one of my favorite things about claire/jamie/sam/cait is how she touches his face right before and/or when they’re kissing. always starts right around the top of the jawline near the ear and then traces the jaw down to play with his chin. always. it’s so sexy and intimate and loving and makes me die inside every damn time.
I remember when I first read Diana Gabaldon’s best selling series, “Outlander”, 20+ years ago. The history, the settings, and yes, even though I know I am not supposed to say it, the romance.
Doesn’t everyone dream of that kind of love? The kind that you would sell your soul for, and never think twice. I remember that it enticed me to travel to North Carolina. Gave me a great fun filled weekend at Grandfather Mountain for their Highland Games. It introduced me to an awesome Celtic band, “Seven Nations”. Good times.
Years passed and they were a go-to read on my Nook, for long car rides and plane rides. I never tired of the story and a re-read gave you details that you might have missed before.
Imagine my surprise when I realized they made a TV series based on the books! I remember literally screaming in joy. Watched the first episode free and then signed right up for a pay channel to watch the rest. My husband and I, tolerant soul that he is, watched the first season with me filling in the blanks. Season 2 came along and I basically watched by myself. Hubby said it was too slow and confusing for him. Season 3 was the same. Solo.
I was in love with all of it. The beautiful way it was presented, and the actors. Sam and Cait were so good at portraying Jamie and Claire and oddly enough, they presented themselves as possibly a couple in real life. Signed myself up for a couple of events. Trained to NYC to the Apple event, and to the NYC Tartan Day Parade. I bought T-shirts that supported their charities. Gave generously as a matter of fact. After all, they asked us to.
Flew to Seattle for the ECCC. Bought autograph and photo sessions. Dragged the hubby with me. We spent 3 days having the time of our lives. Eating fabulous food and enjoying each other’s company. The comic con was secondary to the marvelous time I was having with my husband. It was also the time when I jumped ship, literally from standing on the shore, to the lido deck.
I am an observer by nature. And what I was observing seemed like a true involved real life relationship with the two lead actors. It made me start looking at videos and body language. I have been married to the same man for 34 years. But I surely remembered young love. And truly my hubby still looks at me like I was seeing Sam look at Cait.
I found on Tumblr that there were others who felt like me. I started following some blogs. It was interesting to see others observations. I found that I fit better in these blogs then some Facebook groups that I had joined. I am not a person who accepts double standards. I left those groups and never looked back.
What I found on Tumblr was some warm, genuine, and seriously funny folk. I never found the crazy ES that other fans seemed to call out. I found women that cared for each other. That took time out of their own crazy lives to form relationships with these friends. To send a message of support, to offer a shoulder to others who were hurting for reasons unrelated to “Outlander”.
I never really cared if Sam and Cait were truly together in the real world, and I still do not. I didn’t tweet them to tell them what exercise I did today, or didn’t do. Or tweet them to let them know I contributed to whatever the charity of the day was. Things that didn’t matter.
I watched as there was a blonde female introduced into Sam’s life as a possible girlfriend. Then I was confused as to what exactly her role was. This was just about the time the shine began to tarnish.
I am not a celebrity watcher. I follow a couple of them on Twitter, mainly the ones who make their voices heard socially. Celebrity lives normally don’t interest me. I felt that we were being sold a narrative, and I was unsure what exactly it was supposed to be.
I am still unsure of what I think. There are far too many unanswered questions, and far too many scenarios that you can just forgive. That doesn’t mean that I don’t wish the best to all parties involved. I do. Truly. I wish Caitriona the best. I wish her a man that loves her unconditionally. I wish her a man that catches her gaze from across the room and holds it. None of us know a thing about her fiancé. If it is Tony, then so be it. She owes none of us anything about her personal, and “just for her”life. My hope is that she removes her social media presence entirely. If she doesn’t then she opens herself up to all of the critiquing of her relationship.
I feel the same about Sam. I know what has been presented to us and obviously we are supposed to believe it was all for naught. I am not even including the blonde in this equation. I truly felt like I was watching a Monty Python episode with her. If the relationship presented, that some of us saw, the ones whose brains don’t turn off, who like to solve puzzles was not true, then where does that leave him? It leaves his sexuality questioned by some. Just another thing I don’t care about.
