et alia: Survival Guide for “orphans” of Richard Armitage Fans

I had a very interesting conversation with my teenage son a few weeks ago.  I don’t remember how it began – probably my walking into his room to nag him to work on his homework.  We were going to go out for lunch (he’s in virtual school, so campus is always open)  but he didn’t have any clean jeans to wear.  This led his mother to ask guiltily, “Do you have any not too dirty jeans?  I’ve been a little distracted with this new blog thing and have gotten behind on the laundry.”  I jokingly suggested he start a support group for the “neglected” children of Richard Armitage fans.  He replied, “Oh that?  Someone already invited me to join that.”

Wait a minute….what?  I pumped him for more information over pizza – he’s a teenager, and always hungry, so he talked.  Evidently, one of his legion of Facebook friends is a second generation fan of Richard Armitage and has started a chat page on her personal Facebook account where the children of Armitage fans can join to lament about their mothers’ obsession.  He hasn’t ever logged in he said.  I had no idea such a page existed, but it seems perfectly logical that it does.

How many times have I complained that real life has gotten in the way of my Armitage habit?  Plenty.  I wondered what my new “hobby” looked like from the perspective of my kids.  My seven (and a 1/2) year old daughter has already come over to the fold.  This week I came home from a night class to find her fast asleep with my iPad open on her bed.  She had fallen to sleep listening to Richard Armitage reading Flat Stanley on the Cbeebies Story Hour.  Interested in his take on my fandom, I asked my son if he would write me his version of a guide to surviving life as the child of a Richard Armitage fan, so I could post it on my blog.  He grudgingly agreed, only after I promised he would remain anonymous.  That was about three weeks ago, he’s a bit of a procrastinator – I think he gets that from his mother!

I expected something that looked rather like this:

1.  Learn to like Ramen noodles and EasyMac – if you wait, “just a minute” until your mother finishes that episode of Robin Hood, or chatting online, you might waste away to nothing.

2.  Ditto for laundry unless you are styling yourself as the 21st century Lady Godiva

3.  Answer her questions about how to arrange her Tumblr dashboard as simply as possible.  Be prepared to repeat when she doesn’t get it the first time.

4. Take advantage of her distraction and allow your bedroom to become a comfortable hovel befitting any lazy teenager.

Here is what he emailed me today: (I only changed a couple of typos – the language and sentiment are all his)

Contributed by Obscura's 14 year old son.

Contributed by Obscura’s 14 year old son.

On an average day, my son is a pretty easy going kid – so easy going, that he has to be prodded to get just about anything done.  He falls behind on his school work, not because he is unable to complete it, but because he just can’t be bothered.  I guess I just assumed that he was put out in some way by the increasing amount of time I spend on fangirling activities.  Given his generally mellow attitude, I shouldn’t be surprised that not only is he not particularly bothered by the independence that he’s gained in lieu of my new hobby, it turns out that he may just be the only person of my close acquaintance who really gets it.  Is it strange that my son and I have found new common ground in our respective fandom activities?  Truthfully, it does feel a bit weird, but it is also amazing to realize how similarly we view things, how much common ground we have.  Thanks Armitagemania for providing me an entre into better communication with my teenager!

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39 comments on “et alia: Survival Guide for “orphans” of Richard Armitage Fans

  1. kathrynruthd says:

    That’s one extremely smart 14 year old! I wish I could have written like that when I was 14 🙂

  2. phylly3 says:

    What a very understanding and unselfish boy you have there! I am sure you must be very proud of him. And yes, a bit of independence is a very good thing. 🙂

  3. Leigh says:

    Good for your son. He really does seem to get it. Something that takes you outside yourself, someone or something you find admirable and interesting, is beneficial as long as it’s not advocating violence, hatred, abuse, or destructive acts. School, even virtual school, at that age can be so boring and the bright ones are easily convinced of its irrelevance. A bit of a fandom can be leavening and encourage productivity in other areas.

    • obscura says:

      He’s definitely in the “convinced of its irrelevance” camp. It really gets dicey when it is more or less impossible to refute logic when he objects to a particularly infantile assignment he’s been given. *sigh*. Sometimes the best I can do is to point out that we all are compelled to do things in life that defy reason…generally not a wholly acceptable response from his POV 🙂

      • Leigh says:

        You can present the argument that most adults hate paperwork, but that is usually what it takes to get paid and therefore meet basic needs.

        • obscura says:

          I think that’s a huge reason why adults do a lot of things they need to…as a well provided for kid, he hasn’t yet fully made that connection – he’s also pretty low maintenance, so finding a commodity he really needs to work for has been a challenge.

  4. Servetus says:

    Reblogged this on Me + Richard Armitage and commented:
    [I’m still grading]. This is fantastic!

  5. Servetus says:

    Your son is one really smart kid, too.

  6. trudystattle says:

    Very smartly articulated. The reasoning is perfect. I love the sarcastic hint of humor in the last line – very perceptive! He can think for himself, mom! Good job!!!

    • obscura says:

      And how! Sometimes I think that I’ll have to start employing Socratic dialogues to convince him that it is actually a reasonable expectation that he clean his room and take out the recycling once and awhile 🙂

      • Leigh says:

        I used the Socratic method and it worked, sometimes too well. When your 5-year-old comes back to you with “What is your reason for that? You must have a reason.”, you are ready to go stand in the shower and scream for a few minutes.

