(Spoiler Alert? Except honestly not really. If you have seen any of the previews for this show, then you know these things. So whatever.)
So here’s the bullshit thing about last night’s episode of This Is Us. The plot is intrinsically and specifically designed so that viewers will find themselves caught up in *A* character. But guess what, bitches?! I feel them all. I am somehow Randall, Kate, Mandy Moore, AND what ever the fuck his name.
… Let me start this over …
Last night’s TIU was brokered for weeks as the most devastating thing that could ever happen to you as your life will intersect with any fictional character ever. And frankly, they delivered. The premise of this particular episode was that we would 1) learn how the hottest dad of all time died and 2) observe how each relative mourns his death on its anniversary. So I watched it at 2:45 am, sobbed violently, then immediately took a xanax as I realized that I see my grief process and my apprehension to love again in all of them.
Randall: celebrates and tries to pass extravagant love onto his family. He has flashbacks of sadness, but mostly he remembers that his dad was a super cool dude who deserved to be celebrated more than mourned.
Leah: During his lifetime, my dad was a musician, psychiatric nurse, chef, and alcoholic. I honor this by constantly hosting people with a wide array of food and drinks, getting super fucked up at music festivals and kissing strangers, and being sure that anyone who is truly in my heart knows that I care for them deeply.
Kate: Basically Kate emotionally cuts every year by watching the final memory she has of her father over and over. More broadly, she pushes away love, but oh-how-lovely, she finds it again dancing in her living room with her
Leah: Honestly just same. Except I am still waiting for my dance partner (sad tuba)
For the record, I typed my first draft of this after imbibing a bit. (Cause Super Bowl) For the life of me, I could not remember Kevin’s name. So because I find that to be hilarious enough to continue, I shall do exactly that.
What’s his name: Every year for approximately 19 years, this dude just runs from his feelings via sex and alcohol. In the situation that he gets close to people, he usually screws it up pretty royally. Oh yeah, and then after 2 decades he is finally ready to admit that he has no fucking idea what he is doing/ that he may just be doing it all wrong.
Leah: Not like same-same, but not suuuper different
Mandy Moore: Well she warned us. But also her character cooks away her pain then waits for the universe to bring her a message from her dead husband that makes her laugh.
Leah: See Kate
So why am I even dedicating this space to this particular corner of the television world. What does this have to do with me being temporarily celibate? Well… because…
— When I think about loving again, I am completely petrified. — Like actively working on overcoming the paralytic fear because it has turned me into someone who I don’t even recognize sometimes. It has turned me into a girl who would maybe rather have non-feels sex / never love again than to ever risk baring these aspects of me to someone new.
Because in order to have those moments when someone can look into your eyes and know the worst but love you all the same… they have to understand all of those parts of me. And that’s a lot to impose on someone. It’s also a lot to offer up time and time again to then only be brushed aside. The last man I slept with who also knew some of the depths of my personal grief (and who’s pseudonym I am still toying with, though I’m leaning towards Fabio mainly because I think he would really really hate it) said he would always choose me and love me. He sat with me for hours ASKING me to share the dark parts of me. Then he started banging one of my friends, and we don’t really talk anymore so…
“This is intimacy: the trading of stories in the dark.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
In addition to all of this, I unfortunately have experienced the loss of a parent. A father, specifically.
And do you wanna know what fucked me up for the longest time? My dad passed away in 2007. Believe it or not, this was before the age of mass photographing every single life moment. So every once in awhile, I would throw some photographs in the cards I sent him so he could see what was happening in my college life that brought him immense pride. And in the last set of photos I ever sent him was a picture of the guy I ended up marrying from a “law prom” event we attended in college.
I couldn’t reconcile it. How could I not make things work with the last guy who my dad saw me with? I had to. It was the last tie I ever had to his tangible approval…
… But we broke it …
So let’s be clear here. The idea of intimacy — The idea that someone could know me deeply again. — The idea that an investment doesn’t necessarily mean a lifetime. — That sounds completely terrifying .
My therapist seems to think I am fixable in this arena, but I think he has to say that so I don’t become a suicide risk or some shit. Either way, this is why I am journeying back through the hard stuff .
So you could say I’m a little apprehensive to mix the love and the sex ever again… Thus … This Is *Us.
*celibate bloggers just trying to function in the face of love
(more to come soon – including how a guy from tinder recently practically proposed but then told me he “didn’t think we had the same things in mind” when I refused to send him a picture of my bum hole. True story.)… xx-Leah