I’m interrupting the Blog Challenge to FINALLY post this. Dang, that took FOREVER. Also, this happened yesterday…
Parker (looking in the fridge): Did you eat 6 hot dogs??
Me: 5 and yes, I did. Then I called Wifey, because it reminded me of her.
Wifey and I have a weird, loving relationship. Anyway, then Parker told me that I should not eat that many hot dogs in one sitting, but guys, this is a record for me! Plus, there are two left, and I don’t think I can eat anymore. It’s summer. I had my Ball Park. (It’s a commercial, by the way, from the 90’s with Michael Jordan. Look it up.)
Everyone has at one point or another has read or watched something, where they yelled, “THIS IS MY LIFE!” Or more accurately, “That totally happened to me.”
I’ve created a list of television episodes along with the corresponding situations. Surprisingly, this was harder than I thought it would be.
1. The Class, Episode 1, “Pilot”
Sorry that it’s like 7 minutes long. It made me believe that I could pick up partially through it. But there are NO trailers.
The entire series is one season, due to the writer’s strike and possibly because the average audience never bonded to the concept. The Class is about a handful of kids who went to grade school together, grew up, and became friends again. Or just ran into each other because they all lived in the same town. Stars include Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), Lizzie Caplan (Mean Girls, Party Down, and True Blood), and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), to name a few.
While the city I grew up in is not particularly small, it’s not HUGE, and this happened a LOT more than I ever thought it would. The stories of how all my friends know each other and used to go school together are endless. I re-established friendships with several people I used to go to school with or became better friends with some of those who stayed close to home. But really, episode one, where they all reunite is the most applicable. I have totally forgotten names of people I used to go to grade school with, but there are people I will never forget. And I’m super glad I never became Mrs. Kyle Lendo.
2. Parks & Rec, Season 3, Episode 2 “Flu Season”
The town of Pawnee is struck with the flu, and many of them end up in the hospital. Leslie escapes with everyone’s flu meds in order to make a speech, and Chris freaks out when he realizes he is sick.
I’m constantly living in flu season. There’s a time when I’m sick where my immune system laughs and says, “Just wait.” I don’t always identify with Leslie or Chris or April. I’m usually Chris, where I stay in bed and feel the onslaught of probable death.I did once make a presentation when I took cold/flu medicine to get through finals week when I was sick. My speech did NOT go as well as Leslie’s does, and I ended up apologizing profusely to my professor and embarrassing myself in front of the entire class. I think I said one sentence over and over again. Then I took daytime cold/flu meds again (for the first time in 5 years) before I went to work earlier this year when I was sick during Daylight Savings Time and argued with my co-worker for waaaay too long about what time it was. I was wrong. I was NOT doing cartwheels (just like Leslie).
Runner-up: “Practice Date,” Season 1
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Hells Bells,” Season 6, Episode 16Xander is about to get married, when from out of the blue, an old man claiming to be the future version of Xander shows up to talk him out of his wedding. THEN he shows Xander what the future holds in store.
Of course, of all the characters of Buffy, Xander is my favorite, so there’s that additional aspect of how I always see myself as the quirky side kick.
Have you ever looked into your future with someone, realistically, and gotten completely freaked out? I’m not talking irrational, commitment-phobic. This is seeing your future with your significant other and knowing that you cannot continue because this person will make you utterly. Completely. Miserable.
It’s weird that one of the less physically frightening episodes would actually be the one that scared me the most (okay, like #2, but still!). This happened to me, and when I watched this episode (which I watched alone, at night) it brought back the fear, depression, and knowledge that goes with being incapable of unseeing it. Thankfully, I was not about to walk down the aisle when it happened to me. Not even close. Still, I sat there after the episode had ended, dumbfounded. I tried to watch other episodes, but they sucked, were also depressing, and I couldn’t let go of the one that shook me to my core. I crawled into bed with my husband and held him, a little terrified that what I watched almost became MY future.
4. That 70’s Show, “Eric’s Depression” Season 4, Episode 2
Eric gives Donna a promise ring, which prompts them to break up. Our sunken little main character crawls into his bed and doesn’t come out. Meanwhile, all of Eric’s friends go to Fun Land, and it is up to his dad, a grumpy old man, to cheer him up.
This was the first time my serious boyfriend and I broke up (after he gave ME a promise ring). After this episode and the incident, I noted the irony of it, but it was all lost on me at the time. I don’t remember the rest of this season, but I do know that like Eric and Donna, we made up, and like Donna, I dyed my hair. Although, my decision to dye my hair was a month or two later, not a few seasons, and no one went to Africa.
