My husband and I love watching The Walking Dead together. He couldn’t be happier that I’ve finally gotten on board the zombie bandwagon, since he’s been an aficionado and self-proclaimed expert for years.
I used to think he was crazy every time we were walking down the street and he would point out why some random building would make a great (or terrible) base camp for the zombie apocalypse.
“WHOA, look at that!” he would say, all excited, “That place has no low windows, a roof outlet, and a big iron fence surrounding the place. That’s totally where we need to go after the zombie apocalypse hits!”
Umm, okay. I had no idea how a grown-ass man could spend so much time planning against monster attacks, but I figured he had enough other good qualities to keep around. Plus, he might come in handy if the zombie apocalypse hits.
He had hassled me into watching all kinds of zombie movies, certain that with enough exposure, I would understand his vigilance. I would occasionally humor him (because I want to watch stuff like Downton Abbey without resistance), but would be bored the entire time.
For one thing, monsters aren’t real, so I don’t understand devoting loads of mental energy and strategic planning on them. For another, monsters are scary and I end up having to sleep with the lights on.
For over a year, he kept nagging me to try The Walking Dead, but I was absolutely sure I wouldn’t like it. Finally one night, after we wrapped up Breaking Bad, I agreed to give it a go. It went down like this.
John: So now that Breaking Bad is over, you want to try Walking Dead?
Me: Umm. Didn’t we have some other show we were interested in seeing?
John: No, we’ve watched all the shows we wanted to see. You want to just try an episode or two?
Me (sighing deeply while rolling my eyes): Uh… FINE. But if I hate it, I don’t watch to have to watch the whole series.
I sat through a few episodes (despite my terrible attitude) and by the third, I was absolutely hooked. I LOVE this show.
Maybe it’s the great story development, maybe it’s the complex moral dilemmas, or maybe it’s the fact that TWD actually includes well-written, bad-ass female characters, but I found myself not only anxiously awaiting every next episode, but totally sucked into the whole zombie mythology.
I would have long discussions with friends (sometimes involving ridiculously-long Facebook comment threads) where we would dissect all the choices and motivations of TWD characters. We shared quiz results about which WD character we’re supposed to be. We talked about how Rick should be planning better for the Governor’s imminent attack on the prison.
One time, we were discussing Andrea’s gaping character flaws when my buddy George told me how she was a much more sympathetic character in the original comic book series. He told me about a few changes they made in the television show (like the invention of Daryl and Merle) and recommended reading the comic books if I ever had the chance.
Hmm, that sounded like a great idea. I couldn’t get enough of The Walking Dead and this would open up a whole new dimension. So I told John that I wanted to get the comic books. The discussion went like this…
Me: My friend George was telling me about The Walking Dead comic books. He said that in the comic books, Andrea is more likable and Merle and Daryl don’t exist.
John: Really? That’s interesting.
Me: He said the comics are really good though. I’d like to get them so I can check them out.
John (looking very stern): Now, you understand that comic books are an investment, right? You can’t go leaving them around your bathroom like your lady magazines.
Me: Lady magazines?
John (very seriously): Yes, your lady magazines and your lady books. You just plop them on the back of your toilet and next to the bathtub.
Me: I also have mystery novels in there.
John (sighing): Well, it’s unacceptable to treat comic books this way. Comic books are investment pieces that need to be kept in dust jackets. You have to be careful when you turn the pages and you can’t go setting your coffee cups on them. Understand?
Me: Yeah “dad,” I hear what you’re saying. You don’t want me to jack up the comic books like I do all my lady mags.
John: Or set your coffee cups down on them.
Me: Because comic books are mature investments for serious grown-ups.
Me: If we get a Michonne action figure, can I take her out of the box and play with her?
John: You need to be serious about this.
Me: Yes, because this is a very serious discussion about the importance of comic book integrity.
My husband is actually lecturing me about messing up my toys.