Who knew that several years after I watched episodes 14 and 22 of season two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that one day I would completely empathize with Buffy. I mean, like, feel her pain.
This girl’s got trouble, but let’s face it, her real troubles began, like many of us, by falling for the Wrong Guy. Who, in her case, is Angel, a cursed vampire. Cursed to be good and have a soul and to care enough not to ruthlessly kill humans. And it’s not like she doesn’t know he’s a vampire–she knows it–she just believes he can change, or, he’ll can keep the demon part under control or… everyone’s got their problems, right?
What she doesn’t know is that once Angel experiences one pure moment of happiness (which coincides with the loss of Buffy’s virginity) the curse is lifted, which means, he no longer cares about Buffy and would prefer to spend his evenings sucking blood, killing hookers, trying to destroy the world, and of course, torturing Buffy. And he’s really into the last one.
Like most of us, Buffy gets over it. Unlike most of us, Buffy is stronger than Angel and gets to, literally, kick Angel’s ass repeatedly (and once really hard in the balls), save the world, watch Angel get his soul back, and STILL stab him with a sword and send him to hell.
It’s a tough moment, but hey, that’s just desiny when your high school is perched at the edge of the hell mouth, and you’re the slayer.
And speaking of bad days…
I have always disliked the children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Even the title is exhausting (and, by the 10th read…). I must confess I never found it that meaningful or satisfying, and the ending, “even in Australia” (as in, bad days happen there too, you can’t run away from them) always left me a vague sense of not really getting it. After a while, I tucked it away so it would not be in my daughter’s bedtime reading rotation.
But recently, (for reasons I won’t go into here), I’ve started to really enjoy just how unrelentingly bad things got for Alexander. Pretty much without respite. And guess what? Things really suck sometimes in Australia too. And, frankly, that’s making me feel good pretty good right about now.
Previously, watching Alexander’s suffering had been unpleasant (what a depressing story!) to witness. I kept looking for a way to rationalize it (is it really that bad?), not to mention searching for the pretty much non-existant happy ending (at least he goes to bed with the promise of a better day tomorrow?). It’s not exactly that I’m happy to watch Alexander suffer, but I do take some comfort in knowing we’re all in it together, hell mouth and all.