Once upon a time (ie: nearly three years ago) I wrote a very long, very ridiculous essay of sorts about fandom and shipping (short for relationships better known as pairings talked about). It was long, it was crazy and funnily enough it is still pretty relavent. While not originally what I had planned to talk about, I figure it deserved a repost.
Age and/or Genetic Relation and/or Time Travel/Vortexes and/or Anything Else Can’t Stop Our Love!:
A Minor Ramble on Loving the One You Love When Social Mores Say “Ew That’s Gross”
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
We have a boy. Boy meets girl1. To say boy “meets” girl is figurative, he doesn’t have to actually meet her meet her, he can just see a hologram of her to be totally hooked, swooning even, and she could have only said nine words2. But I digress.
The aforementioned boy has the hots for the girl (or perhaps it’s a girl who loves a boy, let’s not be genderstereotyping here), but we get ourselves to the point where Wooing must occur. So Wooing occurs. Flowers are bought, romantic gestures performed, mariachi bands are hired, lives are saved using alien powers, vampires are slayed, souls won/lost, Death Stars are destroyed, capes are worn and general sillyness, cheesiness and chaos occurs.
At last, the Couple is united.
And they’re disgustingly cute. But don’t worry, Fate won’t let them be together, that’s not conduscive to ratings and marketing strategies. Plus, a bleeding heart and angsty fangirl is a fangirl who keeps watching as she hopes that they’ll ride off into the sunset.
So The Powers That Be (TPTB) converge to divine a way to break up our Beloveds.
How Dare They.
There are a number of a ways in which they can do this, but let’s run through the short this:
- x Age
Suddenly one character of the Beloveds becomes WAY younger than she/he used to be. Age, while figuratively and mathematically speaking is really just a number, socially is kind of squicky when craddle robbing becomes an issue. It’s also a problem when you’re Jossed and she’s suddenly 2 years younger and now 17 years younger than he is, as opposed to fifteen….whoops.
Oh no! Not incest! Yep, suddenly, the beloveds become…family? And no, we’re not talking about a quick shotgun wedding here, we’re talking about sharing branches of the same family tree. They could be anything, cousins, half siblings, even uncle/niece. The possibilities are LIMITed. But nonetheless…kind of…weird. Just because it was common in royal families for millenia doesn’t mean that it flies in this day and age. Unless there is something we didn’t know about this family to start with.
Now this one is kind of weird, but funny regardless. What happens when time travel separates the soulmates? He was trying to save you by shoving you through the circle of rocks that brought accidentally together in the first place so that you can have his baby, despite the fact that now you have to live in 200 years in the future thinking he’s dead3! What also could happen, is the fact that you’re trapped in alternate dimension, running parallel to his, wherein he has to burn up a sun just to say goodbye, crying two of the wankiest tears known to man and you’ll never see him again, but you get you’re dead dad back as a bonus4! This is a possibility, wherein the choices are limitless. I could go on and on.
x Mortal Enemies
It kind of worked for Romeo & Juliet, if you discount the fact that it killed them. Everything is going swell and then you find out that Your One And Only is your Mortal Enemy. Damn You Fate. Chances are that he/she is another species and/or a warring family. How’s that for sorry odds? Should’ve asked for ID.
x The Other Species/Secret Identity Thing.
Alien/Werewolf/Batman/Whatever. It won’t work because one of you has something to hide. And that something? Is HUGE.
x A Destiny.
One of you has a Pre-Written Destiny. And Unfortunately, it does not include your Woobie.
Here we are. With our renegades. If you’re trying to soundtrack this, I suggest Styx’s Renegade5 for maximum impact. They just won’t give up. Love will find a way. Because it breaks all boundaries. Haven’t you heard?
So that’s where the shippers come in. There are shipper wars. The writers try to fight them Fate, because these kids just want to be together. It’s so Right yet so Wrong. Society says they shouldn’t, they mustn’t, that it’s just not cool. Yet the next thing they know, they’re doing it in back alleys, dark corners, broom closets, attics, cemeteries, everything thing they think is “secret”.
Society Can’t Stop Them. Nor Can Social Norms.
And boy, do we eat that stuff up. Now most of the afformentiated problems can be fixed (via fanfic), or covered in the “angst is just too good to pass up” category. You just have to hope that the show isn’t cancelled, the film doesn’t end, and everything doesn’t go to pot before the couple gets broken up/back together. Otherwise you’re screwed (all while they’re not). Love lifts us up where we belong. Anyone else who dares to have an opposing point of view (Canon couplings! Crossovers! Random AUs) should probably just DIAF. What do they know anyways6?
Now, should you find yourself in a situation like this in RL7, start to question things. Do you have cameras following you? Is your name something cute and abbreviated? Do you have a crush on the boy/girl next door/bad boy/loner type? Are you adopted and possess secret powers? Because if the answer is yes. Then….yes, your life is scripted. And we are watching and shipping you. And yes, you are pretty much emotionally screwed.
Sorry. But Your Love is Doomed (so very, very Doomed) and we Love It. Society might not, the writers think we’ve lost it, and everyone is telling you to stop and give up, but please try anyways.
You can do it. I promise you can do it.
And remember, when you and the one you love runaway, go for the beat up old pick up truck8.
1. Girl is just a metaphor in this case. It doesn’t actually have to a girl in gender or sexual identity, it can be a) a boy, b) a robot, or c) pretty much anything. I’m not trying to instill a bias. I’m just using a cliché.
2. “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”
3. I swear to God, I’m not making this one up. Really, I’m good, but I’m not that good.
4. Fucking RTD.
5. Or pretty much anything by Nickelback.
6. Nothing unless you count the fact that they are pretty much just like you. Maybe even a bit more justified if they have canon on their side. But that is just not important, right? RIGHT?
7. Real Life
8. Truck can also be: motorbike, horse, gift of natural flight, broomstick or Impala. Your choice.