How Buffy Changed My Life

I told this story before on the old version of the blog but now I have many new readers and I like telling it, so I’ll tell it again. Besides, a fellow blogger wrote about Buffy without the veneration due to this fantastic show, which is something I feel I need to address. (Being facetious here.)

When I was 22, I moved to Canada. Three months later I had to leave my husband because of the utter piggishness of his behavior. I was left in a strange country, with no job, no education, no money, and no friends. Worst of all, I was left without an identity of my own. I had been with this guy since I was 16 and had learned to see myself in terms of “we”, not “I.”

Once, I turned on the television and saw this episode of Buffy where Buffy and Angel, who had turned bad at this point, were fighting.

In that scene, Angel knocks the sword out of Buffy’s hands. She bows her head and closes her eyes as she stands against the wall.

“So what do you have left?” Angel asks. “Now that you are without your friends and without your weapons, what do you have?”

[I was 22, so I was weeping so hard I was practically bawling at this point.]

Then, Angel charges at Buffy with a sword. She catches it between her palms, opens her eyes, and says, “Me.”

And then she gives him the thrashing of his life.

This “I have me” was a true revelation. I realized that I could always find new friends, make more money, create a new life in a new country. Because I had me.

Which is why when you criticize Buffy in my presence, you do it at your own peril. šŸ™‚

8 thoughts on “How Buffy Changed My Life”

  1. Well, he is still saying it through the Internet. So he knows he is safe šŸ™‚

    Do you think Buffy opened up a new way of thinking for you? I mean, coming from a former Soviet Union country maybe you didn’t value yourself and your individuality as much as you do now.

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    1. Good question! I had started watching the show when I was still in Ukraine. before airing it for the first time, the TV channel made an hour long program explaining that this is an American show and people are different there, so we should try not to be shocked and reserve judgment because the show was good.

      After that, I expected the show to be some kind of and XXX-rated thing and was disappointed to discover it was about school kids and very innocent ones, at that. šŸ™‚

      I surely am happy to be in a country that values individuality and celebrates strong women.

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  2. I’m happy to have inspired you to write a post! If I may, I have to say that I have never given a long thought to why I liked Buffy. A couple of years ago, I attended the PCA/ACA conference, and there was a panel dedicated exclusively to Buffy. Unfortunately, it coincided with the one I was giving my talk. In short, I haven’t been able to listen to or read any scholarly paper about it. I may re-watch a few chapters, give it a time, and write something about it just to see what discussion can come out of it!

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    1. Round of applause for the lady, people!

      I couldn’t agree more. I loved the character even in the early seasons. From his very series intro, in fact — where he switches from bad-biker-boy swagger to a cooing dove when someone he cares for (Drusilla, in this case) enters the frame. Add that to a cocky irreverence, an undercurrent of insecurity, and a sardonic acceptance of his own flaws, and Spike’s a difficult character to pass over.

      Buffy also had some incredible dialogues. One of my favourite Spike lines from earlier seasons: “I may be love’s bitch, but at least I am man enough to admit it”. Can you see that stuffed shirt Angel carrying that line off?

      Also, Clarissa, that one scene was the round favourite of every single other person — male and female — who used to watch the show with me. We were in our mid-teens, which is a VERY stressful time for Indian school kids, and we took to that sequence like landed fish to water =)

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      1. This is precisely why I believe that a wholesale condemnation of popular culture is misguided.

        I loved Spike’s character, too. Far more than that goody two shoes Riley character. Bleh.

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