Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A curly haired New Yorker speaks to a straight haired Angeleno

Life update: as of Sunday, I've begun watching Felicity.

And for crying out loud,


OK so I should probably calm down a bit, considering I haven't completed episode 4 (titled "Boggled") yet, and my opinion could turn around, this honeymoon could wear off, etc. etc., yeah yeah yeah.

But for now let me just love it. Please.

(Aforementioned rule applies to current crush(es) of mine, too. Thank you for your cooperation. Don't rush me out of my giddiness when a crush is at hand! They don't always come along!)

Some reasons why I love it (Felicity, not a current crush(es)):

The pace: The show moves slowly, but it's not a snooze. It makes me laugh unexpectedly, yet softly, which is nice.

Dialogue is realistic: Though maybe not, if one considers the age of the characters. It's not as bad as the Dawson's Creek high school characters, who speak with the vocabulary of 35-year-olds yet manage not to speak like any 35-year-olds I know. Felicity dialogue is realistic given the situations at hand, the vulnearabilities being explored and experienced by the characters. The characters are maybe more bold than the vast majority of us, in their willingness to confront issues and each other, but they are compassionate with each other and forgiving and fair. I like that. A lot.

The volume: Literally. Even when people argue, the volume never creeps beyond a certain decibel level. I (mostly) enjoy the show Parenthood (I have issues with it, which is why it's a "mostly" love), but in some episodes there is so much arguing and characters talking over other characters that it stresses me out.

Felicity is quiet. It's like, I don't know, viewing a healing therapy session, that takes place in calm, old New York City dormitories and college classrooms.

The characters: Haven't met one yet I don't like. I mean some I have issues with, but overall, I'm a fan.

The fact that the cast includes a Power Rangers alumna: This one speaks for itself.

The music: While it plays some late 90s/early 2000s hits (as well as "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel -- yum), much of the show is accompanied by an instrumental score, which kind of makes the string of episodes feel like an ongoing movie, a la The Breakfast Club, rather than a show. And the reason it's able to feel at times like a Brat Pack 80s flick is because of another thing I like about the show which is the lighting: 

While presented in full color, the palette mostly appears in sepia tones of brown and grey. Just adding to the peacefulness.

Ahhhhhhhhh, pause for a peaceful sigh.

Join me.

Have a seat.

Tell me how you're feeling.

Take all the time you need, and continue reading at your leisure....

So today at work I was digging through my bag looking for chapstick -- which, alas, was at home -- and while doing so I noticed the mix of items haphazardly thrown in there and it just made me happy.

And then, I thought of Felicity, which just furthered the moment of happy, and inspired me to write this.

So in the episode I currently have paused, Felicity gets a fridge for her dorm room. She's very, stupidly, charmingly excited about the fridge, and the guy who delivers it says something about how yes, it is indeed a thrill to be the one to call the shots about what gets to be cold and what doesn't.

He's making fun of her, of course, with his deadpan, but I'm with Felicity on this one. I actually paused the show for a bathroom break and smiled to myself and said aloud, "That really is how it is!"

As you know, if you've read, well, any of this blog, I can be the crankiest of crankies about singlehood and alllways being the one who has to go to the grocery store because I have no loving, doting partner to do it for me, EVER.

But I also -- and don't let this get around -- sometimes L-O-V-E love being single, and on my own, in the big, ugly city. And it's in the tiny, itsy bitsy moments, the ones that sometimes piss me off seemingly to oblivion, where the thrill truly burrows itself.

One moment I'll be drinking $5 wine from a plastic cup, and having guacamole or Fruit Snacks for dinner, and I'll be watching a movie from the library in my Spongebob Square Pants shorts and I just get so overwhelmingly content, pausing to notice, "This is where it's at."

And it's just a plastic cup and some mashed avocado.

But it's also like Felcity's fridge. The fridge that was unexpectedly sent to her door and that confirmed for her her decision to move to New York and for the first time in her life do something that was hers, that was the result of something she chose, whether it always made sense or not.

(If you're reading between the lines, this parallels my decision to move to LA, but I'm not going to outline every detail of that here, now).

Because few things always make sense. And few things always make you happy, including a fridge, and mashed avocado and cheap wine. Sometimes they'll thrill you. Sometimes you'll wish you had someone to drink the wine with you, or that you didn't have to wipe down the fridge when it smells weird, or that the guacamole were made fresh at a restaurant on a romantic date, or... Or. Or.

But here's the final reason I am loving Felicity. Because it's all about independence. Felicity is a freshman in college, and she turned a heel on her lifelong plans to go to Stanford and study medicine to instead move to New York to follow a crush.

I would never do that. Most of us never would.

But the things she deals with -- people questioning her motives, her choice to stay, her almost-choice to not stay, her tears, her confusion over men -- these things I get.

I like calling the shots on what gets cold in the fridge. On how long things rot in there before I decide to remove them. On who I decide to tell about the realities of the rotting food in my fridge, or, for that matter, my car.

I get it.

I get it because as I dig through my bag in a search for chapstick, and meanwhile find sunglasses, young adult books, a secondhand scarf, bobbi pins, deodorant, my flip phone, Rescue Remedy that I used when I wrestled the cat into his carrier to go to the vet (and yes, I wished I had a friend to help in that moment, and I got stressed beyond belief and emailed my mommy), and tampons and hair serum and a toothbrush and sunscreen and Advil....

it makes me suddenly stop and smile. At my ridiculous lack of organization, yet my ability to keep it in order, to make it to work every day, to get work done, to juggle, to know when to turn off the email and pour a glass (mug) of wine, to do the laundry or decide it can wait. To learn (more than once) that while 1,000 people can be on my side in any given decision, I can always find someone who isn't. And to learn to listen for the Whisper above the noise when deciding to take the job, get a roommate, date the boy, clean the fridge.

There's a weird, gross, prideful, beautiful thing that makes up this independence thing, that can hurt us and shape us for the better. Which is why Felicity is a welcome gift into my life. And why, for the next several weeks, I may neglect cleaning the fridge in order to watch episode after episode.

(Here's hoping this crush plays out).


  1. I love Felicity! It makes me want to cozy up with a cup of tea (cough coffee cough) and cover Keri Russell's hair. Lovely post!