Somewhere along the line, I lost my love for “Outlander”. If Starz was selling me the entire package, you lost me. You changed the books and as hard as that was, I accepted it. I unfollowed the author on social media, as some of her comments about being displeased with the series I didn’t care for. And to be truthful, I was mildly disturbed at the kiss she pulled Sam into on stage. I get it. Jamie was hers. But Sam is not Jamie, he is an actor playing a role. Nothing more. Nothing less. I have cancelled my subscription.
I wish these fine ladies on Tumblr peace. I wish them to forget what the others say about them. I saw the same things that you saw. I had the same questions. I just let you ask them instead of myself. I have never met a group of ladies that could make me spit my coffee out as fast as you. That made me literally laugh out loud at the gifs you made. I apologize that I left you take the heat for what I also saw, but was to timid to blog about. Thank you for all that you have done.
ABOSAA Discussion Part 2: Jamie and Jenny have “the sight”.
*VOYAGER AND ABOSAA SPOILERS *
There is some very clairvoyant and mystical shit going down in the Fraser family. From my recollection Jamie, Jenny, Brianna, and Jeremiah all have some version of “the sight”. “The sight” is just a fancy way of saying that these people are clairvoyant in one way or another.
Note: This post is gearing up to be a long one. Just click ‘Read More” to read on.
I am surprised at C’s recently stated opinion that the Frank/Claire marriage is more like real life, which would imply that expecting to find the love, passion, commitment, and respect found in the Jamie/Claire relationship is unrealistic. C has apparently agreed to marry T – she announced an engagement in January and sports the ring – so I guess she’s ready and willing to make that leap into acrimony instead of staying single and independent. I find it hard to believe that feminist C would even get married if she thought it might be like Frank/Claire’s union, which was rife with affairs, lies, fighting, loveless and dispassionate sex, repression, control games, belittling, accusations, and misogyny. For someone who used to be “Team Jamie,” I find C’s “Frank/Claire is RL” position disingenuous and more gaslighting because of her about-face and because she never follows up with convincing reasoning behind this belief. Since C has apparently never been married, I’d be curious to know on what first-hand knowledge or experience she is basing her opinion. If C were to support her opinion by saying her parents, siblings or friends have marriages like Frank/Claire’s, or if she has some secret marriage counseling license, then she might have a defendable basis for her opinion. I am definitely in agreement with a number of other happily married shippers who’ve said that C’s cynical position does not reflect their reality, and some of them have been married 30 or 40 years. I have been married almost 17 years and in my husband I have a Jamie: a best friend, a lover who is still unabashed in his open affection for me, a spouse who compliments me at every turn, a man who respects me and all those around him, a defender who will do anything to protect his wife and children, a person of great empathy and compassion, an equal who supports and agrees with my views on women’s rights and human rights, and an all-around soulmate. So does C really believe that Frank/Claire’s relationship is more like real life for her than Jamie/Claire’s, or is it a crock of BS driven by RDM, who is the ultimate “Team Frank"cheerleader? IMO, C is not really helping to promote the continuation of OL with her cynical attitude, because hasn’t Frank died and hasn’t Claire returned to her true love Jamie? So no more Frank/Claire, right? Even if C really does believe that Frank/Claire is RL, wouldn’t it help promote the show by lying and pushing the Jamie/Claire narrative? Perhaps this is yet another way for C to redirect focus away from something else in her real life. Regardless of her cynical opinion on marriage, I do hope if C hasn’t yet found her "real-life Jamie,” that she holds out until she does.
I was told, very kindly, by the amazing @jemscorner my lovely friend @takemeawaytocamelot that there might be a small interest in sharing how my husband’s and I’s cross cultural relationship (a born and bred celtic and very traditional Irishman and a wild brassy American woman) real life parallels Jamie and Claire.
@bonnie-wee-swordsman she would be interested in the crazy story of how we met as well. I think it would be easiest to star there and, if anyone is indeed interested, share a few posts from there. (Please know that I am in no way implying that the epic love story that is Jamie and Claire in anyway comes close to my own life. Only that through reading the books I found some very fun moments that reminded me of my own marriage and thought would be fun to share.)
