It would appear that the way of the world has not changed quite as much as we would think. Now, let’s preface this with a disclaimer: Obviously this show is not a historical documentary. It’s actually more like an excuse to dramatize history using pretty people and sexy times. On to what we can learn from it!
Commitment should not be taken lightly.
King Henry didn’t get it. According to this show, he constantly put his happiness, desires, and expectations ahead of everything and everyone. He actually reminds me of people I’ve met in recent years, more proof that human nature doesn’t change over the centuries.
These days people still fly by the seat of their pants about marriage and commitment because, as they say, there’s always divorce. But that’s not what God intended and it’s not what leads to a fulfilled life. Marriage was designed to be a reflection of something that we can’t be a part of yet, something holy and everlasting. Even trying to imagine God viewing commitment the same way we do makes me feel unclean, because I know He could never be anything but perfect.
Yet history and culture show us repeatedly that we take things lightly. We make commitments and rip hearts apart without understanding the consequences. We selfishly throw a fit when we don’t get things easily or our way. And we are very much like this king who can’t make up his mind.
It makes me cringe to watch this show, with all of the characters best laid plans that never seem to go the way that they were intended to. Take Anne Boleyn, who managed to get the king to leave his wife for her and marry her, had his daughter, and then got her head cut off. What we think will satisfy the desires of our hearts ultimately leads us down a road to death. I fall into this selfish, consumerist way of thinking on the regular. But thankfully my King is one who forgives my desire driven sins, and that’s why I want to be a part of His kingdom. Trash mine, it’s a waste of time and energy; give me His.
When I was a junior in college I was introduced to a show by a friend that she swore was one of the best things she’d ever seen in her life. It was one of the best things I had ever seen in my life as well, and I became a fangirl immediately. The show was 30 Rock.
Here is a random list of things that I have learned from my beloved show. It is incomplete, but it is still gonna happen.
- Reaganing is defined as a continual streak of perfection. It is similar to a ‘no hitter’ in baseball however with a more broad application that refers to a series of non-related events. Named after the 40th President of the USA Ronald Reagan.
- It is possible to have male-female friendships. Liz and Jack are strictly friends, business buddies, work spouses, mentor-mentee, and work husband slash uncle/co-worker slash little brother. It can work. It doesn’t have to get complicated and weird.
- Live every week like it’s Shark Week.
- There are secrets to fashion, ranging from tie colors (having more than 2 colors in a tie means you’re looking for a certain type of bar) to the proper way to dress as a spinster (sweatshirt, mom jeans, fanny pack), from the secrets behind trends (your friend is Michael Khors and will make wizard capes cool to hide your girlfriend’s pregnancy) to the wrong way to color block (tan slacks with a tan turtleneck will make you look like a giant condom), and of course the proper way to treat evening wear.
Lemon: “Why are you wearing a tux?”
Jack: “It’s after 6. What am I, a farmer?”
- Reality TV will always be on because it always wins the ratings.
- The Bubble is defined as the world in which beautiful people live where they are protected from all criticism and all of life’s unpleasantries and never get a true sense of their actual limitations
- Nothing brings people together like fear and/or the hatred of something. Bonding can happen over fear of the end of the world, budget cuts, or even bed bugs.
- There are 3 things you should not do in a negotiation: speak first, smile, and negotiate against yourself.
- You can’t out-crazy Tracy Jordan
- An EGOT is the combination of winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony; the highest peak an actor can attain.
- There is a difference between positive reinforcement and stating facts.
“I do look like the Arrow shirt man, I did lace up my skates professionally and I did do a fabulous job finishing my muffin.”
- I want to go to there is an expression of yearning for a feeling, place, or situation. Use it in reality. I do.
- Taking things personally is the best way to ruin a relationship. It’s one thing to get upset with your girlfriend when she developed a dangerous drinking problem sophomore year of high school… You just want what is best for her. But when someone makes a mistake and is honest and repentant, that is not the time to dump them like last week’s brown guacamole. If someone says they need a little space and time to sort something out, that is not the time to stop supporting and loving them. When people have other things going on in their lives it’s incredibly selfish to assume that you should be their priority.
