Spoilers for The Big Bang Theory, if you care about this sort of thing:
I know TBBT has flaws with stereotyping nerd representation, and a lot of other things, too, so it’s not the perfect show. This isn’t about whether or not TBBT is good/useful. This is about being bad at getting rid of things.
I’ve always been called the Sheldon of my family. Can’t drive, sometimes struggles to connect with people, has an… unusual sense of humor, can be pedantic, obsessive, will get into nerdy debates until I figuratively (not literally) turn blue, am super into the fact that I’m smart, and I relate to Vulcans and robots a disturbing amount. The big difference is that I don’t want to be an elitist jerk, and while Sheldon has improved on his neuroses during the course of the show, I haven’t taken those same strides.
Okay, so, the Zoloft helps with the obsessing, but when I watch the show, I see my worst qualities superimposed onto a taller, skinnier, male me, who can change at the stroke of a writer’s pen to become brave in ways that take me a lot of work.
He has a significant other, and what the world would call a pretty normal romantic relationship, which I’ve never had. I’ve dated a little but my relationships tend to nosedive early (nearly 100% my fault due to the aforementioned reasons. I’m much better than I was when I last had a boyfriend, but I haven’t dated in a long, long time).
I just saw an episode of TBBT where he revealed to Amy that he has a storage unit full of everything he’s ever owned. A golf ball he had thrown at his head by his brother, every toothbrush he’s used, a ziplock bag full of used ziplock bags. And so let’s add another tally mark as to how I’m like the worst adjusted protagonist on prime time television. Except instead of a golf ball, it’s every half-hearted sketch I’ve ever done, every mostly empty bottle of paint, every book I’ve ever read.
To end this, I want to leave you with a quote from the show, which is actually really, really accurate to what I’m going through right now:
AMY: Okay, why do you have a bin of pinecones?*
SHELDON: I used to collect them as a child. The spiral of scales open in the Fibonacci sequence. A fact that, when you tell your brother, gets a golf ball thrown at your head.
AMY: So, why do you feel you need to save these things?
SHELDON: I’d like to say it’s nostalgia, but every time I think of throwing anything away, my ears start to ring, and I get butterflies in my stomach. And then it feels like the butterflies get eaten by rats, and then, the-the rats get eaten by…
AMY: Okay. I get it. I get it.
SHELDON: It ends with dinosaurs. I’m sorry if you think less of me.
AMY: I don’t.
SHELDON: Really? ‘Cause every time I come in here, I think less of me.
SHELDON: Because I’m a fraud.
SHELDON: I purport to be a man of the mind. I’ve been such a-a vocal champion of The Singularity, but how can I leave my body behind and become one with the Internet when I’ve never even thrown a toothbrush away?
* I have a large disposable cup of tiny pinecones in my room right now, each about the size of a pencil eraser.
I’m not into the idea of The Singularity. Though my body frustrates me, I’ve gotten to the point where I realize that I’m in a body for a reason, and that reason is to help people and be kind and make art and experience the world around me and love people the way God loves us. And if I purport to be unmaterialistic, I need to practice what I preach, even though it’s hard. Blah blah blah, inspirational ending, blah.