reason to even HELP making a cake. You think maybe, just maybe, your mom – or whoever is making it – will be nice enough to let you lick the beaters or bowl.

My mom was always that nice.

Then you get those occasional Debbie Downers, who yell not to because the egg in it will kill you. I did this often enough, and I am still here 20 years later, so I think it’s okay just for a teensy bit!

Just remember to turn the beaters off first because that might cause some serious danger…

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Is there anything you can’t connect to a Simpsons GIF? Sure doesn’t seem like it… 😀

(38) Being the first person into a really crowded movie theater and getting the prime seats (pg 77)

Nowadays in the era of IMAX, VIP, UltraAVX and the like, you can book your seats well in advance.

*Prepare yourself for a “Kids these days” moment.*

But seriously…kids these days have no idea how difficult it was to make sure you got the prime seats before online purchases!

In fact, buying tickets alone took forever. My brother and sister waited in two lines of a good few hours for Star Wars: Episode I – one just to BUY the tickets and one to get us good seats!

I was still young at the time and had to go to school, so didn’t get to partake of those line ups. I did get to come for the midnight screening, but was dropped off around 8pm, while they had been in line since about noon! From what my sister told me, it was exhausting and insane, but there wasn’t anything else quite like it and a whole level of bonding that you just don’t get these days.

In terms of the people Pasricha sets out, I am definitely a “Middle of the Packer”  – I don’t like being too far back because you don’t get the full immersion of being at the movies, too far front and your neck hurts. Middle, centre is where it’s at. And, frankly, I’m surprised anyone would want anything else (except occasionally, my family opts for side/aisle because as tall ones, it’s good to have the leg room.)

I did once have to sit very close to the screen – it was for the theatrical playing of the first episode of Doctor Who with the 12th Doctor. Thankfully, I got so into the episode that I wasn’t so fussed about being so close.

There were probably TWO times in my life when I almost had a theatre to myself. The first time was with my sister and we went to see Recess: School’s Out, the theatrical movie based on one of my favourite shows – Recess. It was SO empty that we actually played tag in the theatre for a good while… But then people showed up. Dang.

The second time was when I went to see Eye in the Sky:

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This was actually quite momentous for me in two ways:

(1) it was the first time I ever went to see a movie in the theatre on my own

(2) Eye in the Sky was (my other favourite actor), Alan Rickman’s last (live-action*) movie.

I happened to be near the theatre for a job interview (went okay, but I didn’t get it, in case you’re wondering) and it just happened to be playing right then. This seemed too fortuitous to pass up, so I went for it.

I had no idea at the time, but that was the last week that it was playing  (even more fortuitous!) so when I got in there, I was excited to find:

I was literally the only person in the theatre.

This lasted almost right until the movie started, when about five others came in. I was really hoping it would’ve just been me, because that would’ve been a Bucket List worthy occasion, but sharing it with five other sporadically spread out other people was fine too.

Might I just add: Eye in the Sky was a tense and brilliant movie and not one I would have ever usually watched. I saw Helen Mirren on The Graham Norton Show last year talking about how she thinks Alan would have been proud of their film and proud that it was his last one. I think he would’ve been too.

*Note: His actual last performance was as the voice of Absolem in Alice Through the Looking Glass.

(40) Waiters and waitresses who bring free refills without asking (pg 80)

I know this is meant to be awesome, but it just makes me feel bad. I usually just about get through my one Ginger Ale by the end of the meal, and then they show up with another and I’m left to wonder… Do I have to drink this? Should I let them know I don’t want it? Should I take a few courtesy sips, even though any more sugar and my brain will explode?

Also, I stopped drinking pop for the most part when I was 18. I used to LOVE Coke, love it so much it freaked everyone out when I stopped drinking it. But I heard about the excess sugar in it and thought, maybe I’ll give it a shot and stop it. I was starting to get tired of it was it was, so why not?

Once I stopped drinking pop, within a few weeks, I lost FIVE POUNDS, literally.

