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One of the earliest memories of my childhood is of watching Star Wars and going, “Wow, Han Solo is so hot and that Leia chick kicks butt. They really should get together.”

I was four.

Yes, that’s right: my earliest ship was Solo/Princess Leia and I was FOUR YEARS OLD. At the time, of course, I had no idea that when I sat there and waited for him grab her & kiss her silly that what I was doing was shipping. Nope. All I knew was that it made SENSE for these two crazy kids to get together.

It was also, I guess, my first brush with the idea that I am a true canon shipper. I’m all about the OTP and I’m just not good at looking outside of that box. If you give me a love triangle, I immediately go, “Yeah, but who is she going to marry? What’s the ENDING?” And that third point? In the triangle? Is dead to me.

I think the first time, though, that I became somewhat OBSESSED with a TV ship was back in the day when “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” aired. For some reason, I shipped Dr. Quinn and Sully HARD. It was my first experience with watching a show and impatiently waiting for the “good parts” (usually a part that involved longing stares and UST) and any episode that included shipper pandering was usually watched on an endless loop. My friends were also into the pairing, so it was typical for us to talk on and on about the way Sully looked with his shirt wet, while Dr. Quinn looked on in frustration. Had I known about the idea of fanfiction back then (this was in the mid-90s), I probably would have written fanfiction. Honestly. But, as these things go, the show went well past it’s welcome and the second they got the two characters married, my heart went out of it. (Or maybe I outgrew the show, I’m not sure.)

Anyway, in books, I was always looking for the OTP. Anne and Gilbert Blythe. Ah, how I still remember the way I felt when I read the series in one quick succession (I was in third grade at the time) and how I couldn’t believe that Anne waited so long to jump him. I knew from the moment she cracked his head with the chalkboard; and, yet, it took EONS for her to finally marry the guy. Sheesh. I mean, he fell in love with her because she gave him a concussion. That guy’s a keeper. It doesn’t hurt that he’s apparently hot and popular with the ladies.

And then there’s Elizabeth Bennett and William Darcy. What can I say that hasn’t already been said by others much better than I? The perfect love story. The original romance novel. Utterly loaded guy that EVERY girl wants; feisty girl that has a filter problem. And, of course, he falls for her. Ah, it gets me. Every.single.time.

Lois Lane and Clark Kent. To me, they are the comic book version of Liz & Darcy. He’s the guy that is way too perfect to be true. With one glance, he could get any woman he wants. Who does he want? The girl who tells him off and is known for being a bit rude and annoying, though her heart is in the right place.

What all these ships have in common is that the women are… well… sometimes they can be a bit much. But that’s OK. Because they guys aren’t perfect, either. What makes the ships work is that the men actually fall in love with these women BECAUSE of how strong these women are. It’s not a turn-off, even though the rest of the world thinks it should be.

As Darcy says in “Bridget Jones’ Diary” – all these guys want these women just as they are. They don’t secretly want them to change. Hans Solo isn’t standing around waiting for Leia to marry him and have a billion babies while she makes him hot dinners every night. Darcy doesn’t want Elizabeth to suddenly become all impressed by his wealth and start thinking how great it is that she’s rich. Nope. He wants someone who’ll tell him off and be kind to his sister. Gilbert loves that Anne has red hair and once cracked a chalkboard over his head in a fit of temper because he pointed it out. He wouldn’t trade that in for the world. And Clark Kent? Ah… that man… he sees Lois Lane’s flaws and decides that his love of her flaws is symbolic of his love for all of humanity.

I have so many ships that I’ve adored over the years (some more so than others; some more emotional for me than others) that I’d be hard pressed to list them all. But I’ll just try to jot down a few that fills me with the good shivers & just really scratches the romance itch for me.

- Harry & Ginny Weasley in Harry Potter
- Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter
- Audrey and Nathan in Haven (for some reason, I want these two to just jump each other every single time they’re onscreen together; it must be the SV shipper in me)
- Annie and Jeff in “Community” (am very torn about this one)
- Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt in “Parks & Recreation” (oh my God, they are so cute, I want to eat them up with a spoon)

Random ships from the past:

- Hannah and Bright in “Everwood” (they were the only reasons I watched the show)
- A book series by Eloisa James… about the Essex sisters. I really loved Mayne and Josie & wanted them to get together SO badly, even though Mayne was about 38 and Josie was about 18. I wasn’t the only one – a lot of folks wrote fanfiction about them.
- House and Cuddy from “House” (not watching it anymore, thank you very much.)
- Veronica Mars and Piz (this is one of the ONLY times I ever shipped knowing that it wasn’t the OTP of the show… and regretted it)
- Luke and Lorelei in Gilmore Girls (boy did I hate what they did with this)
- Bones and Brennan in “Bones” (again, I hate what they’re doing to this ship)
- Inara and Mal in Firefly (but I loved this show so much that it really had nothing to do with ships for me… I just think he’s hot as all hell & I’m going to ship him with ANY woman he gets within 3 feet of and makes sexy eyes at her)
- Xander and Cordelia (I really liked when they got together and was disappointed when they broke up; but I loved her in “Angel”, so I wasn’t that distraught by it)
- Meredith and McDreamy (oh, my God. I still remember the first season and I how I couldn’t WAIT between episodes. Then… uh… I got over that in the third season)
- President Roslin and Adama in Battlestar Gallactica (I know everyone ships Starbucks and Lee, but these two where my OTP for the show)
- Monica and Chandler in “Friends” (I shipped these two HARD and loved every single second of their romance)
- Random, but I read a series of Star Wars books a long time ago and, since then, I’ve shipped Luke with this chick named Mara Jade.

So… what about you guys…. ? Are you guys hard-core shippers? Are you addicted to the idea of soulmates and love, passion, romance just as much as I am? Do you watch a show and immediately go, “What’s the OTP? Is there one? Should I invest my emotions or not?” Did you ever stop watching a show just because the way they handled the shipping was so bad?

What’s your favorite pairings ever?



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sanalayla

December 2012

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