volume two

maybe she’s an eternal teenage girl? maybe she’s just demisexual?

G’day mate! How the bloody hell are ya?

I am missing home and thought I would just try that on. It felt weird, sorry I won’t do it again. If you are reading this, thank you! Nice to see you! I hope your day is as magical as you are!

This week I want to talk about my Quarantine Crushes. For a long time, long before the pandemmy, I have had crushes on fictional characters hardcore. I binge-watch a TV show and all of a sudden a character from the show pops up in my dreams saying “hi, hello, I am hopelessly in love with you and I cannot get you off my mind” and I have to wake up and be like “damn it you’re not even a real person LEAVE ME ALONE!”. I do not help myself that I often fall asleep while watching the shows but that is beside the point.

For a long time, I just assumed, like many factors of my romantic life, that I was just in my awkward teenage girl phase a little longer than most and that I would grow out of it. Then I discovered my demisexuality and was like ’ohhhhhhhkay nope this is just who you are girl, enjoy!’

Throughout the pandemmy I have had a lot more time to binge, so this week’s newsletter is dedicated to the fictional loves lost. Lost, because as much as I was obsessed with them while watching the show, three episodes into my next series they were forgotten.

Firstly, RIP to my most notable crushes of the past.

You were all so important to my growth but I have moved on, I’m sorry, please stop trying to reach me, I feel bad for you. If I ever loop back to binge your shows again I look forward to meeting you in my dreams once more.

  • Eric and Donna from That 70s Show were my first escape of note from the present time. I fell in love with them on the living room floor of our little house on the farm in 1998 and had to fight for my right to watch this “too grown up for me” show. Eric and Donna made me want to be in a throuple with them before I even knew what a throuple was and I continued to revisit their relationship over the years just comparing whoever I was dating to them like “ugh why can’t you be them geez”.

  • Alex from The O.C. when I was 14 who got me through puberty blues and bisexual curiosity.

  • Marshall from How I Met Your Mother who (almost 5 years ago now, wow) got me through my stressful Permanent Residency application and the emotional turmoil that came with it (it did not help that my roommate would drop off gifts to me at work knowing I was stressed and depressed trying to cheer me up, but sign the card from Jason Segel…)

  • Patrick and Nina from Offspring. I was late to watch this show. Years late. But it was worth it. RIP Patrick and Nina (and well, Patrick actually, because spoiler alert he dies). Holy smokes that was the first time I was like OH I AM INVESTED IN THIS TV RELATIONSHIP. The sex scenes between them? Demisexual porn. Trust me.

So here, in order of which I watched, is my list of Quarantine Crushes from the last 17 odd months.

Rosa - Brooklyn 99. Rosa is hot. Period. She is cool, tough, smart and not easily intimidated. She also is the exact opposite of a chronic oversharer and while I embrace that in myself, I am so intrigued by the air of mystery in others. I imagine Rosa and I would have eloped when we got married. We wouldn’t tell anyone about it because she wouldn’t want any of the attention of the day and because I would want all of the attention of surprising everyone with it on social media later. Match made in fictional heaven.

Chidi Anagonye - The Good Place. I won’t lie, I went down a huge rabbit hole on YouTube trying to find the perfect Chidi clip and I couldn’t decide (funny, you know how Chidi can never decide on anything? Same. Please just pick the restaurant, do not ask me what I feel like eating. The answer is food).

Chidi is perfect.

Who doesn’t love a smart, wise, kind, flawlessly handsome human who 10/10 looks like he gives the best hug you have ever had? You know when you hug that guy your head rests perfectly on his shoulder, no matter what height you are, that he always smells like fresh linen and the good kind of sweat, that his sweaters are soft on your face and do not scratch at all, that his big strong arms gently tell you everything is okay and that he says whatever it is you need to hear in that moment. I am imagining it now and somehow I also hear the sounds of a rainforest and the warmth of the sun. Chidi is the dream. 

Sam and Debbie - GLOW. I am still not over the fact that this show will not be coming back. It stinks. I was very surprised because it is so, so good. What is probably not surprising is that Debbie is my crush on the show. She wasn’t at first -- no, she had too much, she didn’t also deserve my love but the character development of everyone on this show meant that I fell in love with her and desperately wanted to be in her orbit of badass power.

If only I could commit to her and not also be so in love with Sam. She deserves someone who gives her their all.

Sam is played by Marc Maron so it is fair to say that Marc Maron is a long-time crush of mine and this was inevitable, but still. That character development baby! I spent all of his scenes wishing I was his cigarette.

Get into GLOW if you haven’t already, just be prepared to ya know, be left in the lurch when they cancel it without warning.

Noel Fielding - The Great British Bake Off. Okay, I am torn between wanting to be Noel Fielding wanting to be with Noel Fielding. Either way, I get his wardrobe so I am happy. Despite everything you have read so far, Noel was the breakthrough for me. It was when I started dreaming about him being in love with me that I was so moved it made me reflect and realise yes this is what I have been doing for years.

All of a sudden I was vividly remembering my dreams too, which is both good and bad. Sometimes it is just nicer to know you dreamt fondly of someone without having to recall details but when you do, as a demisexual, you feel very awkward about putting you both in such a position.

Noel is also an exception because unlike everyone else on this list he was not playing a character, so that is an added level of awkward for me that he is a real person creeping into my sleeping hours. GBBO (and Noel) are a fucking giant warm hug. They are sweet and supportive and funny and also… baked goods! As with the rest of them, my dreams were not sexual. Nope, they just consisted of having Noel declare his love for me in the GBBO tent, it was nothing weird, come on.

