It’s been a while since I actually sat through more than a few seconds of a Spinelli scene, so maybe this is old news, but… am I to understand that he has essentially turned into a Bridezilla?
If I didn’t find his character so irritating or hate the way his entire romance with Maxie has been bungled, I would actually find the whole gender role reversal these two have going on regarding their wedding totally fascinating.
Maxie’s commitment-phobic panic has classic Reluctant Groom written all over it. Spinelli’s obsessive need to make every aspect of his wedding follows the accepted guidelines of some standard cultural script (to the point of badgering Jason to make sure he’s given thought to the performance of the chicken dance at the bachelor party) is textbook “little girl who’s dreamed her entire life of this one magical day.”
Really. The whole thing is like some bizarre socio-anthropological experiment. It also handily illustrates several of Spinelli’s most annoying characteristics:
1) His pathological single mindedness, which causes him to fixate on his issues of the moment to the point of interrupting Sam’s request for help in finding teen runaways to blather on about his relationship problems.
2) His need to fit every aspect of his life into a pre-determined narrative — the nicknames which reduce every person he meets to one defining character trait; the insistence on the way things ought to be, even in the face of all evidence to the contrary; the effing Courtly Love thing (GAH!), etc.
I wish the writers would address this part of Spinelli’s neuroses, because I think they’ve actually been very consistent — whether they consciously realize it or not — in showing that Spinelli copes with and divorces himself from reality by making everything into a story, of which he is the impartial narrator. And it’s not a healthy way to live.
(Hint GH writers: Buffy already did this story, they did it a hell of a lot better. Take notes, please.)
3) His inability to read the temperature of a room. Maybe it’s just that I’ve had to deal with people like this in real life, but I find it exhausting to watch. It would be one thing if Spinelli’s obliviousness only extended to not understanding unspoken social cues, but he also actively ignores it when people outright tell him how they’re feeling or indicate in fairly clear terms that his behavior is rude/inappropriate/annoying or just otherwise unwelcome.
Trust me, writers. In real life, dealing with a person like this is not cute or funny. It is tiresome in the extreme.
4) His passive-aggressiveness. Spinelli’s manipulative as hell, though I’m sure he would never characterize himself that way. His endless self-pity over not meeting any of the stereotypically masculine characteristics he’s arbitrarily decided he needs in order to be the hero of his story drives me nuts. But it’s the way his low self-esteem inevitably forces everyone around him to bend over backwards protecting his feelings that REALLY makes me insane.
At the moment, he’s got Maxie — no stranger to self-esteem issues herself, I know — so tied up in knots over babying his fragile ego that she can’t even bring herself to be honest about the fact that she doesn’t really want to get married or have children. I was cheering when Robin rightly pointed out that if she couldn’t talk about these thing with her husband, she shouldn’t be marrying him.
Of course, Maxie isn’t the only woman on the canvas currently having some issues with the word “no.”
First things first: Liz and I may not be on speaking terms at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still appreciate the pretty. So thank you, writers, for putting such eye candy together for me in one scene!
(Sure, Elizabeth and Olivia have never spoken so much as a single word to each other before, so instantly becoming drinking buddies seems a little– hmm, what’s the word I’m looking for? Lazy? Forced? Contrived? Bizarre? Eh, I’m sure it will come to me.)
But I suppose you could make the case that Elizabeth would never have been comfortable confessing her sins to someone who knew her better. And Lord knows, the girl has desperately needed a confidant so the audience could finally get her POV. Gold star, writers.
Unfortunately, Liz’s recent behavior is still completely INSANE, so her POV is about as crazy-making as you might imagine:
ELIZABETH: Yeah, it’s crazy to expect perfection, right?
OLIVIA: On the other hand, I always would have known that he didn’t send my heart spinning. Maybe that’s not fair to me or the decent guy. Maybe– maybe the only answer is to tell the truth.
ELIZABETH: No, I–I can’t. I can’t because it would kill Lucky. It would kill him if he knew that my feeling had changed. That my love was just comfortable and secure and not–
ELIZABETH: Yeah, but who needs passion? I mean who wants it when it only drives you to make these stupid, life destroying choices? Lucky is too good for me.
Okay, Liz, honey? I never thought I’d say this, but– Yeah. He really is.
Look, it’s time for some harsh reality: I love you, but… you’re not all that. Seriously. It may make him feel a little sad for a while, but Lucky will not die if you tell him you’re just not that into him anymore. Really. Truly. Cross my heart and hope to die. You’re gorgeous and all, but somehow, he will survive.
It boggles my mind that anyone could convince themselves it would be kinder to condemn her partner to a passionless relationship for the rest of his life than it would be to subject him to a momentary heartbreak. This justification was weak and cowardly back when Lucky was supposedly in danger of relapsing again if Liz told him the truth. But at least there was a tiny shred of logic to it then. Now, after Lucky’s been sober for months, after he managed to swallow the truth about Jake and Jason without reverting to a pill popping mess? It’s completely untenable.
Why would you do that so someone you care about? And why does GH keep coming back to mine this same territory over and over again? I know that in real life, a lot of women are socialized to have trouble saying no, but in my escapist entertainment, at least, I’d like to see ladies with a little more backbone. Is that so much to ask?