Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Society teaches us that having feelings and crying is bad and wrong. Well, that's baloney, because grief isn't wrong. There's such a thing as good grief. Just ask Charlie Brown."

I don't know if you guys have heard, but The Office is ending tonight. I haven’t seen anything on the internet about it, so I wanted to make sure you all knew.

I have mixed feelings about the show ending. I'm having feelings all over the place, really, as I sit here eating lunch at my sad desk in my drab office (womp womp). Part of me is happy that the show is being put out of its misery, though this past season has been pretty damn fun, Pam and Jim drama aside because THAT SHIT WAS STRESSFUL. But most of me is like, "NO MY FRIENDS WHERE ARE YOU GOING I'M GOING TO MISS YOU SO MUCH NOOOOOOOOO."

It is a truth universally acknowledged (on this blog) that I get far too attached to fictional characters. So when my favorite TV shows end, I tend to feel things a little too much. Sometimes I think I feel more deeply for fictional happenings than I do for most things that happen in my actual life but that is a (far longer) post for a different day. Long story short (heh), I'm Abed, basically, only not as skinny or Y-chromosomey.

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Anyway. Long-time readers may remember my fascination obsession with The Office. It began as so many love affairs do. There was a chance meeting on a random Thursday night and our instant connection turned into a deep affection that lasted years. I was in love from Season 1. I bought it on DVD and made Heidi watch it so I'd have someone else to talk about it with, not having yet found anyone IRL who loved the show as much as I did.

The most important part of the show at that time, for my perpetually-single (or-embroiled-in-unrequited-love) self was the relationship between Pam and Jim. I, like so many others, was deeply invested in whether Pam and Jim would ever end up together. So when they did, it gave me hope, it really did, that things would eventually work out for me, too. (I told you I put far too much investment in fictional relationships.)

I mentioned on Tumblr that last week's episode of The Office, especially that moment when Jim gave Pam the letter he'd written her so many years ago, gave me a lot of feelings. Sometimes it feels like I grew up with Jim and Pam. Not the growing up you do when you, like, go through puberty or whatever, but the growing up you’re forced into when you leave home, get your first job, and have to learn how to do things like pay bills on time and navigate the complicated relationships that come with adulthood . When the show started, I had just moved out of my parents' house, I was working at my first "real" job, but I was still a kid. I don't always feel like an adult now but, like Pam and Jim, I've grown up a lot (sometimes more than I'd like).

When Pam and Jim got married, Joe and I had been together for a little over a year. We watched that episode separately, as we weren't yet living together, but talked on the phone immediately after. We were both emotional, having, I suppose, both identified with Jim and/or Pam at more than one point in our lives. We weren't engaged yet (though we would be two months later) but I knew at some point Joe and I would get married. I’d known for a while. Jim and Pam were just paving the way for us.

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We haven't yet followed Pam and Jim to Kid-Land (that place is terrifying) but who knows what the future holds? Pam and Jim made marriage less scary (until this season, geez) so maybe they can do the same for having kids. Only time will tell, I suppose.

Though I lost interest the last couple of seasons, I never really stopped caring about The Office. I kept up with it, even after at least two episodes that should have ended the series (Pam and Jim getting married and Michael Scott leaving). Though the quality went downhill, and I wished more than once for the show's demise, I'm sad to see it go. I'm going to miss my standing Thursday night date with my friends at Dunder-Mifflin and I'm glad I stuck around for Jim and Pam’s journey, even through random Baby #2 (what is that kid’s name?) and Brian the Book Mike Guy. I guess what I’m saying is, I'd follow Jim and Pam anywhere, even if it's to say good-bye. And it's going to be really, really hard.

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    Seriously, thinking about the end is already making me really, really sad. It was so uneven towards the end, but I still feel like they're all my friends (even Nellie, DONNA NOBLE FOREVER) and now they're going away.

    In speaking my truth, I hope that you and I don't follow Jim and Pam to 'couples counselling-land'. I think we're better at marriage than Jim is. Heh.

    1. Well, you haven't made plans to move to Philly have you?

  2. I've been going back and forth about whether or not I want to write something about what The Office has meant to me. I probably won't, just because it's been so long since it REALLY meant something, but man, this show used to be everything to me.
    Tonight's gonna feel like being punched in the grief bone.

    1. You should! Oh, please do. I'm very into reading everyone's thoughts about The Office today. Hee.

  3. I know I'm totes behind in reading this blog post, but I felt the same way and I know I'll feel the same with How I Met Your Mother ends. Yes, both shows really took a dive these past few seasons, but they're all still my friends. I'm really glad you shoved The Office down my throat (same with coffee) because life wouldn't be the same without having known Jim & Pam...those crazy kids.