As I stood in my kitchen today making my lunch, I began to think about what Outlander means to me, which is a lot, I mean a lot, and why it means so much. I thought about the fandoms I’m a part of and what the community of these fandoms means to me as well.
I realized one very important thing, Outlander represents what I view as an almost perfect marriage.
In Outlander, our main characters, Claire and Jamie, have fallen in love, and its timeless, yes timeless, and yet it grew out of nothing but an acquaintance. Claire is forced to marry Jamie, knowing little more than the fact that he’s been the nicest person to her besides Mrs. Fitzgibbons, and outside of Castle Leoch, he’s the only nice character who seems to care about what happens to her. The beautiful thing is, Jamie already cares deeply for Claire, as we find out later on in the books. Anyway, there love blossoms from their intense attraction towards each other that pulls them closer as friends, and their desires grow from there.
That’s only one point about their marriage I want to make. Another far more important bit to note is the list of wonderful aspects to their marriage that they set as rules and bounds to follow from the very early days:
They are honest with each other, they ask of each other to always either be honest or be clear they don’t want to tell the other person something, as long as it doesn’t cause a bigger conflict later on, of course they learn pretty much every secret about each other eventually.
They are supportive of each other, and see each other as equals, yes equals. Jamie believes the way that society has raised him to believe in all its 18th century customs, and yet, when he realizes how important Claire’s independence is to her, he respects her, choosing to love her the way she is, instead of forcing her to obey him like any other wife. He is kind to her, and she in turn, does not force all of her 1940’s sensibilities onto him either.
They protect each other. Jamie offers her the protection of his body, and yet Claire saves him time and again using her medical knowledge, as well as smarts and cunning. They are pretty much even for how many times they’ve had to rescue each other.
They apologize through other means as well as sex after an argument. They have a lot of make up sex, but it only happens after they have apologized or talked through the conflict, and gradually find each other again.
They don’t talk awfully to each other in a real sense. Yes there’s the famous moment when they curse and spit at each other after he rescues her from Black Jack’s clutches, but even in that moment, they instantly regret it and show that to each other.
I’ve pretty much implied it already, but they compromise and try to find the best way to go forward with each other. When Jamie realizes Claire is not a typical female of that time, instead of ultimately forcing her to be subjected to his punishments in the future, he discusses the fact that maybe they should go a different way in their relationship than he’s ever known anyone going before. When Claire realizes that Jamie loves her already, she doesn’t push herself away from him, but resolves to care for him the way she does, and allow for the possibility of love to come into her someday, but isn’t set on it happening immediately.
These traits as well as many more I could list are the things that make Claire and Jamie so wonderful together.
As far as the fandoms, I realized that the women who are a part of these communities are much older than I for the most part and therefore have spouses of their own. They love to brag at how wonderful and supportive their loved ones are of their obsessions. One woman shared how she was fearful of an upcoming surgery, and her husband held her and whispered “Nothing will happen to ye as long as I’m with ye, Sassenach.” She ended the post with, “Well played husband, well played.” I smile to myself when I read these things, but I feel an ache pull at my heart strings. It’s a painful ache, but it’s not all bad.
I realized two very important things from these women:
That I firmly believe Outlander helped shape who they are, and therefore the type of man they wanted to spend their lives with.
That I want to find my own obsession supporting/genuinely good person husband of my own when my time comes.
In reference to the first, I believe that these women were forever changed by these books, and whether it was Diana Gabaldon’s intention or not, she created a man better than any we’ve seen in literature up to this point at least. Jamie is the most human and yet most understanding and good man in literature that (I at least) have ever come across. The fans of this series were shaped by that, and whether they realized it or not, changed how they responded to men and what they sought in a man.
In reference to the second, I just want a man who gets me. I want a man who doesn’t meanly tease me about my obsessions but understands their importance to me. I want a man who actually wants to watch my shows and movies with me. I want a man who understands how I can cry during every single episode of Call the Midwife, or never admit the cliche of Titanic that everybody else apparently sees and therefore will never stop loving it no matter how many times I think about how Jack could have survived, we all know he could have, that’s not the point, the point is she was supposed to live on for him. I digress. Sorry.
I hope Outlander continues to show people the kind of love that is not only worth holding out for, its actually attainable. It frustrates me when girls hold out for a love like twilight, which I think is beautiful, but it’s not realistic, if it was, since vampires don’t exist, you would be holding out for a sociopath. Just saying. The love that Claire and Jamie have is timeless and its attainable, and its beautiful. My advice to all the readers of this post, go read and watch the love story in action, you won’t regret it.