I’ve been binge-watching the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer lately. And it’s causing me to do quite a bit of reflecting upon my own life – in particular, my own personal relationships. Watching a TV series or a movie is a great way to see what happens when people behave badly – and the consequences that ensue.
Take Buffy and Angel, for example. She’s a vampire slayer. He’s a vampire. Makes no sense that they should be together, does it? Yet, they are still incurably attracted to each other from minute one. In fact, he’s attracted to her long before she even has a chance to MEET him! He tells her that he can barely stand to be around her because all he can think about is kissing her. It’s actually quite creepy how he always seems to “lurk” where Buffy is – constantly keeping an eye on her – getting fiercely jealous of other men who talk to her and take an interest in her. A gypsy curse placed on him about 100 years ago or so restored his soul – which means he has…(ahem) – pesky feelings. He’s cursed to remember the faces of everyone he’s killed in the past. He’s not allowed to experience true happiness – or else he loses his soul. So when he and Buffy inevitably wind up doing the…”horizontal hustle,” guess what happens? He loses his soul and becomes the monster that he was before the gypsies got their hands on him.
Angel and Buffy
Think about how that’s actually kind of a commentary on our own lives. Restraint seems to be the watchword with EVERYTHING we do. Don’t drink too much, don’t smoke too much (better yet, don’t drink or smoke AT ALL), don’t eat too much and for the love of whomever you worship – don’t LOVE too much – and if you are going to love, make sure you love the right person! We’re taught that if we give in to temptation, there will be negative consequences (though maybe not as extreme as losing our souls). Problem is, following the rules isn’t always so easy. Married folks WILL wind up being attracted to people they’re not supposed to be attracted to. Buffy and Angel are attracted to each other and are both unattached – though we’re told, as TV viewers, that they’re probably best off staying away from each other. Yet we also kind of want to see what happens if they DO get together!
Another vampire character named Spike attempts to sum up Buffy and Angel’s “relationship” in this fashion (this happens after Angel loses his soul, goes to Hell, returns from Hell and gets his soul back – and he and Buffy are trying to be “friends” (so that Angel doesn’t lose his soul again) – confused yet? Here’s what Spike has to say:
Actor James Marster’s “Spike” character was one of the series’ most popular characters with fans
Spike: “You’re not friends. You’ll never be friends. You’ll be in love till it kills you both. You’ll fight, you’ll shag and you’ll hate each other till it makes you quiver, but you’ll never be friends. Love isn’t brains children, it’s blood. Blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love’s bitch, but at least I’m man enough to admit it.”
Spike, for the record, is in love with Buffy from minute one – and will wind up being in a very…tumultuous relationship with her later in the series. He will even attempt to rape her – for which his (self-imposed) punishment will be getting HIS soul restored (which involves going through a very painful series of demonic trials).
If you’re a character in a TV series or movie you could (and probably will) end up giving in to your desires and have a torrid affair with the “wrong” person – this will probably be something “on the side.” Who wants to watch a series where people DON’T do stupid stuff (boring)! Even when TV/Movie characters do decide to have a torrid affair with someone else – sure, they could be wildly attracted to each other sexually – but incompatible in every single other way. In reality, it’s just a bad idea all around (I don’t think I need to get into the multiple reasons here). Just knowing it’s a bad idea and knowing that you’re not going to do anything that will cause you to destroy your committed relationship or “lose your soul” doesn’t make the feelings you have about other people just go away.
Add to that the fact that the minds of men and women are really just “wired” differently. Women want connections with others – and men…well, they just want their “quarry.” I’ll let a conversation between Faith and Buffy take over:
The relationship between Buffy and Faith is nearly as…toxic as her relationship with Angel!
All men are beasts, Buffy.
Okay, I was hoping to not get that cynical ’til I was at least forty.
It’s not cynical. I mean, it’s realistic. Every guy from… Manimal down to Mr. I-Love-The-English-Patient has beast in him. And I don’t care how sensitive they act. They’re all still just in it for the chase.
This may be an extreme example, of course! But there may some truth to this dialogue…
Willow and Xander sneaking some “intimate” time in the school library
A Buffy episode I just watched last night showed the character Willow (whom is just beginning to dabble in witchcraft) tell Xander she wants to cast a “de-lusting” spell to keep him and her and him from being attracted to each other. As intriguing of an idea as this sounds like it is…it would create more problems than it would solve. Anytime you get magic involved, there are always…shall I say “side effects” you didn’t expect. Can you tell I’m married to a guy who used to play “Dungeons & Dragons?” It’s fascinating to THINK about waving a magic wand to make pesky feelings go away, but remember – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is! Also magic involves taking something, which means something will need to be given back – and it’s probably something you’re not willing to part with easily!
This was the result of a previous love spell cast on Xander…he became the object of every female’s desire in Sunnydale High School – even the lunch lady!
It should be noted that Willow and Xander have been friends since elementary school – and they only became mutually attracted to each other WHILE they were both in relationships with other people. Though Willow had a crush on Xander for quite some time….
What do I take from all of this? I’ve experienced both sides of the attraction “coin.” I’ve been attracted to other men (including married men) since I’ve been married. And married men have been attracted to me, too. Some of them have come right out and told me so, others have been more… “silent” about it. It’s not easy being on either side of that “coin.” I know it’s not easy for men…and it’s not easy for women, either! I can’t help being who I am and I can’t help the way I feel about others. I don’t fancy myself some kind of “Lolita” trying to lure men to my bed.
I really don’t know what else to say!