I have so many thoughts about this post that I’ve decided to reblog. I haven’t really done much diving into the “Fandom” part of the title of my “From Fandom to Family” blog lately but today I want to, with a nice mix of “Family” and my aromanticism coming back to the surface.
This blogger below is a fan of the Luka/Abby ship on the show ER, which can be watched on Hulu in the USA (and I’m not sure where else these days- sorry international readers), and so I have access to more easily rewatch episodes if I so choose. I started occasionally watching ER on reruns on TNT when I was under 14 years old, which I recall because the show was rated TV-14 and I was breaking that suggested age guideline, getting sucked into a show that was too adult for me. Once I broke my foot at age 14, I began to watch the reruns religiously until I caught up on the entire series in order, and watched the new airing episodes too, using my VCR to record any/all episodes, re-run or first airing, that I could not watch live. I was addicted.
I also was (albeit slightly less) addicted to the reruns of Judging Amy on the same TV channel which I never did watch new airing episodes live, only via reruns did I watch that series. That show heavily influenced my desire to become a foster and/or adoptive parent one day, a thought that first crossed my mind around age 13 as I was also finally coming to understand just how abusive my mother was at this age of my life. A lot was going on for me at this point.
See these blog posts:
and the 3 part series that starts here: Figuring Out My Mother Was an Abuser
I was at an age when I for the very first time was starting to use the internet a little, discover the start of fandom in some ways with tv.com (although it was called TV tome back then) and stuff, paying attention to what other people considered the best or worst episodes of a series, those kinds of things.
I also was at the age when I finally was starting to realize other girls my age definitely crushed on attractive guys and actors on tv were universally considered attractive and I, as an aro-spec asexual who didn’t have the framework to understand myself yet assumed I was straight and felt the pressure to figure that part of myself out.
Carter and Luka from this television series ER, alongside Matt and Wilson from the TV series 7th Heaven (which is where my username “luvtheheaven” comes from, loving the family TV show 7th Heaven) were my very first celebrity “crushes” I can recall. I knew I crushed more on the characters than the actors behind them. I knew they were conventionally attractive actors and I had intense feelings toward these characters, so I assumed that was a crush. It was more like an admiration and identification and letting a work of fiction touch me emotionally probably, and maybe being impressed with acting skills even… and fabricating a crush out of that and society’s expectations of me… but I digress.
This blog post is fascinatingly (to my aromantic soul) an analysis of Luka/Sam on the show as a relationship that is not a love story. The author, toralil, writes,
“Love is not really part of the equation when these two manage to convince themselves that they’re a good fit.”
And her opinion on their “I love you”/”me too” episode, Season 10 Episode 3 “Damaged”, is:
“Luka likes to rescue women, but Sam doesn’t really like to be rescued and blows him off when he offers them to move in with him so they’ll feel secure.
“This turns into the most unromantic ‘I love you’-scene ever witnessed on TV. Outside in the ambulance bay Luka explains to Sam that he didn’t ask her to move in to because of what happened, but because he loves her. ‘I love you. I’m in love with you’ he says in a voice that is neither loving nor passionate. He continues to matter-of-factly inform her that he doesn’t want to waste any time and wants her to let him know when she is ready. Sam is totally surprised, not happily surprised, just genuinely surprised: ‘Did you just say that?’
“At the end of the episode extroverted Sam, who never has had any problem expressing her feelings before, tells Luka that ‘what you said earlier, me too’, not bringing herself to say it out loud. Then she seems relieved and happy having made that decision and as Luka starts walking away, Sam runs after him and they kiss.”
In 2014, when I was 24 years old, I vidded both of those 2 Sam/Luka moments and pretty much nothing else in a short part for an ER multi-couples collaboration fanvideo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLGhCiA2Ywg which you can see just my part (also half about a different ship) embedded here:
I must say I find it so fascinating for this to be analyzed as the most unromantic I love you scene ever on television. I clearly thought I was vidding it romantically here, less than a year into understanding my asexuality and still over a month before writing this blog post: I think I’m… wtfromantic. Or maybe heteroromantic. Or aromantic? Or panromantic? AH I DON’T KNOW.
