Friday, August 11, 2006

It's Not the Aliens in Your Life...

It’s the life in your aliens. Thinking back on my long history of alien love, I have to say that Mr. Spock was not my first alien. As a kid I was a huge fan of Superboy comics. I’ve never been a huge fan of the adult version of this super hero, but I loved the teenage Kal-el. Maybe because he had a dog. I guess Superboy was my version of the “safe crush” that most girls tend to get on pop stars.

Then along came Uncle Martin from My Favorite Martian. Not that I actually had a crush on the character played by Ray Walston, but I was totally addicted to the show.

Then came Mr. Spock. One of the great loves of my life. How well I recall sitting in study hall in high school writing my first romance novels – about Mr. Spock. What a career he got me started on.

I’m still in love with Mork from Ork. I don’t suppose Han Solo technically counts as an alien, but he is from long ago and a galaxy far far away. Aragorn probably doesn’t count as an alien, either, but he has that mysterious stranger thing going that is part of the appeal of the alien love object.

Mind you, all these folk are not really aliens. Sorry, Mr. Spock, but even you are a human with a lot of appealing neuroses despite the pointed ears and green blood. I don’t know if we could love real, extraterrestrial aliens (with the exception of E.T. himself maybe…but what he represents is a lost little boy, so I guess he’s not an alien, either). Any real alien would be completely other. I’d like to think that we could love what we cannot understand, but I don’t know if we could lust after the unknowable.

What we alien lovers are drawn to is the outsider, the rebel, the lure of the exotic. The stranger in town draws our attention. Maybe he’s dangerous. He’s certainly exciting. He’s different, and we crave different. Besides, we believe that we can tame him, help him, understand him, love him. And he’ll appreciate us for the unique and wonderful beings we are. We alien lovers are incredibly romantic. We do not settle for the merely normal. In many ways we are aliens in our mundane environment as well.
alien romances

Susan Sizemore

1 comment:

  1. Yes, the last paragraph of your post is right on! We see the alien, the outsider, as the one who can appreciate our special qualities, unrecognized by our peers who can't see past our less-than-perfect bodies or social awkwardness. My husband sometimes remarks, at the SF con we attend every November, on the large number of very heavy people present. I try to point out that this perception is partly an illusion on his part; the "perfect" bodies in the media have conditioned us to take notice (negatively) when we see a large group of people with a normal distribution of various body types. He does have something of a point, though. People who aren't "attractive" in the conventional sense (for whatever reason, overweight, disability, geekiness, whatever) do seem to be drawn to SF and fantasy, and it's easy to see why. Those fictional worlds form a space where those are a "different" are welcome and where people often relate on an empathic or telepathic level that makes outward appearance unimportant. Also, to propose a more mundane reason, kids who don't fit in with the popular crowd are more apt to become avid readers, I think, as a mode of escape and compensation.