I’m CeCe Halpert’s babysitter, a bestselling author, established socialite, and a high schooler
We live in a parasocial reality. It’s very normal and has been since before Horton and Wohl hypothesized it in 1956. It’s there, and somewhere in the back of my mind, I realize that. But that doesn’t mean I have to accept it.
Human nature demands that we predicate our existence on other humans’ existence. But modern human nature, well, that can trick us into going much deeper.
I’m still a huge fan of The Office, over two years past its final TV airing. Netflix has entertained my desire to keep Carell humor on hand, and thus, hasn’t actually helped me move on. They’ve also suggested that I take up Parks and Recreation next — which I’ve seen bits and pieces of — but there’s just something inherently wrong with leaving Jim & Pam in the lurch like that.
Even though the Halperts have relocated to Austin.
Even though CeCe is now 5 years old.
Even though Philip is now 3 years old.
How could I just leave them for Leslie Knope and Pawnee, Indiana? I can’t. They need me.
Except for one thing: they don’t.
As much as it seems that no one else could love the show as much as I do, that no other American could be as close to Scranton as I am, I’m one speck in the middle of millions feeling much as I do. I am a diehard fan of a group of fictional characters opposite the amber waves of grain from my Sacramento home. I’m stuck in a one-sided relationship that will never be two-sided because it isn’t real.
Sure, in the light of day I realize that Jenna Fischer didn’t find her fairytale soulmate romance in first husband James Gunn. I know that John Krasinski is now happily married to Emily Blunt with baby Hazel, and I won’t be babysitting either her or CeCe and Philip anytime soon.
But my rediscovered maturity doesn’t dissolve my parasocialist mentality completely. Somewhere in the ever-present practicality of my high school brain, real life hasn’t actually clicked in yet. Between reminiscent tweets from @theofficeplcs — handle courtesy of a dormant fan account having already taken @theofficepics and having proudly not tweeted since 3/7/2013 — I’m counting on the support of my thousands of future fans to pay my way through college. Student loans haven’t crossed my mind yet (presumably due to my denial) because I’ll make millions off my record-breaking, young-author-success-story New York Times bestsellers. A big movie deal will be thrown in there too, and maybe a cameo while I’m directing.
That is, if I ever go on that solitary cruise that will force me to get the novels written.
Of course, I guess the fans’ll have to scrape together some money for that creative outlet, too.
I maintain healthy relationships with my imaginary fans, dedicated staff, the clamoring press, and my high-profile family. In my somewhat hallucinatory mind, though, they aren’t imaginary. They’re simply impending.
And what will happen to me once I’m on my own, juggling that student loan debt and recovering from a massive breakup?
I don’t know.
Maybe then, my slightly insane, very imaginative and unconventionally creative brain will take these parasocial relationships somewhere legitimate.