Because I think to me, the epitome of what I desire is… is something like what Luka, throughout seasons 6-12, desires. And why I don’t really ship Luka/Abby, a ship that I can see this author and many people interpreting as so much more romantic:
“We can see how Luka’s relationship with Abby is all different. She is a pessimist who had never shown any interest in having children and he knows her family history. She never provided him with any vision of an idyllic family future for him to fall in love with. Luka just loved her. For once he took the initiative and made it clear to Abby that he wanted her. He kissed her breathlessly, he said his ‘I do’ and made sure she knew he really wanted this. He took charge instead of just letting things happen to him.
“When Abby becomes pregnant and very uncertain of her maternal capabilities, Luka says all the right things. Not only does he understand Abby this time around, that he has to be patient, otherwise she will run the other way. He has also learned from his time with Sam. He knows he must be clear about wanting Abby first and foremost, the baby second.”
I personally in my life crave a queerplatonic co-parenting partner, I crave a platonic love, I crave a life where I can have a family. I tell people on my online dating profiles and before the first date that I only want to date you if you want kids lmao. Like… I might change my mind one day but seriously. I value other people deeply in my life as friends but I see no point in being significant others, dating, or having commitment or exclusivity of any kind of we aren’t going to be co-parents. I even love plenty of people. In platonic ways.
But yeah I crave the next step of my life, as I turn 29 years old in less than 4 weeks, because I feel some clock ticking on this and idk. It’s all so complicated and intriguing to me. Why can’t two people decide they are a good match for all these reasons aside from love, and love grow out of that? I mean, why can’t they in the fiction I consume and obsess over and adore? That’s where my love for ships like Johnlock on BBC’s Sherlock (but “shipping” in a queerplatonic and pretty canon-based way) comes in, or where a blog post like Blue Ice-Tea’s On Being a Noromo resonates so deeply for me. Where my feels end up being strong for the sentiment:
“For me, being a noromo was a lot like being Agent Mulder. I ‘wanted to believe’ – specifically, I wanted to believe that it was possible for a man and a woman to share a relationship that was intimate, passionate, and affectionate without being sexual.“
Except for me it’s more “without being romantic“. (Well, and also being nonsexual, both of these things at once.)
I want to believe it’s possible to not just have such a non-romantic and non-sexual relationship be intimate/emotional/full of platonic love… but also that it could be a pathway to a family. I want to believe it’s not a rare magical unlikelihood that only one aro-spec ace in a million gets to have but that I have a real chance of having it too.
I’m holding on tightly to my dream for now, however difficult it is to feel any hope.
I grew up with parents who weren’t a team btw. My mom is a toxic human being and the thought that my parents were ever in love, ever had sex, ever were close enough to spend time in a room together while smiling even is almost impossible to envision. I grew up wishing for parents that might be more like the Sam and Luka “team” described in this blog post too, and I can’t be sure why and when I started shipping these two. The main reason I think it’s like that I concluded Sam/Luka were one of my ER OTPs though was because I liked both Sam and Luka as characters and I liked the ship better than Luka/Abby for a number of reasons, and I needed to have a Luka OTP. I just had to have an OTP for one of my favorite characters. I also even liked Luka/Carol a lot, probably my first Luka ship when I started watching the show, before Abby was even in the picture.
Check out my Luka/Carol fanvideo haha:
But yeah they also in retrospect, in a vid I edited long before I knew I was aro or ace, seem sorta like friends who care about each other and are trying to force a romance when they don’t really feel it, don’t they…? XD And this blog post below analyzes them in an interesting way too. For sure.
So yeah I have a lot of thoughts and feelings and it’s all so interesting to me, so I wanted to blog to get my thoughts out. Let me know if any of you found this interesting as well. 🙂
The story about Sam and Luka is one relationship story very well told. So much thought went into this tale and so much depth was given to the characters even though it’s not really a love story, but about a man’s longing for a family.
I’m not a fan of Luka and Sam (played by Goran Visnjic and Linda Cardellini) as a couple and I rather hate seeing them together in season 10, 11 and the first few episodes of season 12. Still, I don’t hate the story as such, I think it is a quite a brilliant one actually, about a man and a woman getting together for all the wrong reasons.
The way the story is so thoroughly written, filmed and acted makes it a gem in relationship storytelling.
Love is not really part of the equation when these two manage to convince themselves that they’re a good…
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