My Lost Years

Image“[W]hen we find something we like, we want to share our enthusiasm with someone else who ‘gets it.’” (Larson, Zubernis, 2). No kidding. I cannot tell you how exciting it is to meet someone new who has an affinity for something I also like. The more obscure it is, the better (if any of you have seen Fishing with John or Christmas at Pee Wee’s Playhouse, let’s talk about it over a drink sometime– I’m buying). Katherine Larsen and Lynn S. Zubernis’ Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls recounts these author’s plunge into Supernatural fandom, and their venture in creating fanfiction.

My perception of “Twi-Moms” was never positive, due to how the media covered them. The number of photos one can find of middle-aged women with tattoos of Edward Cullen and Jacob Black is truly astounding. Larsen and Zubernis embrace this “female gaze,” even if they see these kinds of fandoms as midlife crises– which they themselves are experiencing. As evidenced by the book, fandom is serious business:

‘When I did a season of Dallas,’ Fred said, ‘I was with a friend in some car lot, and this woman came up to me and hit me with her purse because I’d been mean to Charlene on the show. I started laughing, but then I realized she wasn’t kidding,’ (Larson, Zubernis, 149)

This is going to be embarrassing, but it is something I have been meaning to discuss and get off of my chest. I’ve hinted at this before, but I feel it is time I revealed the whole truth about my participation in Lost fandom as a youth. I watched the premiere of Lost nearly ten years ago now, and it immediately made an impression on my squishy seventh-grade brain. I did not realize how far this fascination would go. Pretty soon, I had a poster, several t-shirts, a hoodie with the Lost numbers on them (that I may or may not have worn most days), and a John Locke action figure. I wasted a ton of money buying Lost trading cards– not because I liked the cards, but because there was a 1:36 chance of finding a signed card in any given pack, which to me was worth paying $3/$4 for (over and over again [I did end up finding a card signed by Josh Randall, who only appeared in only one episode]). Frustrated over the amount of money I was spending on these cards, I ended it all by buying this on eBay for $23. That is a piece of a shirt actually worn by Terry O’Quinn in an episode, which I thought was just about the coolest thing I owned. I remember having the thought that I cannot, under any circumstances, die before Lost ends.

Lost fans will recognize those food labels-- I made those in 8th grade.

Lost fans will recognize those food labels– I made those in 8th grade. They’re still in the pantry and expired nearly a decade ago.

On top of the merchandise, I participated in online forums and listened to podcasts about the show. The Lost forum I participated in was on the ABC website, which seems really lame to me now (as does all of this). While I did post to the forum, I would more often “stalk” them– reading people’s predictions and studying screencaps that people would post with potentially meaningful content (I studied this picture for far too long. I mean, whose obituary is it?).

And there I was, sitting on the couch in my Dharma Initiative jumpsuit (seriously), and the finale ends. Lost was huge part of my life, and now that part of my life was over– and unsatisfyingly so. I have never re-watched the finale besides the very last scene (which is odd because I would re-watch each episode at least twice before the following week’s episode), and I have since not rewatched more than a select few episodes. I think in the back of my head I felt betrayed by its ending. At first I denied this– people asked me if I liked the ending and I would tell them I did. Over time, I realized I dedicated much of my life to a television show that ended ungratifyingly. However,  I cannot argue against the journey being an amazing experience– the sense of community that was felt by my peers and I each Thursday morning was electric. To speculate what was to come during the week between episodes was extremely engaging and fun, whether online or in person. I do not regret my participation in Lost fandom, though I do regret buying the awful video game.

Work Cited
Larsen, Katherine, and Lynn S. Zubernis. Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls. Iowa City: University of Iowa, 2013. PDF.

 

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