Seriously though? What is about our favorite characters or book boyfriends? Why do they mean so much to us? I know my attachment as to my favorites started when I was young. My sister and brother were way older than me, and we moved a lot. I believe my connections and obsessions were rooted in a loneliness. When I was going to new schools, changing my room and making new friends my book friends were my only constant. In them I found who I was and who I wanted to be.
I remember my first experience feeling a bit of me become a character in 3rd grade. The first time I read Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women”. I fell for Jo March. I loved everything about her. I saw things in her that I saw in myself, and things I hoped to see one day. I remember just being blown away. I had read other books before but none that really spoke to me like Jo March did. I envied her strength, and her relationship with her family. I love that she was apologetically herself. She messed things up, she wasn’t a proper lady, she read, wrote and swore. She was awesome.
Even as an adult (I use the term loosely), I find myself attached to certain characters. I want to read everything written about them, I read the Fan Fiction and the variations of the stories. I read any sequels that come out, I get obsessed.
If I sit and really think about it, nothing has really changed. The characters I get hooked on are all people I have things in common with or people I wish I could be like. I tend to return to them when I need to be reminded of things. These characters all have a lesson for me. The Doctor and his companions remind me that regular people can do anything, and to stand up for what is right. Elizabeth Bennett and Beatrice both are there when I need to remember people are not always what they seem. Sherlock’s social issues is something I completely relate to, and the fact that John Watson sticks by him no matter what he says or does wrong gives me hope. Scarlet O’Hara gives me strength. Liz Lemon and Leslie Knope are delightful work-aholic messes that reflect so much of my own personality it is hard to not associate myself with them.
These book friends are always there for me, especially when I am feeling lonely.
I have friends, but sometimes it is a struggle for me to maintain relationships. Sometimes it is difficult to have conversations and spend time with people with out the anxiety of saying the wrong thing or just being uncomfortable. Even being with my best friends am never completely at ease. I am not very comfortable in my own skin, and so I tend to isolate myself from people. Re-reading or re-watching a show or movie is comforting and is like visiting friends that let me be myself warts and all. I’m okay being flawed, because they are flawed as well.
I guess my deal with fictional characters is based on a deeper connection that I can’t seem to make with people in real life.
Who are some of your favorite characters? Do you find yourself returning to certain books or movies? Which characters have influenced your life the most?