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Shipping Is My Whatever You Spend Too Much Time and Energy On

Another season, another sighting of Fast-Walking Couple on my way to work.

Here's the thing: I love walking. I walk to work every day. It's about a mile and a half, and I take it at a medium pace. I did not realize how unused I have become to fast walking UNTIL Fast-Walking Couple passed me and I suddenly thought 'My readers should -- nay, DESERVE TO KNOW if they are married yet.' So I tried to catch up to them. And OH HOW I TRIED. And oh how my shins yelled at me. But for you -- FOR YOU -- I did it. Looking a bit sweaty and disheveled, I caught up to them at a light and -- nope. No ring. I even checked the right hand in case they're German.

Things learned:

1. She has maybe lost weight, and her highlights look awesome.

2. He is still handsome.

3. They still kiss at the street corner when they say goodbye.

I've been shipping couples since maybe age 11. Probably before, but not with any degree of intensity (except regarding Ryu and Chun-Li from the game Street Fighter 2 -- I revved myself up to play by saying that the opponent had made disparaging remarks about Chun-Li and now Ryu was going to kick his ass).

I wish I could say the first couple I book-shipped was something classy like Laurie/Jo from Little Women, but unfortunately I didn't read that until I was 18. Instead it was Simon and Angelica Fear from R.L. Stine's Fear Street series. Sure, they might have been evil, but THEY UNDERSTOOD EACH OTHER.Also they wore old-timey clothes and their sleeves had ruffs and that's really all I ask for.

Book ships are nice as opposed to TV ships, because there's usually just one writer writing, and it doesn't take years and years to finish (unless you're a George RR Martin fan, amirite?), and you don't have to worry about advertisers or executive producers so much. Of course, you're screwed if the author dies and you're in the middle of a series, but them's the breaks.

Ships can be distinguished from just normal "Oh, I enjoy reading about these two characters getting together in an eventually romantic sense" by how actively you participate in wanting them to get together. If you:

1. make a mixtape for them
2. write fanfiction
3. go on tumblr and make/reblog graphics
4. find like-minded people and have in-depth discussions, citing textual evidence for your ship (or force this evidence on your uncaring friends)

then you are shipping a couple.

Regarding book couples, I have playlists for: Paul/Helen (The Historian), Beatrice/Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing), Ernest/Madame Defarge (Tale of Two Cities), Mrs Danvers/Rebecca (Rebecca), Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane (Lord Peter Wimsey series), Scarlett/Melanie (Gone With the Wind), Lucius/Narcissa (Harry Potter), Antipholus of Ephesus/Adriana (Comedy of Errors).

This has been a part of my psyche for so long, I don't know how people who don't ship things work. What do you think about? Lawn sprinklers? Bacon? The rest of the world seems to have a preoccupation with bacon that I lack, so maybe that's what happens to shipping energy when it goes unused.


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