I don't watch a lot of TV. In fact I haven't had cable since 1997. I don't really miss it, although there are a few shows I feel I've missed out on, those few do not justify the costs of obtaining them. Usually, we just rent them when they are released on DVD or don't worry about it. Hulu and webcasting has changed that some. I now watch more shows than I did in the past, but it's still really limited. In fact I can list all of the shows I regularly watch on one hand.
Normally this isn't a problem, but early this spring I found myself stuck in the hospital for 10 days. During that time my family was pretty much forced to away while I healed. My dad helped my husband with our daughters and our one week old son. My mom kept me company in my hospital room. A lot of the time we dozed and read books, but after a while, the room just gets to you - and the noise from other patients. I had no idea what to watch on TV for noise. I mean a girl can only watch so much SciFi (syfy) before there's some form of unentertaining detritus or wrestling comes on, and I'm well past my wrestling phase. One night while channel surfing my mom recommended the homicide drama, Bones. I have watched several homicide shows, some good, some funny, some just a bit ~ eh, not my thing.... since mom wanted to watch it I gave it a go.
Glaring movie AI and the obvious acceleration of events aside, it's not a bad show. The characters are compelling, especially the scientists. Ok, especially the main character Temperance Brennan. There is just so much about her character that I can relate to. Sure she's still a bit flat like most characters on TV dramas, but there are many elements to her personality that are comforting. I can see so much of my experiences interacting with people, when I watch this character navigate the drama of the show. Admittedly, the character isn't perfect, and she's smart in a way I could only hope to be and I don't have the traumatic past that makes her the dramatic character of a television series, and she has a best friend that totally understands her social awkwardnesses and her.
I wonder if other people watch the show and connect with her? Does everyone have a little Temperance Brennan in them? Or is everyone else fascinated with this social outsider and the way she is so smart, but stuck on the outside? Maybe they know someone like her.
I don't get people. I never have. Part of that used to be my fault, I used to hide behind my walls and never let myself come out to anyone. Part of me just doesn't share that many interests with society. I don't feel any need to idolize athletes or actors, I get bogged down with politics, and the ethics and methodologies of business as conducted in our society makes me nauseous. I studied biology to avoid people. I like animals in the same way that Ms. Brennan likes bones. Shoot, I even liked the bone part of my education, and the physics. Physics of movement and flight, I loved that stuff! Animals don't have drama, and nonsensically social interactions, every animal interaction is for a discernible purpose.
It's not that I don't find people interesting. People watching was one of my favorite pastimes before I had kids (it's too hard with young kids, they don't get it and can't sit still that long). My now husband and I used to go get Chinese at the mall (they used to have this great hole in the wall Chinese place) and watch people, especially on Valentines day when all the guys were bustling about going to the jewelers and the florists. I even find dabbling in amateur anthropology to be fun and a great form of entertainment. Many of my walks along insanity involve the anthropological theorizing about society even dabbling a bit into psychology, which I'm still not sure how I got a D in. However, my forays into joining that society has had mixed results at best.
I once joined a mommy board. It was while I was pregnant with my second child. I was having a really hard time emotionally, and I thought it would be a good way to pass the time. It wasn't all bad, and I did make some nice friends whom I stay in contact with. I even became the defacto leader of a birth week club. I had to leave after a year or so. I couldn't take it. Never before had I felt so awful about my body, about my life, and about who I was. I felt, even in text, as an outsider. The drama, while I know not directed at me, got to me and made me irritable. I've been much better off since I left although I do miss the chatting and fun times. The problem mostly lies in the fact that I don't get women.
All my life I've been closest to the men. My dad and I were inseparable as a child, well until he started working nights and becoming unavailable. My husband is my bestest friend and we talk about everything. My other best friend, he's also a guy. Heck, he's a guy with Aspergers. Even the girl I'm closest friends with in town, isn't a girl genetically. Although truth be told, she's more feminine than I feel I am. This isn't to say I don't have female friends, I do, just not in that close knit understanding what you are thinking bestest buds kind of way.
The social awkwardness I share with Temperance Brennan isn't limited to my social life either. My first job out of college, I was repeatedly ridiculed for my use of "correct vocabulary." Granted it wasn't like I was working for the Jeffersonian Institute, or even a serious research group, I was working for the local game and fish government organization. It was painfully obvious that my problems with relating to my coworkers was not limited to my gender. I didn't even feel like I was that much smarter than the others, although I suppose I could be, but it was obvious that while I am able to see the issues we were investigating in multiple dimensions, they were limited to looking at paired relations and two dimensional graphs, on a good day. Our recreational were drastically different, and while everyone was generally pleasant, I never felt like I was one of them.
Maybe in this way I'm jealous of the show. Even though she doesn't relate on all the same levels to the others, Temperance Brennan belongs on the show. Someday I hope I can find where I belong. My first attempt failed, and while I hope to find a new career and even possibly return to school someday to pursue a new interest, I have no idea where that place may be.