Categories: random musings, thinking out loud, thinking too much

I’ve spent the last few weeks binge-watching VEEP. All seven seasons. It was something that was on my watch list for some time and lately, I’ve been in the show whole. I think I remember coming to know about the series for an interview that Julia Louis-Dreyfus did with David Letterman for his “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” series. That peek into it back then made me put it on my radar. So I filled the empty space with the sounds of Selina Meyer and her multitudinous attempts at power. It was quirky and funny and sometimes too on the nose about our current reality than I care to admit. It was easy to follow along with AND play my little video games or eat something. Meaning that my attention didn’t have to be rapt. I could look away from the screen and still hear and follow along. It did not disappoint.

Something about the final scenes have been sticking with me for the last few days. Spoilers ensue if you’re anything like me and haven’t watched it yet since it wrapped back in 2019. Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) starts out as the VP of the United States (first woman one) which at the time seemed sort of far-fetched – even though we had just experienced our first Black President. The entirety of the story chronicles her attempt to maintain a foothold on power in some measure. She defaults to becoming the President because the current needed to step down for health reasons. She held that for 8 months but then lost in a subsequent election. Decided to run again after that term was up and so and so forth. Just a constant grab at power. And we get a glimpse into the varied hijinks that her staff swirling about her has to go through in order to make her wishes a reality. One such staffer is Gary Walsh (Tony Hale). He’s basically her… everything. Bag Man. Informant. Babysitter. Nurse. He remains in constant orbit around her making sure she’s flawless… fed… informed… comfortable… collaborated with. It doesn’t take long to realize that he’s completely infatuated with her. Think Beyhiver to BeyoncĂ©. But always keeping a measure of distance because a) professional relationship here with one of the most powerful people on the planet and b) she treats him HORRIBLY. She takes him for granted. She yells at him. She berates him. Basically like gum on her shoe. But… she desperately needs him. He’s holding her together. It’s this crazy push-pull. Minus the tension – she is in NO WAY romantically attracted to him. And he wouldn’t DARE make an advance (while she’s paying attention anyway). Down to the very end where in her final attempt at the presidency she literally betrays everyone in her cabinet who had been loyal to her for 17 years at that point – even her own daughter. A series of betrayals that made it impossible for any of them to continue to support her. And Gary? She pinned some crazy scandal on him – which was fully her fault – but threatened her ability to clench the nomination for the presidency. Bad enough that you see him pulled away by the FBI. And he was completely unaware that she would serve him up as the sacrifice.

At the end of the episode, they flash forward 24 years later to the day of Selina’s funeral. All the cabinet members have arrived and you get the update of how their lives are going all those years later. Some are to be expected. Some are outlandish. It’s all comedy. Then at the end of the ceremony when nearly everyone else has left, Gary walks in. He’s older. He looks like he’s been through hell: internally and externally. I think we all waited for something comedic to happen in that moment… maybe to relieve this feeling that his sacrifice wasn’t in vain. That somehow he managed to salvage himself from the ruins in any measure. He takes a deep breath in…. then you realize he’s inhaling and says to the casket in the same low tone that he would whisper what he thought was pertinent information in her ear the whole of her administrations, “You’d hate the flowers. But I brought the Dubonnet,” and places it gently on her coffin. (This was a Clinique lipstick that he carried around in his service bag of all the things he thought she needed. He attempted to offer it to her at one point towards the end and she instructed him to keep it because she wanted to put it on after she snagged the party nomination for her final run at the presidency and since it was a discontinued color, she didn’t want to waste it. He was never able to offer it to her at that point because they’d already taken him away to jail to pay for her crime).


Way heavier than I needed it to be. Had my brain in a chokehold about this kind of dynamic in relationships. I was always told by women around me who thought they had it all figured out that in any relationship that is going to ‘work’ (and by that, I guess they mean ‘stay together’ – but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything is working) that one person has to love the other more. Like – maybe even WAY more. Maybe be the kind of orbiting satellite to the center of their attention. But somehow that always manifests to be… perhaps the person who loves ‘less’ – maybe doesn’t LIKE their counterpart. I’ve never seen it be something where they love just as passionately… show it just as extravagantly… express it as vividly as possible and maybe one just does it a skosh less. The ‘less’ in these situations always seems to be dramatic. Where maybe onlookers feel… sorry for the party that’s loving more.

It made me think back to the notion of creating the pull that I documented here years ago. But that lack of balance just seems… cruel. Personally, I’ve always wanted the love of my life to dote on me Gary-esque. What I know in my heart is that I would fully reciprocate. Just because that level of love and attention would make me feel seen. Validated. Realized. I would appreciate it so much that I’d need to reciprocate. We’d just be going through life doting on each other. But I’ve never seen one lasting example of that in my life and definitely not close up enough that I could recognize it to be fully true and not just a show being put on.

This reality for me has been about imbalance. I guess that moment just shone a light on it again…



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