Weight loss excitement aside, it wasn’t that exciting to go to restaurants and ask for things other than pop (apple juice was my go-to, until I became allergic to apples in my mid-20s), and see everyone else get refills, while I paid $1 more for things I got only one time…in a smaller glass.

And now that I am allergic to apples? It’s a rare Ginger Ale, tea (which costs upwards of $1.50 more, but at least I can get hot water refills) or that always trust and good ol’ liquid sidekick – water!

(41) The final seconds of untangling a really big knot (pg 82)

Oh yes, that’s quite a thrill! There’s that little moment when you think it might go awry, and that somehow you’re just making it worse, much like:

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But when you start to realize that no, wait, it’s going in the right direction, there’s a huge celebration of triumph.

I used to work at a shoe store (two, actually) so I got pretty good at undoing knots in laces. The knots that I have found particularly difficult to deal with, though are grocery store produce bags.

They’re flimsy enough to get tightened too much, even when you don’t mean them to, and then become like a Fort Knox for green peppers when you bring them home… (My dad has found a way around this; he just rips into them like the Hulk. 😛 )

(42) The Five Second Rule (pg 84)

Recently, I dropped something – a chip maybe? My nephew, a very neat and tidy boy, who didn’t even like getting his fingers the least bit dirty in the past, stared at me wide-eyed and I thought “Better get this into the garbage.”

Instead, he shrugged and said, “That’s okay – FIVE SECOND RULE!”

If a kid as meticulous as him can be okay with it… I’m sure there are not many people who aren’t.

Somehow, picking it up ASAP, giving it a little rub with a clean cloth, and a blow of air seems to make us all believe that no germs could ever do damage.

That being said, there I have rules and standards here, people. Unlike Neil Pasricha’s claim that you can “tear off the wet, soggy piece of crust piece that fell in the juice puddle,” in my mind, there are a few things even the Five-Second Rule can’t save.

If it’s wet and/or gooey, like peanut butter on toast (soy butter on toast, in my case) – the very food he mentions – and it falls face down, NO. That is not happening.

If it falls bread side down, somehow that seems fine because the little particles of dirt can’t stick as easily to it.

If it’s something like a cake, or cupcake that falls on the floor, then if the layer of frosting that fell can be easily cut or wiped away, then maybe that’s okay. (See: Chandler and Rachel trying their best to eat cheesecake that “doesn’t have floor on it.” But DON’T follow Joey’s example! Floor pasta should stay floor pasta…)

Pretty much, if it’s anything gooey or liquid, I say just leave it as floor food.

And that’s all for today…

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Rogue One – A Meme Story (review)

I saw Rogue One twice last week, and when I came home, all that was coming to me when I thought about how to review it was memes.  SO MANY MEMES.

Feel free to actually read (though I write a lot) or just enjoy the funny pics!

If anyone uses the pics anywhere else, please credit me as I made them all — either this username: PamelaJP or my Instagram accounts: ThePalGals or PoisonIvy1138

So, without further ado, please enjoy my following post on Rogue One…

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Why couldn’t they just call it “Star Wars: Rogue One“!? The people who’d be confused by the name because it doesn’t follow TFA probably will still be confused when they watch it…

SPOILER ALERT:

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Anyone who knows me and my siblings knows that spoilers are a BIG no-no.

To us a “spoiler” is ANYTHING about the movies – from the cast to the characters to the plot… ALL of it. We don’t even watch trailers if we can help it. We’ve even had times when we’ve ran OUT OF THEATRES when trailers for movies we didn’t want spoiled came on.

Trailers just give away way too much these days, so I love avoiding them and going in totally fresh. Of course, some thing were unavoidable (i.e. accidentally seeing actors or characters on articles on websites).

That being said, even though the movie has been out for a full five days now, I’ve still warning you all:

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR ROGUE ONE AHEAD!

NO.

I MEAN — MAJOR.

LIKE THE WHOLE MOVIE.

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

……Last chance to turn back…..

OK, now that I’ve done my due diligence, let’s get started with the memes shall we?

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This, I think, goes without saying, but I was essentially born into the Star Wars life. SW is to me, what The Force is to SW – it surrounds [me], penetrates [me] and binds [my family/life/everything] together.

