Catherine, Ferdinand, and sugared grapes

Last night was the premiere of the second (and unfortunately, last) part of The Spanish Princess.

Even though things went from happy to sad in a split second, the premier was everything I wanted and more. Even the bit with Ferdinand and the grapes.

In the beginning of the episode, Catherine and Harry arrange a feast to celebrate her family’s arrival in England. Her father, Ferdinand, and her nephew, Charles are there to put the finishing touches on their alliance against France.

As soon as Ferdinand shows up, things get awkward – Catherine was probably cringing inside. And it gets worse when Ferdinand presents her with the plate of grapes.

“I bring sugared grapes for you, your favorite. Remember? Take one.”

Catherine absolutely does not take one, because all she can remember is what happened with the grapes during her childhood.

The scene flashes back to when Catherine was younger. She and Ferdinand are sitting at a table with a grape between them. He encourages her to take it, only to slam his hand on the table and snatch it away.

Later in the episode, Catherine learns that Lina is pregnant. When Catherine asks why Lina didn’t tell her before then, Lina says that she didn’t want to bother her. So Catherine asks a question.

“My father … he took the grape. He used to promise me that this time, he’d let me take it. Then he’d do it again … and again. Now again. Have I become like him … so you no longer trust me? Am I so changed that we are no longer friends?”

And Lina responds

“You are better than your father. You show strength, but humility … courage and patience. And you do something your mother and father could not do. You ask questions of others as well as handing them orders. You have a good heart, Catherine. This storm will pass.”

I know what Catherine is feeling. I know what it is to hope your parents have changed, only to realize that they haven’t – and probably never will.

It’s also nice to see Lina reassure Catherine that she isn’t like her father. It’s so weird when people say I’m a nice person. I have a lot of trouble believing it sometimes. At least Catherine has Lina to lean on. I can lean on my friends too, but I’m always wary of talking about things too much because the last thing I want to do is push anyone away.

It definitely sucks, but it’s also kind of cool to be able to relate to Catherine in this way.


A Little Bit of Hope

This, my friends, is more than just a screenshot. It’s a validation of my feelings.

I know I touched on this a bit before, but it bears repeating. Because like I said, I’ve struggled with the line between fiction and reality my whole life. It’s so thin that I can feel it getting blurry in an instant. And that “blurriness” is what’s scared me. What’s been holding me back from truly acknowledging my feelings.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been afraid of crossing that line. In my younger years, I’d get ahead of myself, and I paid the price for it. My peers teased me a lot. I can look back and laugh about it now, but it was super uncomfortable at the time. So I eventually learned to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself.

Now, whenever I have really strong feelings about fictional characters, I always make sure that I know they’re not real, even though it sucks to admit it. Sometimes I wish I didn’t worry about that line so much. I mean, it’s invisible anyway, so it’s not like someone is going to recognize any signs of me going past some random point of no return, right?

I’ve been thinking about Charlotte Hope’s reply since it happened. And I think I finally realized what she means by “I don’t think it’s weird”: It’s okay to have these feelings about fictional characters. It doesn’t mean you’ve crossed “the line”.

I could very well have said “Is it weird that Catherine of Aragon …” instead of using Charlotte’s Twitter handle. Part of me thinks that maybe I should have. But another part of me wanted to experiment with whether she would even see my tweet, so I chose the riskier option.

Charlotte understood that I was referring to her portrayal of Catherine of Aragon. And, in doing so, she made me realize that I’ve never let myself truly think of my favorite characters and other people I look up to as family. I think it’s about time I work on that. Work on being comfortable with these types of feelings, and my chosen family.

Daily Prompt

My Fanmily

I’m an only child.  To make up for this, many of my favorite fictional characters (and sometimes my favorite famous people) are like family to me.  I used to shy away from this, because I thought if people knew, they would think I was weird.  But more recently, I’ve embraced it.  I even admitted it in my Children’s Literature class.