I really felt for Claire, having to decide within months of meeting Jamie, to chose to follow her unexpected deep new found love, or be sensible and stay with her life on its stable, planned track. To risk it all, give up all she knew, live in a country with its own cultural rules, where she is an outsider. I faced something smaller but similar.
At 19 I was going to college full time, had a job, a car, and took care of my grandparents in California, where I was born. On Thanksgiving I was not able to travel with my grandparents to an extended family dinner. I was tearful at work realizing that I would be on my own for the holiday, when my boss at the University saw. She was from Ireland but had settled in California. She insisted I join her family. It was extremely kind but I was slightly terrified of how awkward it would be. Luckily for me she absolutely refused to take no for an answer.
So, at 10am Thanksgiving morning I found myself nervously walking down the street to my boss’ house. I immediately saw my soon to be husband taking with my boss and her neighbor at the door. My first thought was “shit, she has other guests. This will be so stressful.”
My husband’s mum grew up with my boss in Ireland. My boss was like his auntie and a very established professor and department head. She had told him a ‘colleague’ was comming to Thanksgiving dinner. He expected someone of similar age, not a 19 year old American girl.
My husband then spent the next several hours flirting with me while I acted a deer in the headlights, trying to be polite, professional and worthy of dinner at my prestigious boss’ home.
It finally clicked for me at dessert (thanks to a Father Ted quote of all things) that he was interested. We had a lovely night and, as he walked me back to my car, asked if he could see me again. I was more than busy at this time in my life (work, school, nursing my grandfather) but jokingly said I had the weekend off for the holiday.
My husband: Great what time can I pick you up tomorrow?
Me: Ha! Well, I like to sleep in…
My husband: 9am tomorrow then.
9am the next day the biggest bunch of flowers I’ve ever seen was staring at me through the key hole.
Unbeknownst to me, during Thanksgiving my grandfather’s cancer had taken a new turn. He was suddenly confused and not himself. My grandmother took him home and didn’t tell me much of what was bothering him.
So we had our date. A day of hiking arround the hills by the ocean and then a movie (Love Actually). It was amazing but I was clear that I was not looking for a relationship. And he was only in the US for a few weeks visiting. At the end of the date he asked to take me out again Sunday night.
Sunday night came with disaster. My grandfather was suddenly in pain and couldn’t speak. He couldn’t remember how to sit down or stand up by himself. So I comforted my grandmother, called an ambulance and then called my husband to cancel our date. His first question was how I was getting to the hospital.
Me: Driving behind the ambulance I guess.
My husband: No, you can’t do this on you own. I’ll be there in 20 minutes.
He was an hour away technically. But 20 minutes later, breaking all speed laws, he was there.
I had no family to help, no parents to rely on. I had friends, but this man who met me 3 days before swooped in. Took me to the hospital, helped me with the doctors (his dad was a physician in Ireland and he knew his way around.) He stayed with me there, drove me home, tucked me into bed and slept on the couch. The next morning he made breakfast, went to the store to stock up and basically stepped in to look after my grandmother and I. I was a very independent, strong willed girl who was used to caring for others. I had just ended a serious relationship (caught my older handsome man cheating. *coughFrankcough*). I was not looking to be serious with anyone and absolutely not prepared for a gallant young man to jump in to protect and care for me.
I was immediately amazed. But not willing to call it a relationship. My grandfather came home for hospice and my husband practically moved onto the couch to look after me. Eventually my grandfather passed away and some of the extended family showed to help with the funeral.
A few weeks later my husband had to go back to Ireland. I was sad but not willing to admit how much I cared. He promised to come back. And after a few weeks returned. I had never felt anything so powerful in my life.
But decisions needed to be made. Would we try long distance and hope it worked out? He couldn’t legally live in the US. He had work and family in Ireland.
So after a couple of months I decided it was worth risking everything. I made sure my grandmother was alright, I quit my job, withdrew from college and bought a one way ticket to Ireland.
I won’t lie, it was not a simple happy ever after. Adapting to a completely different culture, being an outsider, having to rely on my husband when I was used to being very independent, was tough. But I renrolled in school, got a job and we eventually moved to our own place. There were fights, and home sickness. It was cold and I was not always welcome (there was more than one argument with his sister in gaelic where I was intentionally excluded from the conversation) but it was true love.