I have been a SW fan for my whole life, so the fact that anything new to the SW universe will bring out emotional reactions in me is a given – both in the good (young Obi-Wan Kenobi, seeing the Jedi Temple, Hobo Luke, Clone Wars, Rebels) and the bad (Kitster, so so much of Ep1, Kylo Ren, #LowbaccaOrNothing – seriously JACEN AND JAINA FOR LIFE).

So after my first viewing of Rogue One, this was pretty much exactly how I felt:

Up until the last stretch of it, I was feeling really uncomfortable because it wasn’t giving me the Star Wars warm fuzzies I’d grown up with. I literally thought to myself “Why do I not feel anything?! Why am I not feeling my fuzzies?!” It didn’t feel like SW, until… suddenly it got overloaded with SO. MUCH. SW – it was almost too overwhelming – almost. The last bit – from the point when they actually say the name of the movie on – it was mind-blowingly amazing. (There were definitely parts before that that were as well, but let’s get through those little by little…)

When I got home and considered it, then saw it the second time, I realized one major reason why I wasn’t getting the fuzzies as much as I expected:

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When the “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” my sister and I automatically gasped. I, honestly, didn’t expect an opening crawl because they wanted to make it clear that they’re a standalone movie – not one of the episodic ones – and, fair enough, a crawl would have confused that.

But not even writing STAR WARS? Okay, fine, even that I understand, get right into your movie, then get to the name.

And then the name came and… we were treated to this really bland, knock-off sounding theme music. It’s like when a YouTube channel, like HISHE or Honest Trailers wants to use the music but they can’t for copyright reasons so they have to make it a smidge off. But…YOU’RE MADE BY LUCASFILM! USE THE MUSIC!

I’d heard rumours way back that Alexandre Desplat was doing the music and I was totally on board because he MORE than proved himself doing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 and 2 – he knew exactly how to incorporate John Williams’ original Harry Potter themes while making his own unique pieces with such gravitas (see/hear: Lily’s Theme; Courtyard Apocalypse).

From the first moment I heard the music for Rogue OneI just knew that he hadn’t done the music. No slight to Michael Giacchino on the other soundtracks he’s done – Jurassic World was pretty great – but the Rogue One soundtrack was very lacking and not worthy of a Star Wars film – the moments when it did include original SW music were fine, but a stronger core theme for the Rogue One crew themselves, with a bit more of the main theme and Force theme were needed to fully get that emotional impact.

The day after my first viewing, all I had stuck in my head was the Facts of Life theme song:

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There were some GREAT things about the movie:

photo-2016-12-16-9-08-32-am When Tarkin showed up, it BLEW MY MIND. Just seeing his reflection in the window of the Star Destroyer was enough, but then he turned around and started talking and my brain felt like it was exploding.

But also right away, my practical minded brain said: “Is this allowed? I hope they asked his family permission! Is this an ethical thing to be doing??”

Extremely shortly thereafter, that was pushed aside by my fangirl excitement of “OMFG THAT IS GRAND MOFF EFFING TARKIN RIGHT THERE TALKING” for the rest of the movie. (I did go to read up on if it’s allowed/if they asked permission, and my sister found out that is IS allowed but that Lucasfilm also asked Peter Cushing’s estate for permission, which I really appreciated as a very classy move).  All the throwbacks actors and characters were so, so wonderful – Mon Mothma! Dodonna! (My [nick]namesake) Bail Organa!! RED AND GOLD LEADERS!!!

Speaking of the GREATEST of GREAT things in this movie:

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NUFF SAID.

Second to Donnie Yen’s Chirrut, K2SO was the best new character in this movie (and Baze was great too. He and Chirrut reminded me of Kanan and Zeb on Star Wars: Rebels).

And I would by lying if I didn’t say that the ending got me choked up – surprisingly, even more the second time.  The second time around, I think because I knew what was coming and had gotten to know the newer characters by that point too, I was even more emotional. Whereas the first time, it went a bit like…

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Errr…not only did they not… :O

Nowadays, I find most movies and TV shows have a built in reflex where you just know and assume the characters will survive because they’ll make it to the inevitable sequel.

