Let me set the scene…
It’s nearly twenty years ago, a nineties pop ballad, that you’ve only heard in “remember when” radio shows (I mean you, B*witched), is playing as I sit in my bootcut trousers and strappy top. People are still recreating the famous Rose and Jack scene whenever they get near the bow of a boat and people relied on pagers on a night out.
More importantly than this my life is on the cusp of something new.
Two people, and by people I mean fictional TV characters, are about to come into my life and change it forever.
One will teach me about empowerment, kicking butt and that females can be and are hilarious. And not because they’re airhead bimbos who are the joke but because they’re fucking awesome. They can even be the protagonist in major television shows, books and life. Buffy Summers burst onto my television and changed everything.
But this post is about another nineties character. He taught me that I like bad boys – not the ones who set fire to things or damage lives – but the ones who underneath all the bravado have a heart. They make us laugh, they hurt when awful things happen, they struggle through the crap life throws at them and can be a bit useless. BUT they love with all they have and when the situation calls for it they step up and kiss the girl.
Step forward Pacey Witter
A man who has been number 1 on my list of guys I want to be with for nearly 20 years.
Like Joey I didn’t appreciate him at first. I thought he was an idiot who’d had an affair with his teacher. It wasn’t until series 3 that I fell for him and I’ve never looked back.
When I write stories I can see that there’s a little bit of Pacey popping up all over the place. He comes through my writing in the humour, the cheeky glances and the teasing nature of many of my protagonists. Sometimes his character is revealed through the broken nature of those I write about, especially when they slowly redeem themselves and become whole, with little mistakes along the way.
I’m not ashamed of the impact the show had on my life; it taught me through it’s beautiful scenery and unnecessarily adult language about unrequited love, betrayal, death, prejudice, suffering and how the first kiss can be terrifying no matter who you are. This is something both myself and my characters can testify to.
This weekend one of my best friends, A, is getting married. She was my “rival” for Pacey’s love – I know how ridiculous that sounds but I was a teenager! At least I wasn’t weeping about my love for Brian Harvey from East 17… I know someone who did though.
The contest between myself and A brought us closer and I look forward to being able to share her special day with her. Also, it means Pacey is all mine now too!
So I owe a debt of gratitude to Dawson’s Creek, its creators and especially Joey and Pacey, for teaching me about love and giving me a best friend for life. Joey and Pacey got their happy ever after and in doing so let me see why romance is a key part of everything I write.