Judy - Dead To Me. I have crushed on Linda Cardellini since Freaks and Geeks and the Scooby-Doo movies. Everything she does is magic. Velma had big queer energy, even though as a kid I didn’t understand what the feelings I was feeling for Velma meant. I am just now realising, I wonder if that is why my favourite colour is orange… hmmm…

Either way Dead To Me portrays sexuality the exact way I need it to for me on tv. Judy’s sexuality is never spoken about, there is no tension or big coming-out moment. Nope, she just has an ex-boyfriend and then later in the series a girlfriend. I remember Jen’s character just saying to her “you like her!” and that being the first time I had seen on-screen sexuality like mine just a part of the story the same way a heterosexual romance plot would be. There was no need to explain it or label or delve into the fact that “hey you dated a man and now you like a woman, let’s unpack this for the audience and if we can throw in your parents not liking it into the mix, that will be the cherry on top.” Nope. Just two gal pals talking about adult crushes. Velma didn’t get the queer storyline she deserved, but Judy gets the girl and I am here for it*

*wishing it was me.

Phil and Claire - Modern Family. So my first trip down television fantasy throuple lane was with Eric and Donna and now I have moved on to Phil and Claire. It was a slow journey that I didn’t expect. I went into watching Modern Family (in true Lauren fashion years after everyone else) with the same expectations as you all - Sophia Vergara is the Queen of the World. This still remains a fact but as the kids grew up and moved out, my love for Phil and Claire grew stronger.

I am Claire: she's hyper organised, always claiming she is right, tries to be funny but really isn’t and keeps everyone’s shit together for them.

I want to be a Phil: he’s funny, fun, the life of the party, a friend to everyone, puts others first and goes with the flow.

Okay so maybe I have sprinkles of them both and that’s why I think I will be the perfect addition to their relationship, we will all get a balance of everything we need, as well as alone time while the other two hang out. I cannot wait for annual Vegas trips together. Clive Bixby, Juliana and Zelda Cantrel* here we go.

*a quiz on the internet gave me this alias name.

Winston - New Girl. I'm still watching New Girl. As of writing this, I am at Season 6, and nearing the end of it. I am so close to the finish line if anyone ruins anything for me I will be so pissed. So first of all Nick and Jess’ break up BROKE me. But a friend said I would fall in love again and fall in love again, I did.

How could I have been sleeping on Winston all this time? I needed Nick and Jess to fail for me to see what was right in front of me - the perfect match.

Winston is laugh-out-loud funny and weird. Like so fucking weird. I love him and I will make him and Ferguson the cat (and Aly if that is what is required to make this work she is pretty fucking cool too) very, very happy.

Notable mention of shows I watched that didn’t make me fall in love...

  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - close call with Mikey, my god what a hunk.

  • Grace and Frankie - close call with Jacob, if only he stayed on the show a little longer we really could have had something.

  • Dear White People - okay it wasn’t that I didn’t like anyone on this show it was that I think I was too greedy so my dreams didn’t know what to do. They’re all just so fucking great and cool and fun and smart. So in no particular order, there was Samantha, Lionel, Troy, Joelle and Reggie. *fire emoji* *face with sunglasses emoji* *100 emoji*

  • Please Like Me - No close calls. I rewatched this series again and I have to say something huge - I think it’s my fav show of all time. It is perfect. No romantic interests for me in this show, just pure R E S P E C T for the lot of them and the buckets of sad and happy tears they squeezed out of me every episode.

That’s it for me this week. I wish you dreams of Noel Fielding declaring his love for you through a message iced onto a cake, Winston pranking you with a wedding proposal or Phil and Claire constantly inviting you over for dinner because they cannot get enough of your company and “there is so much space now the kids have moved out, you should just stay the night!”.

I love you.

Lauren xoxo

Three things I struggled with this week:

  • Negative self-talk -- people are laughing at me or mocking me whenever I set out on a creative endeavour. To be clear I have no proof of this, but it is always in my head. I have decided that if they are, what business is it of mine? I pray they find a hobby. I also gave a name to that voice in my head and it is Regina George because she is a mean girl. (Worked through a lot of this at the Writer's Hour monthly workshop!)

  • Personal emails and other time suckers get in the way of my creative time -- I moved all of my “distracting” bookmarks into a folder titled “AFTER 10AM!”. Let’s see how long this works for! So far, so good.

  • Keeping in theme with this newsletter, I currently at the time of sending have 6 episodes of New Girl left, so am ready that by next week I will have slipped into my post-binge-escape-from-reality depression. Next series recommendations are welcome!

Three blessings from this week:

  • Thank you all for all the love for volume one! I was overwhelmed and misty-eyed with each and every message. If you like what you read -- you can see at the top of the newsletter an option to “like” or “comment” or “share” via the little symbols under my name, and then other people visiting can see what you thought of it too <3

  • I think the Fountain of Youth is just a projector playing a montage on loop of all your friends kicking ass and succeeding because that shit GIVES ME LIFE! I was very blessed to witness many friends do what they do best this past week and it was magical.

  • At the time of starting to write this newsletter, Jess and Nick were still broken up. At the time of sending it, they are back together. The world is right again.

Three goals for the coming week:

  • Get outside once a day, even if it is just around the block. I have gotten good at “being too busy” to move my butt and then I wonder why I am so sad, then I go outside after a week and realise I was just lacking fresh air, so…

  • Start on one of my short story ideas.

  • I am taking three days off work next week so my goal is to not check my work emails the whole time.

What I am enjoying this week:

My friend Randee has an incredible newsletter. She is a writer and a hilarious stand-up comedian. “Sorry This is Stupid” is so, so good.