Part way through, it’s easy for you forget that this movie already has a technical sequel in a movie that came out 40 years ago… so there’s no guarantee that ANYONE is safe. (This is why I live in constant fear week to week that EVERYONE on Rebels will die — but HEY, they mentioned General Syndulla in this movie and apparently Chop went whizzing by, so at least TWO members of their crew might make it…) One problem I did find my first time was that they tried to give a lot of emotional levity to the deaths of characters that were brand new… sorry, I can’t care much about someone I knew for ten minutes, even if it is sad that she/he/whoever died. I remember specifically thinking during a particular character’s death earlier on “I feel nothing… I know I should be feeling sad or something… but I don’t really feel it. I barely know this person…”

But like I said, the second time around, I did feel for more of the central characters because I had gotten to know them over the two hours a little more (still not much, but more than others. Side note: This movie has A LOT of death — we can return to this in a bit…)

Given that this goes straight into ANH (and OMG IT WENT STRAIGHT INTO IT), I thought maybe we’d get a glimpse of Leia — but did NOT expect the glimpse we did get.

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The first time I was just so excited, I was squealing and clapping, the second time I teared up.

But Leia wasn’t the ONLY OT Skywalker to show up — or should I say the OG Skywalker showed up (…but then that might be Shmi 😛 ).

And therein lies another problem.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s AMAZING to see Darth Vader again (especially that part toward the end when you actually get to see him wield his lightsaber :O ).  I mean, come on — HE’S DARTH VADER.

But, as I said to my sister, Darth Vader, for me, has become one of those icons like Elvis or Marliyn Monroe – so often duplicated, never replicated.

Even having James Earl Jones back, doing his voice, something felt…off. His height? His stature.  This…?

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The irony of using Captain Picard in a post about Star Wars is not lost on me, don’t worry. 😛

I mean, REALLY? When would Darth Vader ever make a PUN? Especially one THAT dang cheesy.

If this were 15 years earlier, and I was still feeling that he was Hayden-Anakin-Vader I would accept it 😛 , but this Vader? This is supposed to be Vader a few days from ANH…

That was probably one of the most cringe-worthy moments in either of these two new movies. (I don’t often understand what is meant by “cringey” moments when I read of them recently, but this scene totally made me understand…)

And since I am on to the cringe-worthy moments – one big complaint with the Star Wars prequels (namely, Episode 1)  was that many of the characters and aliens were portrayed as very stereotypical of certain ethnic or racial groups – fair enough. At twelve I may not have seen or understood, but now I do.

Another complaint I’ve heard with ALL movies of late, is that they don’t do enough to show diversity (both in terms of ethicnity/race/culture and in gender). I didn’t know a lot about Rogue One (spoilers!), but I did hear that they’d made some strives there.

So how exactly did I feel when I saw when Saw Gerrera’s band of followers looked like…

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I’ll leave this one to you, dear readers, to watch and figure out. But while I’m at it, let me just leave this one here too:

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I get it – war is war… But this was partly why this movie didn’t feel very Star Wars-y at first — they weren’t having a war…in the STARS. Once they actually got the X-Wings and Y-Wings and TIEs involved, it got there.

And the shots that they did have on Jedha (which by the way, was really cool in some ways  – LOVED the giant fallen Jedi statues and I want to know more about its history as a Jedi haven and spiritual centre) were a little…too…true to life. You don’t want to leave watching CNN at home, showing explosions in desert countries, only to see it repeated almost exactly on a BIG SCREEN. Movies – Star Wars in particular – have been allegories for the battle of good and evil. That means you want to see a story that inspires you with that which is most important in this movie – HOPE – without it being so directly reminiscent of what’s happening in the real world.

This is probably why the immense amount of death in the movie was disconcerting too – it’s a bittersweet move, to show the sacrifice that leads to hope  I, personally, think the world we live in is crying out for MORE of the heroic and hopeful than the gut-wrenching and painful given what we are really living with – but hey, like Kermit said, that’s none of my business…

So at the end of all this you’re probably not even sure how I felt about the movie, right?

