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WARNING: This post is a hodgepodge of thoughts from race to cheating to myself, you and your relationships and how it all relates to a television show. I bounce around but whateves, if y’all don’t know me by now…
I’ve recently fallen into a deep and passionate love with the show “Scandal.” I’ve watched both seasons in the span of 72 hours and I am LIVING for the relationship between Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn). LIVING FOR IT. I posted about actors I hated due to roles they’ve played in the past and Tony Goldwyn was one of them. He did wrong by Patrick Swayze in “Ghost” and I have never, EVER been able to move past that…until now.
I don’t want to make this a race thing, but I kind of have to make it a race thing to show how not a race thing this is. This is the first primetime drama I’ve witnessed with a black female lead. On top of that, the love interest is the Leader of the Free World and let me tell you…it wasn’t until I watched this show that I finally got it. The popularity of this show with a mainstream audience is going to bring all the boys to my yard. Shonda does not shine a beaming light on the inappropriateness of this relationship because it is a black woman and white man. They touched on race once, just once, in the first season and this is how the show addressed it. All you need to know is Olivia reduced their relationship to that of Sally Hemings & Thomas Jefferson. *snap*
Olivia: Did you need something Mr. President?
Fitz: The Sally Hemings-Thomas Jefferson comment was below the belt.
Olivia: Because it’s so untrue?
Fitz: You’re playing the race card because I’m in love with you? Come on! Don’t belittle us. It’s insulting and beneath you and designed to drive me away. I’m not going away.
Olivia: I don’t have to drive you away. You’re married and you have children. You’re the Leader of the Free World. You are away by definition. You are away. You’re unavailable.
Fitz: So this is about Mellie? (Bloggers note: Mellie is the First Lady, Fitz’s wife)
Olivia: No, no, no! This is… I smile at her and take off my clothes for you. I wait for you. I watch for you. My whole life is you. I can’t breathe because I’m waiting for you. You own me, you control me, I belong to you…”
Fitz: YOU OWN ME! You control me. I belong to you. You think I don’t want to be a better man? You think that I don’t want to dedicate myself to my marriage? You don’t think I want to be honourable? To be the man you voted for? I love you. I’m in love with you. You’re the love of my life. My every feeling is controlled by the look on your face. I can’t breathe without you. I can’t sleep without you. I wait for YOU, I watch for YOU. I exist for you. If I could escape all of this and run away with you? There’s no Sally and Thomas here. You’re nobody’s victim, Liv. I belong to you. We’re in this together.
RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!! The chemistry between Olivia and Fitz is like whoa. It leaves me weak! And it gets stronger and more intense every episode. I haven’t been this invested in characters in a long time and for this, I thank Ms. Shonda.
In saying all of this, it got me thinking about a lot of things. Here I am, along with plenty of others, cheering on this relationship even though he’s a married man. Nothing about this is right and yet I’m rooting for their love. I’ve been cheated on and I’ve been the other woman; neither is a place I want to be in again. (In the case of this show, his wife knows about this affair and on occasion, orchestrates meetings between the two because she knows it’s the only way to keep her husband’s head in the game.) Cheating is cheating is cheating, but like anything else in life, there is always that misty grey area. Sometimes it’s not as easy to simply break-up/divorce the person you’ve been with because you think you’ve actually met the person you’re supposed to be with. I don’t mean the men and women who aren’t able to be monogamous or who think something better is around the corner every dyam minute, let me just make that clear. But have you ever been in a relationship with someone and out of nowhere, you meet someone and without it becoming physical, there’s a connection? An unexplained chemistry you simply don’t have with your current partner? Have you ever acted on it? When you discovered this, do you have a conversation with yourself and rationalize? Is this person only attractive because the entire situation should be forbidden? Most times, I’d have to say yes because we tend to want what we can’t have. But on very few occasions, there is a legitimate basis for these feelings. I think everyone has the right to be happy. No one can tell you what’s right for you, except for you. The innocent bystanders are an unfortunate casualty in this journey. (And for the record, staying together “for the kids” is not a reason to stay together. That kind of toxic environment can cause more harm than good and I know this from experience.)
So the show flashes back to two years prior when Olivia and Fitz first met on his campaign trail; there was a moment when Fitz says to Olivia:
“How did I get here? Why didn’t I meet you sooner?
What kind of a coward was I to marry her and not wait for you to show up?”
*single blink again*
That’s the definition of intoxication. He’s telling her he’s been married for years and he blames HIMSELF for not waiting until the moment she came into his life regardless of when that may be?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Well, damn…there go my knees again. WEAK!
Olivia explained what she wanted to an ex trying to win her back: “I don’t want normal, or easy, or simple. I want painful, difficult, devastating, life-changing, extraordinary love.”
The ex responds: “Love isn’t supposed to hurt…”
I think there’s a HUGE difference between ‘settling down’ and simply ‘settling.’ I also think it’s a shame when people fall victim to the latter. I get Olivia so much it hurts and it took this show to put it into words I’ve never been able to find. I’ve realized if it’s easy, it’s not for me. You either get it or you don’t. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying I’m a passionate person and I need that level of passion matched. If that means a life of living vicariously through the romps of Fitz & Olivia, then I’m well on my way to the best life I could ever know.
Blinkers, watch “Scandal” and thank me later. It’s the most satisfying meal you could ever have.