Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Anniversary of Steel and the finale of Penny Dreadful.

Yesterday, June 22nd was our 11th anniversary. We have loved each other for thirteen years, been married eleven of those.
June 22nd 2016

I can't describe to anyone accurately what loving someone this much is like. 

When I first met my husband, the original thought that went through my head was that this could not be a real person. Nobody was that innately good. Nobody that intelligent could be that kind, having been smart enough to see the world full of shadows, how does someone look to the sun? I know his life story, and I still don't know how he managed to become the great, the startlingly bright and gleaming creature that he is. And, he is, aside from my closest friend (and of course my children), the only human being I can be around forever and not be worn down, or worn out with. 

Us, twelve years and three children ago.
I am as taken with him today as I was then. I can not imagine my life without him in it. I have no idea, really, why he thought I was worth it (years of abuse had made it so that I rarely let anyone in, he went into the entire ordeal of loving me as Scott approached White Fang in London's novel-he knew he might have to be bitten to earn trust, but once he had it, it would be there forever), but I am so glad he thought it was. 

He proposed in a medical room. We'd been dating for two years. An unexpected pregnancy just before we graduated from college together became our first grieved miscarriage-and landed me in a dire situation in need of surgery, or a blood transfusion. They would not allow non-family members to see me, to know of my condition. So he told them he was my fiance, that we were getting married. 

When they let him back to my little white room, he held my hand and asked if I thought we should get married. 

And I said "Yes." 

He is the reason I can write about love. 

He is why I look to the sun instead of the shadows. He is why I can, though guarded still, believe in people. 

I sort of understand now, why the idea of the "better half" exists. lol 

In all seriousness, even having a lifetime to be by his side-it won't ever be enough. 

But every year is a gift. 

And we will treat it that way. 

And you're probably sitting there thinking "what the hell does this have to do with Penny Dreadful?"

Fair enough (I mean, for bonus points, we're sitting here as we finish up watching the third season, but there's more, I promise).

And it has to do with the characterization in the series.

Vanessa Ives is the best icon of how we, the girls and women made of darker stuff, beat ourselves up. We walk around being told, often by our families, and certainly by our selves that we are unworthy. Unworthy of everything, including love. Including happiness. Because we are not as they are. 

Ives is that struggle, externally and internally. However much the writer/director says it was a journey of a woman to her god, for me, it was more of this. 

It affected me to watch her stand up for herself, in the best way possible. 

The way Vanessa had to deal with something tracking her, hunting her, the showdowns in which she is turned truly vulnerable and still manages to be strong enough to win, to fight back, are unlike any female scenes I have ever seen in horror. In my darkest, scariest moments, I hope I am that strong. And, though her story was tragic, it was still one of love. Of being worth love-and it's something every card-carrying member of the weird phantasmagorical female club can identify with. This is one of the most important things about dramatic horror. It can give you this imaginary hero to look up to as you set about facing your own demons. 

As for me, I think I am even more mindful of how fortunate I am to be given the life I wanted. Those like me are told, many times over, that we don't deserve that,

but we do.


  1. "True love?" Yes. Or at least it is true for us. I'm lucky in that I have the one I love and will be with until the day he or I dies as well. Whenever we hear about how hard marriage is, we look at each other and smile. Marriage for us has been one of the easiest things we've ever done. Not having to be someone we are not - like every time we ever went in to work, or every family get together - is a huge part of that. A whole level of stress and anxiety we just don't have. I love reading these kinds of accounts. Like anyone in a loving, committed relationship, I wish the same for all others. Even my enemies. But especially for those I love.