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After viewing one, I wasn’t feeling amazingly about it… But after the second viewing, I have to admit, it grew on me and I did have a point – earlier on than the previous day – where I thought “THERE IT IS! THE STAR WARS WARM FUZZIES!”

I’ve also, since, watched some interviews with the cast, who all seem so likable (Diego Luna and Ben Mendelsohn, in particular!), which has helped and makes me think I’ll like it further when I see it again (probably on DVD).

SO, there you have it. Rogue One in memes!

New Blog! Movie Reviews! TV show Reviews! General silliness with my sister!

Hello friends and followers of my blog,

I just wanted to let you know that my sister and I have started up a brand-new blog specifically for Pop Culture things — which for us mostly means Movie Reviews and rambling about TV Shows.

You can find our blog at:

The Pal Gals!

We have also started a YouTube channel (but have yet to post anything).  Once we do, I’ll link to that too.

In the meantime, please follow our blog and our up-to-the-minute random rambling, on our Twitter account:

The Pal Gals twitter!

I still intend to keep this blog – I am going to finish these Doctor Who posts at some point!  This one is still mainly for my book reviews and other personal ramblings on things.

Hope to see some of you followers over on our other blog!

Oh, and Happy Oscars Day!

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How Tom Hiddleston Helped Me Better Understand Unhealthy Relationships

I’ve decided to take a detour from my usual posts about books to write about something a little more emotional that has been on my mind lately. My manner of doing so may seem silly at first, but please stick with me because I have an important point to make!

For anyone not in the know, the man I referred to in my post title is not someone I know personally – Tom Hiddleston is a fantastic actor who is making quite a big splash, and you probably know him best as this guy…

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Loki, from Thor and The Avengers.

So how exactly did an actor who I can’t actually say I’ve MET (despite seeing him from less than a foot away at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September) help me to better understand unhealthy relationships?

For the last while, I must admit, I’ve been pretty well besotted with Mr. Hiddleston, both because he is an amazing actor and because in interviews he really comes across as such a genuine, charming and eloquent man.

At the same time, I am a huge fan of his portrayal of Loki and – as is the way of us “fangirls” who get very excited about new shows/movies/characters we are interested in – have been searching up every clip and photo I can. In the process, I’ve realised just how many Tom Hiddleston – and specifically Loki – fangirls (and fanboys too, I’m sure) there are.

The group of fans even has a catchy name – “Loki’s Army.”

Believe me, I am not one to look down on such fun. Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I’ve had my fair share of fictional character and actor infatuations since my adolescent days. (When you grow up not being allowed to date and are good enough to follow these unspoken rules for quite some time… that’s about all you’ve got!)

What really struck me about all of this, though, is the way fans are taking to Loki as a “misunderstood” and “damaged” prince who needs “saving” and how many girls are really wishing he was real so they could be in a relationship with him and, essentially, fix him.

Yes, Tom Hiddleston plays him amazingly well, and the connotations that he is a betrayed, hurt and emotionally damaged young old man god are hard to miss, but at the same time – with emotional damage comes emotional instability.

I think 99% of people who become smitten with such damaged and idealized characters – Loki, Harry Potter’s Severus Snape (guilty), Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester, and even in a much less high-class literature and more modern sense, Chuck Bass of Gossip Girl, among many others – don’t realise that what they’re really doing… is setting themselves up for emotionally abusive and unhealthy relationships in reality.

If you’re a fan of such a character, you are going to be morbidly offended by my insinuation – and I totally respect and understand that. If this was six or seven years ago, I’d be right there with you, getting haughtily irritated at some girl who thinks she knows what she’s talking about, trying to tell me that my desire to be a nurturing partner to a wounded soul is only going to make my life more difficult.

In truth, I am not trying to cause offense, I just want to say that from my experience, emotionally ambiguous individuals (be they fictional or real), seem really exciting at first and you can definitely concoct (or even have) a wonderfully passionate romance for a while, but eventually – reality sets in.