We’ve been married for 10 years now, together for 14, and live in the US.
It was a miracle that the day my grandfather started to leave my life, my husband was entering it. It was a miracle that in just a few months I found complete soul deep love. And a miracle that I was crazy enough to choose it, even with the terrifying choices that came with it.
So that’s the story of us. Nowhere near as amazing as the fictional world of Outlander. But I was blown away when I read the books and very greatful to see someone else share even small moments that I could relate to.
True love does exist. It can last for years and across continents. The passion can grow with age and the fire burn brighter with maturity. Knights in shinning armor do exist (and they are as stubborn and exhausting and wonderful as you think.)
(Sorry for typoes but I knew if I thought about it too long I would chicken out. So here it is, mess and all.)
The problem is that Starz does not respect it’s audience.
Fans of the OL books are predominately female, and older. Not much in Hollywood caters to that demographic, though the few networks and studios that do produce content for them earn quite a bit of money.
The leak of the Print Shop still is the latest display of Starz’ ignorance of how to treat an audience. It was not a leak. It was a “leak” in the same way Rihanna’s last album “Anti” was available for free on her website if you clicked on the right icon. They’re backpedaling now because people are angry that such an anticipated moment was spoiled.
Comic Con was another example of not understanding their core audience. When you think of OL and the beautiful love story between Jamie and Claire, do you think of a dozen, buff, kilted men running around San Diego so people could get pics of them while they flexed their biceps? Or a t-shirt that says “It’s a Sassenach Thing”? Or gold temporary tattoos that say “Outlander Forever”? JHRC. This isn’t fucking Twilight, okay?
Or how about starting a Lost Love letter writing campaign that encourages people to share deeply personal information with Starz, a corporate monolith with no feelings and dollar signs instead of a soul? Then, they instructed Sam and Cait and the whole cast to slip in an out-of-place relationship denial by bringing up a fan letter as “their most awkward fan encounter”, but have them record a video asking for these emotional and personal letters the very next day. Are you fucking kidding me?
The biggest piece of disrespect: the IFH and everything that came after, but mainly that summer. They are THAT calculating that they would force their stars to deny a romantic relationship on camera, and then have them revert back to the behavior that led people to believe they were together in the first place to generate interest in the show. I am going to take off my tin hat for a moment and say that if they are really not together, said it, stopped acting like loved-up teens, and introduced the public to their actual SO’s in a normal, un-trolling way, we would not have this epic fandom clusterfuck. People are confused, and have every right to be.
I do not hold Sam responsible for using the “fans think we’re really Jamie and Claire and can’t tell the difference between real life and TV” during the IFH, and then “if me and Caitriona were together, we wouldn’t say…” two months later in a print interview. He says what he’s told to say, and if Starz wanted another outright denial, we would have gotten it.
Sam and Cait’s chemistry sells the show and generates huge amounts of goodwill and publicity. That they went back to behaving all lovey-dovey and flirty shows that Starz didn’t mind, and maybe encouraged it because they knew how well it would be received. But God forbid we read into it and ruin the “official” narrative they’re selling. Enter Cap Kirk. He bullied and harassed and shamed anyone who believed such a far-fetched idea. And what did Starz do when they learned some of OL’s biggest fans with the most popular fan blogs were targeted and hurting? NOTHING. We can be sure that they told the cast not to speak out on the issue, too. After all, they control everything.
I don’t think that Sam and Cait are fake and that their banter and affection is all for publicity. But I do believe that Starz knew it was a good tool for marketing and encouraged them to share what came naturally to them. Go on acting like a couple, flirt on SM but deny, deny, deny. Bring some dates to events to confuse the matter, but don’t publicly mention them. Sam and Cait have been used and now they are taking the fall for Starz’ contempt for their audience. It’s really, really sad that a production of such talented actors, technicians, writers, and craftsmen is not honored with a marketing and PR team of the same caliber. Starz is shitting it’s own bed and I hope that after S4 another network picks up the show and gives it, and its audience the respect it deserves.