Since we started the Books That Made Me Me series, you’ve run with it, and we’ve had posts paying tribute to all sorts of people and places that have made you who you are today. If there were ever a TV Show that could inspire a generation, it’s the West Wing, and when Crysta send this through I found myself nodding like a goon all the way through. I even considered walknig down the aisle to the theme tune. Really. This post, however, is about more than a TV show, it’s a love story with the White House as a back drop.
Over to you, Crysta:
I read a lot when I was younger, much like most of you. I didn’t sit in front of the TV, I sat in my room, reading book after book. I enjoyed watching TV, but I was never one of those girls who would go into school and discuss who did what and what happened to who in the previous nights show. I just didn’t care. Nothing could be as gripping as the book I had secretly read until midnight the previous night.
It was in my first year of sixth form when my best friend told me there was a series in the library I should watch. It was something I’d never heard of before, the West Wing, and I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it. I took it home and discovered that an incredibly written drama can grip me just as much as a book can. For once in my life I cared about characters in a show. I was inspired by the women, who could take on anyone with their raiser sharp intelligence. They were smart and sassy, and I wanted to be just like them.
They only had season one in the library. I couldn’t get the next season for two years. It was torture. As soon as I had a disposable income, I bought it and every other available season. I was well and truly hooked.
I went to university and met the friends who didn’t make me me, but instead who allowed me to be me. One day, at the end of October, one of these friends came into the kitchen from his room while working on an essay. I saw him wearing glasses for the first time. He smiled at me and it was like I’d been hit by lightening. I fell hard, and for months my secret crush grew each time I saw and spoke to him.
A few months later I was watching the final episode of season 1 of the West Wing in the kitchen. The boy and another housemate came up and started watching with me. The episode ended and the boy wanted to know what happened next. I knew if we went straight into the second season I’d be getting questions about who’s who and what’s what. It would bug me. So I refused to let him know what happened next, until he’d watched season one.
Every night, for the next month and a half, we’d watch the show together. Usually one of us would turn to the other and say “West Wing?” and then appear later to watch in one of our rooms. Every night I’d be thrilled just to be in the same room as he was. He loved the show almost as much as I did, which was a huge plus.
Then, one night, after I’d fallen asleep watching The Mummy Returns (or so I’ve been reliably informed), he kissed me. My first kiss.
Nearly 7 years later and that boy and I are still together.
Somehow its turned into an annual tradition that we watch all 7 seasons. I’m still gripped by it. I’m still inspired by the characters and their passion for what they do. I can probably trace some of my passion for human rights from certain episodes. I know for certain my interest in politics comes from the show. The name Gerald makes me smile.
And when Corey turns to me and asks “West Wing?” in exactly the same way, every single time, I’m taken back to that time, all those years ago, that I slowly fell in love with the man who’s perfect for me.