How the Suburban Housewife Escapes: Or, Why I Love Supernatural
Please note, this is an open letter to my dear friends who just do not understand (or may not even know about) my SPN obsession. Permission granted liberally to use this text to explain it to your friends, too.
Friday nights are mine. No, I’m not talking about going out on the town. I am talking a cool glass of wine (or steaming tea, depending on the season), and I hunker down on the couch. Darling husband knows enough to read stories to our daughters and tuck them into bed, no questions asked.
Supernatural is on.
Most of you probably don’t know the show. And when I explain it, it’s going to sound, well, ridiculous. But I’ll try.
There are these two brothers, Sam and Dean. Did I mention they are incredibly good looking? Well, anyway, their mom got murdered by a demon when Sam was a baby, and their father took the boys on the road to chase after it. Along the way the boys grew up, began finding other monsters, becoming “hunters”. They share a deep bond as brothers, connected by tragedy and faith. They eventually get that demon and –
Well, now that I got you involved, I don’t want to give out any spoilers.
But here’s the thing: the show is incredibly well written, the acting is very good, and the storyline is quite riveting. But with anything nowadays, it’s not just about a show. I was online a few months ago, chatting with some knitters (okay, welcome to my world of total GEEKDOM) and they mentioned Supernatural. Turns out a few of them had written stories involving the characters, and posted them up on FanFiction.net.
Now let me defer to a moment, if I may, to discuss myself. I am a well-educated, savvy, kind, compassionate mom of two lovely girls, ages 5 and 7, and married to a successful, loving husband. Formerly I worked as an environmental consultant, directing cleanups of hazardous waste sites throughout the state of Maine. I quit my job when my first daughter was one year old, and have been home ever since. In that time, I have kept busy managing a local knitting group, running 5K’s, and working for the business that my husband and I own (I am 51% owner).
As a child, I was an avid reader, and I think that’s what eventually led me to writing. I have old binders bulging with songs, poems, stories, and story ideas that I wrote pre-kids and career. I have always yearned to pick that back up, to get those rusty gears turning, to get that vocabulary back up to speed, and to tap the keys on my laptop rhythmically. It hasn’t been easy.
But when I logged onto FanFiction.net, I was home. The level of creativity of the writers on the site was outrageous – and truly inspiring. So I started writing stories with Sam and Dean and their demon collective, even participating in weekly 100-word story challenges called “drabbles”. Then I vomited out a book – literally. In a matter of two months, I wrote a 54,000-word book based on the series. Turns out Supernatural has a series of books out already, so it sent mine off to the publisher *gulp,* hoping to get my story in the series (still waiting to hear!).
Meanwhile, between watching the show, following its actors and writers on Twitter and Facebook, a thought occurred to me: I am obsessed? Shouldn’t I be drilling multiplication tables into my kids instead of writing a drabble that is required to contain the word “temper”? Why am I tweeting Sam (Jared Padelecki) asking him when he wore a hoodie in Episode 5.13, what did that represent?
Truth is, it’s not that bad. Of course my real life, picking strawberries with my daughters, sharing a rare night out (not a Friday, for goodness sake!!!) with my husband, are much more important. The show and its characters are an escape. As indignant a label as it is, I am a housewife, and if I can think of my next storyline to post on FF.net while meticulously separating the laundry, what’s the harm? Someday the show will be over and all this frenzy will pass, and I will enjoy reading what I wrote at the time. It’s becoming a real time capsule for this time in my life. I’m turning 40 soon, and finding that this person that I am – and still becoming – well, I really like her. Once the conciliatory peace-maker, I am standing up more for myself and my kids, one of which has ADHD and a speech delay. I have attracted a circle of friends who are supportive, fun, and knitters, ha! But it’s true – when you truly become comfortable with yourself, you attract like-minded people to you – and there is no greater assembly of girls that I would rather be with.
Well, didn’t I start this out by talking about a television show?
Ultimately, the show has led me down an interesting path at this point in my life. The show gives me an hour a week to escape. The writing has built up my confidence which has bled into other parts of my life – stronger friendships, for example. Appreciating the real time I spend at the beach with the girls, sharing a cold beer with my husband, for other examples.
And Supernatural just got renewed for its seventh season.
You can find mainegirlwrites' stories at FanFiction.net under her pen name.
For all the latest Supernatural info and article links, follow The Winchester Family Business on Twitter at @WinFamBusiness
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