Loki would NOT make a good boyfriend.

Trust me.

No matter how much you want to love someone into being “fixed” or happy or emotionally stable, it’s not likely to happen.  They have to do that work for themselves.  You can’t do it for them, no matter how much you want to (and your trying too hard to do so might actually not even sit well with a “Loki” type).

Such emotionally damaged and conflicted individuals rarely have their partner at the top of their priority list and despite all the love and care and affection you can give them and WANT to give them to help them overcome their obstacles and horrible upbringing/life/stresses/current situation, etc. that is likely not enough and probably not what they need in the long-run anyway.

Sticking with Loki as my example – for anyone who is truly head-over-heels for him, let’s look at the details as we know them (SPOILERS ahead for Thor and The Avengers):

– he was essentially kidnapped as a baby
– he was raised believing a lie about his parentage
– he was always in the shadow of his big, burly, blonde “older brother
– he clearly didn’t fit in with “his” fair-haired, Viking-like people (before anyone mentions Sif, I’ve read that in the comics, Loki actually turned her hair black out of jealousy and as a prank)
– he was raised with the mindset that he could be a ruler/king and deserves to be…and yet was always placed second to his brother
– he seems like he was teased by his brother and their friends
– he finds out that not only is he not his parents’ son – he’s the son of their mortal enemy, an enemy that the people of his world see as monsters

All of these are qualities leave us giving a resounding “awww” because poor little Loki had such a terrible life. Automatically, an affectionate person’s gut reaction would be wanting to hug this suffering individual and make everything better for him.

But let us continue with what else we know about Loki and where he goes from there:

– he quickly takes to the idea of being king; this is his singular goal for his life
– he takes to this so much he is willing to make deals with treacherous and dangerous beings and kill (And kill he does! Even if inadvertently through releasing an alien race to the Earth, he is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, apparently)
– he quickly gives into all the anger and resentment he feels towards his “brother” for being more loved than he was
– he has a very inflated sense of self (which, let’s face it, is probably just feigned to hide his insecurities)

Rather than focus on the fact that he’s going around killing people to get his way, most smitten-folk will dwell on the “less loved than his brother” and “hiding his insecurities” parts and continue to believe that all he’d need is the love of a good partner to help him turn his “evil” ways around.

And, you know what, maybe for a time, if the right person was around, he would start to learn to change his ways – he’d see where he was going wrong and lacking and want to be better… But underneath it all, what he really wants is to rule and be king, and nothing will get in the way of that.

Put this in the context of the real world, where you find yourself in a relationship with an emotionally stunted guy who doesn’t really know how to deal with his emotions because he’s been spending all his time and effort on his singular goal (no, not taking over the world… Or maybe? I can only speak from my own experience; I don’t know what the people you’re all dating are plotting!). He has had a hard life and doesn’t necessarily deal with all the stresses of his life all that well, but it’s okay because you’re there for him!

You’ll always be there for him!

After the initial passion and excitement of being the one he turns to when he actually DOES need an emotional outlet, you start to realise… this is pretty one-sided. You’re there for him, but where is he when you need him?  You’re really exhausted with caring all the time, even though you definitely want to show your support… but you could use some affection back from time to time.

He’s probably busy trying to take over the world study or work or focus on whatever it is that gives meaning to his life in that moment.

Guys like Loki, in real life, need you when they need you and definitely don’t when they don’t.  Unfortunately, this leaves you with a really unhealthy relationship where you are doing everything to support them (emotionally), rarely ever feeling that support back yourself.

When they can afford to give it back to you, though, it’s great and you feel SO special.

But when they can’t – which is probably more often than not – it can be horrendous and tear you down and make you question what’s wrong with you and why you’re not important enough for their attention.

And the scary part: you can start to lose your sense of self when your emotions are all mixed up in trying to do right by someone else and make sure their life is going well and that they’re taken care of.

