As a workaholic, the only time I truly feel "relaxed" is when I'm working, because when I'm not working, I just keep thinking of all the things that need to get done. Either that or I'm thinking of the eight or ten people who irritated me that day (and yes, I know I'm the textbook definition of the Type A neurotic personality, but anybody who's read this blog for a while would know that.)
But one of the ways I do unwind, after spending long hours grading, completing projects for my website job, or writing notes for my dissertation, is watch crime dramas that I have stored on my DVR. I love watching shows like Elementary, CSI, Law and Order: SVU, NCIS, and Criminal Minds. It's fascinating to watch the detectives, crime scene investigators, and lawyers figure out "whodunit", and it's satisfying when the bad guys get caught (especially because in real life, the bad guys often never get caught or get away with a slap on the wrist).
The other reason I like those shows is that for the most part, the main characters on that show are workaholics. They're passionate about their work and dedicated to getting the job done. They spend most of their time working. They show the consequences of being a workaholic (which is another blog post in itself), like how they often sacrifice time with the people they care about in order to work.
On the other hand, I dislike shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. The doctors on Grey's Anatomy are workaholics, but based on the few episodes I saw, it seemed like they spent more time casting longing glances at the objects of their affection or dry humping each other in closets than they did working. I know several doctors in real life, and if they spent half as much time "hooking up" as the doctors on Grey's do, they'd never have time to take care of their patients.
On The Bachelor, the women act like their lives are over if they don't get that rose from some guy who murmurs sweet nothings in their ear (or in the case of Juan Pablo, the current Bahelor, who apparently murmurs vulgar nothings)...while also murmuring sweet nothings in the ears of a dozen other women. I could never have been on that show, partly because I don't look like a model, but also because I'd never be willing to take that much time off from my work (and also because I'd never feel comfortable in a hot tub, because being in a hot tub just makes me feel like a lobster being cooked).
One exception to my crime drama obsession is the show Once Upon a Time, though I don't like how sometimes it gets to be too much of a soap opera with fairy tale characters (actually, a significant number of that show's characters aren't from fairy tales). I like the Evil Queen, Rumplestilstkin, and Captain Hook, mainly because those characters are multi-dimensional and the actors playing them are excellent. I DON'T like how most of the characters never seem to work, because they are too busy casting longing glances at the objects of their affection or seeking revenge over the loss of the objects of their affection.
It's the same thing with books. If a novel doesn't have SOME romance in it, then I lose interest. But on the other hand, if it's ONLY about romance and never shows the characters at work, then I am tempted to toss the book aside (or the remote control) and go back to work. I think that being a workaholic has made me less of a "romantic" in that sense. I just can't relate to characters who have singular obsessions over the objects of their affection.
Of course, I do want to fall in love and be loved, just like most people do. And I've devoted many blog posts to my search for love (which thus far has led me to a bunch of "frogs" rather than a "prince"). But at the same time, my work is something that I'm "married" to, which is why it's easier for me to relate to characters who feel the same way.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that it's bad if you care more about your significant other than your work; of course it's not. And maybe I'll meet someone someday who makes me want to "relax" by actually relaxing and not by working. I'm just saying that the stories I like best include characters who I can relate to, and that just happens to be workaholics.
What about you? What types of characters in books or TV shows do you relate to? What kinds of pet peeves do you have about other types of characters?
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