Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Back to Reality

I'm back!  I know it's been a long hiatus, and I have TONS to write about to catch you up on our last few crazy weeks.  I'm sitting down now, though, because I felt compelled to write right now about something I didn't really intend to discuss at all...much less address in my first post back.  The need to write has gripped me all day, so here goes...

Cory Monteith.  Before this week, I don't think I could have told you the name of the guy who played Finn on Glee.  If I could have pulled his name out of my head (from the ridiculous amount of MSN gossip I read), I doubt I would have pronounced it correctly.  Of course, that has changed this week, with his untimely death being a huge topic of discussion--Dan's dad texted me at 7:54am Sunday morning to inform me.  My father-in-law was the last person I would have imagined to be touched by this particular actor's death, but he was, and felt the need to share it with me as soon as he heard.  I got his text when I woke up, and while I thought it was sad news, I surprisingly didn't dwell on it too much--I have a massive tendency to consume myself with tragic stories, but Cory's death sort of rolled over me like a passing wave (probably because it was the morning after we returned from our beach vacation, and I was too tired to give anything much effort).  I thought about Glee and how that was a bummer for the show, and about Lea Michele coping with the loss of her boyfriend...and then I went on with my day.

Cory Monteith, aka Finn Hudson

Glee was a favorite show for Dan and me when it premiered in 2009--the perfect premise for a former choir girl who can still sing along to every song on the radio.  Dan enjoyed the show a lot, and in fact, he was the one pushing us to watch Season 3 when I had sort of lost interest--the songs were okay, but the story wasn't grabbing me like it once had.  Season 4 dropped off Dan's radar entirely (which I found weird since he was so into Season 3--he's an enigma sometimes), but it was still on our DVR, so I found myself folding laundry and checking in with the characters every week despite Dan's refusal to watch it with me.  I don't love the new cast members, and actually, if you asked me who my favorite Glee character in general is, I couldn't tell you--no one is really a favorite, because I don't really love any of them and never have.  It's just been a fun show to watch and enjoy the singing--although now that I think of it, I was totally taken with Blaine when he first came on the show (oh, those Warblers and their Teenage Dream...).  Rachel annoys me (despite her obvious enormous talent), Finn's doltishness bothers me...but I do think they are cute together.  I watched last season with my remote in hand, fast-forwarding some of the new cast plot and a lot of the songs (funny, since the songs were what drew me to the show when it started), just so that I could see what was happening with Rachel in New York and all the other original cast members.  I thought the school shooting episode last season was extremely poignant in a way that the earlier seasons of the show really moved me.  I actually watched all the singing parts of the Guilty Pleasures episode, so there were a few recent episodes that I enjoyed and weren't just time-killers for me.  I wasn't counting down to the new season or fretting over what would happen with Rachel or Finn--in other words, I'm not a Gleek.

My nonchalant attitude toward Cory's death lasted about a day--until I was scolding Alex for doing something obnoxious with my usual first-and-middle-name combination.  "Alexander Finn!"  Finn. hadn't really dawned on me that Alex's middle name was sort of associated with Cory Monteith's character--we didn't choose Finn because of the show, although I'm definitely not above naming our kids after favorite TV/movie character names:  Abby's middle name comes from one of my favorite movies (Somewhere in Time...don't make fun of me), and Finn was inspired by the name of Poppy Montgomery's character's son's name on Without a Trace (did you follow that??).  Her son was only on the last season, and I don't even think they ever showed him since he was just a baby and didn't come to work with her, but I watched the show regularly and the way she said his name stuck with me--I liked how it sounded, and threw it into play when it came to naming Alex a few years later.  When we named Alex, I was concerned that Finn was too "pop culture," given that folks would probably think we named him after Finn on Glee.  As a middle name, though, I decided not to worry about it too much--we had such a terrible time coming up with Alex's name as it was that I wasn't going to let something like people thinking we were huge Glee fans get in the way of a name Dan and I finally both agreed on and liked!  Amusingly to me, my niece's middle name is Quinn, so we have the original Glee power couple covered--an odd coincidence.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I am way more of a crime drama girl than sitcom girl--my only pet as an adult was a cat named McCoy, after Jack McCoy on Law & Order.  Not only do I not object to using a name from TV, but apparently I have a TV name-stealing problem...)

my Alex Finn

After the Finn/Finn association hit me, I spent some time googling Cory and learned more about his life and struggles.  I watched some old Glee clips from the first few seasons, and felt pretty sad about the whole thing--he really seemed like a good guy who was trying to do the right things in his battle with addiction.  When I hear about tragedies (be they drunk driving crashes, untimely deaths, mass shootings), I'm always struck with a desire to rewind time--if we could just go back to yesterday when everything was fine and the world wasn't upside down.  If only the car struck by the drunk driver had gotten stuck at a light a fraction of a second longer.  If only that person had missed their flight on a plane that eventually crashed.  If only.  As a parent, these kinds of deaths really bother me--I was giving the boys a bath today and thinking about the fact that Cory's mom gave him countless baths just like I have my boys, and she never envisioned the path his life would take.  That he would be a problem child in high school, and eventually drop out.  That he would become a famous actor.  That he would succumb to a heroin addiction.  He was just her little boy, as Jake and Alex are mine--with her hopes and dreams for their future first and foremost in her heart.  It makes me want to bottle my kids up in a safe cocoon--I know I can't keep them out of harm's way forever, but I wish there were a magic wand to help fend off some of these future unforeseen heartbreaks.

So I didn't intend to write a random tribute-ish post to Cory Monteith ever in my life, but being a parent changes my whole perspective on life and death.  I'm holding my kids tighter and sending up some positive thoughts that my sweet kiddos' unique personalities/tendencies perfectly align with all our parenting efforts to somehow keep them safe, healthy, and happy for as long as they are meant to be on this earth.  And I would be remiss (if not a bit off topic) if I didn't say a happy anniversary to my sweet husband today--we stood in a little chapel right down the street from our current house and promised our lives to each other 9 years ago.  I love you, honey!

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