Thursday, 30 May 2013

I will go down with this ship (III).

(I've written similar posts to this before, and felt I needed to update/correct it due to recent events, and general change of opinion.)
A common term in modern fandom culture is "ship". The word is tossed around all over the blogosphere, often appears in forums and inspires imaginative and graphic fan fiction. A "ship" refers to a particular pair (or sometimes trio) of characters in TV shows, whom the viewers desperately want to fall in love and be together.

It is thought that the term "ship" derives from the word relationship, and instead of being the traditional noun, people use the word as a verb; e.g. "I ship them" or "shipping this so hard". If the term were around in the 80s/90s, the earliest and most classic examples of "ships" would be Ross and Rachel of Friends, or Sam and Diane in Cheers.

Another fan-made concept is the "OTP"; an abbreviation of the phrase "One True Pairing", meaning two characters in a fictional programme that one "ships" above all others. For example, my all-time OTP would be 
Luke and Lorelai from Gilmore Girls (don't even get me started). I ship Elliot and JD from ScrubsCSI's Grissom and Sara, Sam and Sookie from True Blood (controversial, I know), Fitch and Olivia/Harrison and Quinn on Scandal, and my current OTP is always Nick and Jess from New Girl.

So, I have my fictional character ships setting sail. But what about real life? Do ships apply to people I see every day and have known both separately and together for a long time? If so, I have my shortlist of real-life couples that I not only ship, but actively root for...

I ship Steph and Elliott; let's ignore the fact that Elliott is gay and Steph is happily in a long-term relationship, I think these two are adorable. A shift at the SU was never dull with these two. Elliott left just before I did, and Steph was telling us all about how they'd had their first shift together, and I thought "hardly any couples I know have such a nice, or long, history".

I ship Robin and Abby, obviously, because if there's any couple that can make it through being thousands of miles apart for several months, it's these two. Also, if they were to ever end, my faith in love would be destroyed. And our house would become slightly awkward. So no pressure, guys! Seriously though, these two may be the only couple I can always happily hang out with.

I ship Demi and Spence, because I've never seen that silly boy so happy, and to be honest I think he seriously landed on his feet here. Both lovely individuals, and the ultimate power-couple in some respects; he's a hardworking journalist, she's a bar supervisor at the SU as well as the newly-appointed Entertainments Officer on the Student Executive Team. They've both been raising money for amazing causes this year, and their whole 'date night' thing is beyond cute. Please don't mess it up, you two (Spencer, I'm looking at you).

I ship Nick and Holly, because c'mon, who wouldn't? The original Fly Hardians, founders of the team, Captain and Womens' Captain, Doctor Who fanatics, both made of awesome. I like their little moments they have, because they are few and far between and so all the more precious when they come around; Nick referred to Holly as his First Lady in his Fly Hard farewell speech, they both hid behind a piece of paper so the team wouldn't see them kiss, they both make the most immense effort for fancy dress occasions. If they don't come back and visit us all, there'll be hell to pay.

I ship Sian and Jamie, because they bake excellent cakes together and they're both invaluable Ultimate players. She says she hates who he becomes on the pitch (and a lot of us would agree, actually), but then they walk home together and you can hear them both laughing from a dozen yards away. If there are two people who deserve an awesome happy relationship, it's these two.

My current real-life OTP, however? Dori and Jack. Two of my colleagues, him being a gentle giant with a killer goatee and a heart of gold, her an art student with her head in the clouds and a dream to exhibit all over the world. They attended the MCM Expo ComicCon together last weekend, and want to go back again - and they plan on dressing up as Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope next time. It's too perfect. The two of them work well together, they have all sorts of private jokes, they enjoy animated film soundtracks, and they've dressed up and posed with golden statues for a photo together which they somehow sneaked into our Oscar display at work. I may not know them all that well, but I think they're both sweethearts who would go far together.

Slightly controversial ships, maybe, but the controversial ones are the fun ones, surely? Now, maybe next time I write one of these posts, a) some of these pairings with actually be together, and b) I'll be half of someone's OTP. I often wonder if someone would ship me with anyone. Even if it's my cat. Harvey gets me.

I'm not good with couples in general; I can appreciate a nice romantic gesture and general cute things, sure, but seeing photos of couples sucking face on my Facebook news feed, or indulging in excessive PDA, is just too much. However, some couples work. Some couples deserve to be shipped. One of the many benefits of being single (besides being able to eat whatever I want, have complete control over the TV remote and leave it several days before shaving my legs) is that I can sit on the sidelines and watch all these wonderful romances and relationships blossoming all around me. It's nice hearing about what my friend got up to with her significant other last weekend, it's good to know my classmates aren't giving up on their crushes, and above all, it's reassuring to know that things can work, that for some people, romance isn't quite dead yet.

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