  7. guylty says:

    You have an extremely smart and articulate son, obscura! I am well impressed and I think you can count yourself lucky to have found something to bond over with a teenager! I totally would not have expected tgat answer from a 14-year-old – and yet it is so clear and logical. I feel tempted to pose the same request and question to *my* 14-year-old. He continually pulls my leg over my Armitage obsession. Today he opened up my PC profile which sports Armitage in the Sunday World shoot. He didn’t even blink but just said to me “Oooh, that’s a sexy look!” I suppose I have worn him down…

    • obscura says:

      It was definitely not what I was expecting either…I thought he’d go in a much more sarcastic direction. Since turnabout is FairPlay, I haven’t talked to him about RA in too much detail because I can only stand so much description of anime, common ground or not :). May be we should put the boys in virtual contact with each other – they could compare notes on their RA addicted mothers!

      • guylty says:

        They’s definitely have a reason to bond, too!!! I can see them comparing notes: “Does yours keep silly pictures of Armitage at her desk?” – “Yeah, it’s really annoying. I hate working on her computer with Armitage ogling me.” – “Too right. And then the DVD collection by the telly. Really, mate, I have to hide them when my friends come over… Soppy 18th century literary films, ugh. And when I open up Netflix, the last viewed indicator is always set on Robin Hood, how bloody embarrassing is that???” – “Yeah. Right. At least your man is the same age as them. Anything else would be majorly off-putting… I just couldn’t take them seriously if they were Beliebers…”

        • obscura says:

          LMAO…It’s like being a fly on the wall!

          • guylty says:

            Actually, that’s probably far too self-centred a fantasy. After establishing that they are both “RA orphans” (haha, love the term you have coined!), they’d quickly move on to more interesting matters, such as latest Iron Man movie, must-hear music etc. The stuff the “oldies” do is not really note-worthy as such… 🙂

          • obscura says:

            True…as much as he is willing to talk generically about fandom, talking it about it with Me is not his first choice…I am the “oldie” as you say :). No one has used Armitage Orphan before? I think our kids all need t-shirts…wrinkled dirty looking ones! 😀

          • guylty says:

            hahaha, dirty t-shirts, unhealthy school lunches, generally unkempt appearance. Armitage has a lot to answer for. I think we need to be compensated with a juicy photo shoot and a sweet fan-message. It has been too long.

          • obscura says:

            Isn’t that a catch 22? Maybe our kids deserve a little attention (since he’s taken ours from them) and since they are kids, they will need parental supervision right ?! 😀

  8. lamaruca says:

    How sweet! My 13 year-old just sighs and rolls his eyes at me any time I mention Richard Armitage’s name. LOL!!!

  9. Joanna says:

    Smart boy 🙂 He loves his Mom.

  10. katie70 says:

    I read this last night and this is funny. Now talking about my 14 year old son, he is a Richard fan. He has sat and watched Robin Hood more that once in fact this school year while home sick watched part of series 1 by himself. The first time he saw Robin Hood the Walt Disney movie at the age of 3 he has been hooked on Robin Hood, he will watch anything Robin Hood, but the BBC series he likes the best long with Sir Guy. He has a count down till the new Hobbit movie and again he likes Thorin best. He also watched SB with me too. He does draw the line at N&S to soppy for him. Because of TH for Christmas he got the book and read it in one day. his brother checked out the Lord of the Rings books which now he has read most of them and he is hooked.I don’t know if you know of the Redwall books by Brian Jaques but he has read them all, he is a book worm too. But really the whole family will watch most of what Richard is in.
    Now I do have the more time for Richarding. The whole family helps out with the house work, freeing me up some time to spend Richarding. OK so it really has to do with working full time and school part time but it is nice to get some work done with help.

    • obscura says:

      It’s awesome that you’ve got a real “family affair” going on 🙂 my son is a terrible snob when it comes to what he will watch and absolutely refuses to read Tolkien… I have tried to no avail! (Last I looked, he was reading Celtic mythology.)

      • katie70 says:

        I would like son 2 to read Jane Austen I really think he would like it since it is not all soppy, but no way. He just read Shakespeares A Midsummers Night’s Dream in English and in 5th grade was in his classes play of the same. He watched David Tennet in Hamlet to help him get ready. Last year son3 had the same teacher for 5th grade and they did Romeo and Juliet. This teacher knows who Richard is from watching some of his shows. She also was waiting last fall to see TH. Son2 will read most anything and now he is back to Tom Clancy. This house most of the time watch’ s british TV but they got into The Vikings this year. History channel is big.

        • obscura says:

          We’ve been watching The Vikings…I like it…did you catch the RH connection?

          • katie70 says:

            Yes I caught the RH connection, I told the boys and they even guessed the right person. Watching british TV for years and at first not knowing the actors we would call them by their character names. So in this case it would be, oh look it’s Archer of RH. I watched some of The Vikings, it was on a bad night for me, years of PBS and Masterpiece. I am sure there will be repeats on again.

          • obscura says:

            🙂 We’ve been getting it episode by episode on Vudu I think. I’m lost if I have to catch anything when it originally airs.. Crazy evening schedule.

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