Eventually, if it gets to a point where all you’re getting back is anger, guilt-trips, irritation and treated horribly even though you’re just trying to be helpful and show how much you care, you’ll start to wonder if you’ve even crossed from unhealthy to toxic

Chances are if he was having a hard time handling his own circumstances, the ability to handle them with someone else around – no matter how well-meaning they are – probably wouldn’t be all the great.

Sadly, the Loki-like partner may not even realise how they’re acting and when they take a step back they’ll feel terrible about themselves for being so horrible to their supportive-partner too, but that doesn’t change that when someone isn’t healthy themselves (meaning emotionally and psychologically), the chances that they can maintain a healthy relationship are going to be extremely low.

Despite everything I’m saying, if a girl (or guy) grows up with subconscious notions of wanting to “fix” someone or that “saving” their partner from their circumstances is going to make them more fulfilled and they attract these types of partners, my saying this isn’t going to change that.

In fact, anyone who has these thoughts and is drawn to Loki-like individuals will probably fight me tooth and nail on this and claim that:

“I don’t understand [their significant other]” the way they do and that…

“It’s just how [he/she] is” because…

“[He/she] has had it really hard because of [whatever reason]” and  so…

“[He/she] really needs me/needs me to be just a bit more understanding/needs me to just be patient.”

It’s only when you make the difficult step to distance yourself from hurtful situations like these that you can finally see for yourself what everyone on the outside was able to see for a long time.

Sometimes trying to be the nurturing, affectionate, loving person who wants to make someone else’s life better… really is just making your own life worse.

So, to bring it back to where I started – how exactly did Tom Hiddleston help me better understand unhealthy relationships?

Loki and how he has become beloved by fans was obviously what got me thinking on this path.  I did question what it would be like to be in a relationship with someone like him… and then I realised I already knew all too well.

If you want a better look at what the results of such a relationship would be, Tom Hiddleston was actually in another film I just watched called The Deep Blue Sea that touches on this matter.

Although slow-moving and not as well made as I would have liked, it really does portray the truths of being in an unhealthy relationship. His Freddie Page and Rachel Weisz’s Hester start out with intensity and passion, but when they get past the lust and honeymoon phase and into the real nitty-gritty of being in a relationship, their issues and incompatibility comes to the surface suddenly it’s not all “rainbows and butterflies” anymore (to borrow from one of my favourite songs, by Maroon 5).

Seeing the dichotomies between the characters he’s played (both Loki and Freddie Page) who are tortured, emotionally damaged and subtly cry out for needing help/fixing and the sincere, confident, charming, witty and secure person he seems to be in real life, I’ve come to realise, I need to stop falling for the Loki qualities and start looking for the Tom Hiddleston qualities in potential significant others.

[I am, of course, basing this on the persona he puts out to the world. Obviously, I have no idea what Tom Hiddleston is like personally, but he does seem like an amazing guy who loves his life and what he does, and is happy to be where he is. This is why I say I need to look for the qualities he embodies and not specifically a guy exactly like him – or him, himself. 😛 ]

To put it another way, in the context of another of my favourite “fandoms” – I have to stop falling for the Severus Snapes and start looking for the Ron Weasleys (or, more, Fred or George Weasley for me, I think).

And this is something I would like for all young people (or anyone really) looking for love to consider.

It’s definitely intense when you fall for the brooding, angsty, tortured soul and it can be a lot of fun for a while. Eventually, when the roller coaster starts to wear you down and drain you, you have to start thinking about if it’s healthy and realise that you can help people to better themselves, no doubt, but no one can fully change another person – only that person can change themselves and their circumstances if they really want to.

When you come to a point where all you want is stability and security, and all you’re getting is hurt and pain, you have to really stop and think about what is best for YOU.

It’s hard and if you’re like me, you’re the type of person who gets into such a relationship because you were drawn to their wounds… so you’ll feel really guilty and terrible because you don’t want to hurt or “abandon” THEM, but remember – in order to be in a healthy place with anyone else, you have to be in a healthy place on your own first. 🙂

Well, there you have it.

Hopefully my next post won’t be quite so heavy, but this was definitely something I wanted and needed to get out there.

Until next time!

misunderstood