Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Characters to Fall In Love With

My dear friend Delora asked me to post this for her as her computer is doing so strange and naughty things.

A lot of people would never admit it, but more people have done it than you think: falling in love with a fictional character. I’m not talking about those crushes on actors that all of us have had at one time or another. I’m talking about falling in love with someone who exists only on the page, on screen or even in video games. Think it doesn’t happen? Think again. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to it.

Fictional characters, male and female, have long been the object of romantic fantasy: East of Eden’s Caleb Trask (or was it just James Dean?), Dana Scully from The X Files, Aragorn from Lord of the Rings, everyone’s favorite Tomb Raider Lara Croft, The Twilight Saga’s Bella and, of course, Edward, the fantasy-de-jour that simply refuses to die. (Please would someone just hurry and drive a stake through that fantasy? I’m so over him.) And there are tons more! It’s easy to love the attractive ones, with their exaggerated good looks and seductive behavior. Something about the mysterious, beautiful, filthy rich or reclusive characters really gets to me. I created a character so attractive to me that I hated to end the story, but fortunately I managed to say what I needed to say about him, which tucked him away so I didn’t obsess over him. I did miss him, though.

Not all of the characters we fall for ideal or perfect. Many have annoying or downright deplorable traits. I’m a sucker for a bad boy or bad girl. I’ve heard a couple of folks say they like the evil Irrylath from Meredith Ann Pierce’s The Darkangel. I still crush on Dracula a little bit. How many vampire crushes are out there? Too many to count. And thank goodness, because it keeps my NLV authors in business!

Some fixations are inexplicable. I knew of a woman who found Ashley Wilkes attractive and I always thought he was a pussy. One guy I know was in love with BigWig the rabbit in Watership Down. I know someone who fixated on the twisted Roger Chillingworth from The Scarlet Letter. Actress Yeardley Smith of The Simpsons reports having numerous people tell her that they fantasize about sleeping with Lisa Simpson. Oooooooooookaaaaaaayyyyy.

Remember, indulging in such fantasy is fun so long as you don’t become obsessed and or demand that your real life partner lives up to your fantasy-based expectations – an impossible task. It’s pure escapism, so just have a good time with it for what it’s worth.

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