- Calling people by their last names shows a level of familiarity that makes the person feel special. It’s also infinitely cool. Summer calls people by their last names all the time, and we all know she was the coolest character in the entire series. She was so cool that she went on and got her own show in the south called Hart of Dixie when the OC creator got to start spanking out dramadies for the CW.
- Don’t be an idiot about money. If you can’t be trusted with it then let people know. Don’t get credit cards. Don’t buy what you can’t afford. Jimmy uses his investors money to pay for his family’s way of life in season 1 and legit spends the rest of the show trying to pay everyone back. For a nice guy he wasn’t too smart. And don’t have it be the only thing that makes you happy, because you will always be miserable. Julie Cooper was a money-digging harlot for most of the show, but it was only when she found herself falling for the poor guys that she was really happy and not grasping desperately at everything and everyone in order to feel secure.
- Be honest with yourself and others when something is bothering you.
- Or get drink and cause a scene in public. It’s the WASP way of doing things. Marissa Cooper, Kirsten Cohen, Summer Roberts… all have had times when people around them thought seriously about sending them to rehab because home girls couldn’t face their problems like adults. In fact, Kiki did go to rehab because she had the adult version of getting drunk at parties: Alcoholism.
- Being ones self is what will bring you fulfillment, and pretending to be someone else will lead to unhappiness, guilt, and usually some big “you lied to me?” moment with the people you care about that ruins their ability to trust you. It happens so often in this show I can’t even pick one person to give an example of.
- Have some quality time with your same sex friends. Seth-Ryan time was a big deal to the boys because they knew it was important to invest in your friendships. It’s a sign of commitment to a relationship, and it’s a sign of honesty and authenticity to spend time with someone just to spend time with them, and not to get anything out of it.
- If you need people let them know. There are a lot of cases in life where we want to have other people around for company, need other people for support in hard times, and we just don’t tell anyone because we think it makes us look weak. Guess what? No one cares if you are weak. They care if you’re ok. Put the pride on the back burner and allow other people to come and walk through things with you. Ryan Atwood was the stone-hard rock-wall fortress of the show for quite a bit of it, but my favorite episodes were when he would allow Sandy and the rest of the Cohen family to be there for him in rough situations. He always figured that they would get mad and he would get in trouble, but most of the time they were able to help him wherever he was and get things back onto level ground. That’s the thing about those who love us, sometimes we have to allow them a chance to support us in order to find out how supportive they really are.
This guy knows how to let himself be upset! He doesn’t just wallow, he relishes and drenches himself in his pain and suffering. I generally handle breakups like “an adult”, which means quietly and with respect for others. But they aren’t usually as concerned about my effect on them as I am, so why not just become a hot mess that backslides? Why not drunk dial? Why not swear off love in favor of growing tomatoes? Why not allow myself to be the wreck I am for a while? It happens!
Now I’m not talking about emotionalism, which generally means an undue influence of feelings upon thought and behavior. So while this sounds a lot like what I’m writing about, I’d like to make a few points.
First off, I don’t think that emotions should rule the way we live and behave, if I did I wouldn’t be a Christian. The bible has many emotions in it, and God made us as emotional beings, but when it comes down to what is right and wrong how we feel about it don’t mean shit.
Secondly, while it may sound like I’m advocating for a momentary laps into emotionalism that is only because I kind of am. When plugging away at life and pushing my real feelings down so that I appear to be “normal” I always find that eventually I lose my mind in a way that is less like a crazy homeless woman and more like a terrorist trying to destroy the body I live in. I have a history of taking things out on myself instead of verbalizing, and if starting a project or expressing my madness will keep me honest and safe from my own nature, I’ll take it.
I’m just really glad that even when I decide to let myself go crazy, God knows how to find me in the middle of my crazy and remind me of who is bigger, and who is smaller.