Love what you wrote. I only differ on thinking that Iris is "okay". I know that wasn't the point of your reply, I know how much you love Iris, how much you value her and you went to great lengths to remain kind in the face of overwhelming ignorance (not only nonnie). I was hoping I could add something? To me she and Barry are a perfect fit. Both are flawed individuals, imperfect as humans are but they fit wonderfully. Inspire each other and make each other better. In that sense, I do fee she is
(Continued) the best. As he is the best for her. They are who the other chooses every single time. I want to make clear that I know you were not saying this isn’t the truth. Just wanted to share what I thought in this safe space you created. Thanks Truffles.
Hello, my dear nonnie! I am so glad you stopped by, and I’m genuinely touched that you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts here. Always the intention, no matter what you have to say.
And in this case, I couldn’t agree more – I absolutely love Iris and Barry’s relationship and feel that they truly are perfect as perfect can be for each other. I get misty-eyed when I think about Barry writing and singing Runnin’ Home to You to Iris or Iris bringing Barry back from the brink emotionally. It’s hard to catalogue in a single post how many times they have helped each other over the past four seasons, and it’s even harder to recount every affectionate gesture. That’s a beautiful thing – when love is so pervasive, so routinely reinforced, that we have too many examples to keep track of them all with ease.
I hold no resentment for the other nonnie – they were merely passing along an all too prevalent message, and I was simply responding to that message; I don’t believe they dislike Iris at all – but I do love an opportunity to expound upon how wonderful, and important, and difficult it is to be Iris West.
I like to ground fiction in reality whenever I can: I try to make it as personal as possible to really understand why a character is acting a certain way. It humanizes them. In that spirit, sometimes I like to think of Iris West like my actual older sister.
And suddenly even the most abrasive actions are human rather than flaws inflicted on this perfect cardboard unreality. My sister makes mistakes; so do I. But I would do absolutely anything for her. I want her to be happy more than I want to be happy – that’s how much I love her. She drives me up a wall sometimes, but I still love her.
My philosophy has always been “love the sinner, hate the sin:” I can profoundly disagree with an action but still love a person, even if I want them to see a different perspective regarding that action. We all make mistakes and we all have slightly (or profoundly) different worldviews. When it comes to my sister, I would rather forgive 10,000 mistakes than cut her out of my life, because ultimately, she brings me far more joy than she detracts. Where it counts, things are pretty perfect for us.
When it comes to Iris West, I would rather forgive 10,000 mistakes than see her killed off, because I see her as a person with a genuinely good heart, striving to do good in this world. She’s sweet, she’s affectionate, she’s funny, she’s smart. She’s tough in a tough world and kind when the world needs kindness. She’s heroic. She works hard and she has fun.
She’s not and never will be perfect, but the little moments – the little skips in the record – they don’t make it less enjoyable. In fact, when it comes to a record player, those little blips can actually add character, a certain off-beat rhythm that we expect from record players and can even be enjoyed on their own. You can enjoy the moments when a character does something “wrong.” Because it is in those moments where we are reminded that these people are human, are flawed, are always going to stumble a little.
Barry and Iris are not cardboard cutouts. They won’t always say the right things or make the right calls. They don’t have the right words for every situation. But they do have an attitude, a worldview, a drive in their heart, that we can see as a culmination of their personality and actions. We see it as the wholeness of their being rather than the sum of their parts. I don’t love Iris or Barry because they each did 500 good things: I love them because they do things in a manner consistent with goodness.
That’s what I mean by a gut feeling. It’s also why I can’t persuade someone else to love Iris or Barry or Iris and Barry. Not everyone loves my sister, and certainly not everyone loves me, either. But we’re both happy. And I’m pretty gosh-darned sure that Iris and Barry are happy, too. Relationships are stronger than their critics. And nobody, no matter how vocal or vitriolic, can tear Iris and Barry apart.
As far as you and I are concerned, nonnie, they are indeed perfectly imperfect together.
Thanks for stopping by, buddy; I appreciate the opportunity to talk more about Westallen and my love for them as partners and individuals.
(Oh, almost forgot! I used the word “okay” specifically because it’s easier to rhyme than “good enough,” which is just another way of saying “perfectly imperfect.” We’ve been on the same page all along, my friend!)