Of all the shows I watched, I never thought That 70’s Show would ever closely mimic a year in my life. Eric Forman and I were, for a short time, basically the same person.
5. LOST, Season 3, Episode 16, “One of Us”
“One of Us” is Juliet’s flashbacks of how she came to the island. Even when I hated Juliet, I liked her. It’s hard to explain, but I think it’s just well written. She was introduced well. If you’ve seen it, you may know what I mean. Regardless, in the episode, we see Juliet struggle when making a leap of faith then dealing with the repercussions of that decision. She is lied to, manipulated, and isolated. Most Juliet episodes and Lost as a whole, touch on this concept frequently.
Years ago, I made a co-decision to uproot my life and move across the country. When I got there, I was deceived into taking a job that I thought would be the beginning of a potential career. It wasn’t. My husband worked all the time. I cried a LOT. More than Jack does in the whole series (probably).
Juliet does the unthinkable in the episode: she keeps going. Failure encapsulates her, and she continues.
6. Community, Season 4, Episode 1 “History 101”
Jeff goes behind the group’s back to take a summer class so he can graduate early. In order to have their “last class” together, Jeff jumps through hoops Hunger Games style by Dean Pelton to get all 6 of them into The History of Ice Cream class.
Meanwhile, Abed goes into his own little world in response to this realization that the group might not always be together. In it, they live in a sitcom where Pierce (normally played by Chevy Chase) is played by Fred Willard.
At the end of the episode in Abed’s sitcom, Jeff makes a speech about how even though he’s graduating early and they won’t be taking classes, they will still be friends.
Graduating from college was hard for me. I don’t like endings, and even when I do enjoy moving on to something better, there’s always a part of us that clings to the past, the known. I empathize with Abed when he goes into his own little world and in the end realizes it’s all going to be okay.
It’s hard to leave behind years of schooling for “the real world,” or to have a friend eclipse you in the success department. This episode really captures that.
Runner-up: “The Origins of Vampire Mythology,” Season 3. I actually almost chose it, but it seemed too close theme-wise to #3-4. Really, though, everyone should watch it.
7. Scrubs Season 1, Episode 10 “My Own Personal Jesus”
Everyone at the hospital has a case of the Christmas blues and doesn’t feel like celebrating. Except Turk. Turk has his reindeer antlers on and is ready to celebrate. He also has an ongoing disagreement with JD about whether miracles exist. However, after being on-call Christmas Eve, Turk comes home defeated. His job as a surgeon in the ER on Christmas Eve has gotten the best of him.
This is actually one of my all-time favorite Christmas television episodes. It really captures the two sides of Christmas. The joyous, miraculous time of year, and the stress and strain of spending (or not spending) time with your family. Christmas can be an overwhelming time–good and bad. We all have that friend with unending optimism and belief that never wavers…until it does.
I love Christmas music and festivities until I don’t. One year at the office I was working at, I turned up “Feliz Navidad” every time it came on and would sometimes switch stations until I found it. Only after did I find out that my monotone voiced co-worker (and apparently Parker too) dislikes this song…the one I’d played about 5 million times. Yet, after the initial high of anticipating Christmas, I go into this slump where work/presents/stress of the holiday bring me down. Like Turk, I need that reminder every year no matter where it comes from (usually “It’s a Wonderful Life”) that miracles, love, and good people still exist. We all need that reminder, even if it’s not Christmas.
Runners-up: “My American Girl” and “My Self-Examination,” both season 3
8. How I Met Your Mother, Season 2, Episode 7 “Swarley”
Barney gets an unwanted nickname while everyone warns Marshall that his girlfriend has “crazy eyes.”
I cannot even begin to tell you the teasing that happened when I got nicknamed in high school. It only took one lunchtime moment where I phased out and thought my friend said something sexual for my nickname to become “Boobs.” Then no one would call me anything else. Then someone named them. So, it’s basically exactly like what happens to Barney–even down to the variation of the nicknames, although in his case it’s a spin on the nickname and in mine it was naming my breasts. Even though no one ever saw them. That happened for a YEAR (to me, not Barney).
Additionally, I have wondered from time to time if I have the crazy eyes even before this episode ever aired, so when Barney explains the hot to crazy scale, I was like, “That sounds about right.” I do, in fact, have the crazy eyes. Sorry, Parker.
Runners-up: “Spoiler Alert” and “I Heart New Jersey”