I haven’t posted on here in a few weeks because I’ve been busy working on various writing projects. I’ve also been equally busy losing myself in my all-encompassing obsession with BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER.
Here’s the thing about me: I tend to like something forever (all my favorite movies are from the 80s, all my favorite punk music is from the 90s, my outfits of jeans, Converse or Vans, and black novelty t-shirts has been a 20+ year standard) or come to something extremely late. BUFFY first aired in the late 90s, yet somehow I’d never seen it. Not even one second of one episode. I enjoyed the camp factor of the movie, which was a sleepover staple for a long time, but never checked out the television show. I blame it on the fact that it aired when I was in college and graduate school, a time when I wasn’t watching a lot of tv.
In December, we had some friends over and were talking about television and they asked if we’d seen BUFFY. They were making their way through it and totally loving it. I don’t know why this time the recommendation actually clicked for us, but it did. It seems like most of library/book Twitter loves BUFFY, and certainly people have suggested we watch it, but I never dove in. We started watching it, me tweeting away the whole time, sharing how skeptical I was that we’d make it through much of the show. It was okay, but not great. I didn’t get the BUFFY mania. Hang in there, everyone told me. Get past the first many episodes. Wait till you get to season two. It gets so much better!
And it did. Boy, did it.
I am hard pressed to sit down and watch even a 22 minute sitcom. I’d rather read or write. Matthew works approximately 4 gazillion hours a week, so he’s not exactly excited to carve out time to watch tv either. BUT. Since December, we have watched the entire season once all the way through (144 45-minute episodes, 7 seasons) and are now on season three of watching it the second time. That’s right—we finished it and then immediately started it over again.
Over spring break, I read 83 BUFFY comics (the television show ended with season 7, but the comics continue the story, and I’m up to season 11, the current season). We have a BUFFY calendar in our kitchen. We’re listening to the podcast about the show, BUFFERING THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. I’m reading other books about the show. It’s almost all we talk about. I wrote an entire first draft of a new novel over 8 weeks and it’s fair to say that BUFFY totally fueled my writing and my state of mind.
The depths of winter are hard for me. My depression and anxiety are compounded by December being my least favorite month (the month my dad was killed in a car accident), the snow triggering all kinds of grief and anxiety and panic attacks for me, and the lack of sun making me even more depressed than usual (my trusty little SAD lamp can only do so much). But in all honesty, BUFFY is a big part of what kept me going these past few months. I would write in the mornings, from 5-7, knowing if I hit my word count goal, I could watch BUFFY in the evenings without feeling guilty/needing to do other things.
And really, what better message for me to spend months absorbing than fight a demon, fall down, get back up, fight again? My brain needed that message. I think the series gripped me so hard because it’s not only great writing, and great characters, but is so much about grief, the continued fight for their lives, and battling their own demons. I get it, Buffy, I really do. Some of us are totally aware that we’re teetering on the brink of our own personal hellmouth.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
“Strong is fighting. It’s hard and it’s painful and it’s every day. It’s what we have to do, and we can do it together, but if you’re too much of a coward for that, then burn.”—Buffy
“I don’t know what’s coming next. But I do know it’s gonna be just like this – hard, painful. But in the end, it’s gonna be us. If we all do our parts, believe it, we’ll be the one’s left standing. Here endeth the lesson.”—Buffy
“Sometimes the most adult thing you can do is… ask for help when you need it.” — Giles
“So what — are we helpless puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.” —Whistler
“From now on, every girl in the world who might be a Slayer, will be a Slayer. Every girl who could have the power, will have the power, can stand up, will stand up. Slayers… every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?” —Buffy