Just finished watching season three of Stranger Things because I’m hooked on this shit and can’t quit. All of the kids are growing up but are convinced they are grown up, and they’re fighting through the perils of relationships, let alone a giant fucking monster made up of melted bodies.
On one side is the most real scene I’ve seen on Stranger Things. Like a number of guys, Steve is young but getting wiser. He’s coming to the realization that he wasted time fucking around, having interactions with girls that go nowhere, and now he wants something of substance.
So here’s this girl, Robin. Though she’s cute, he didn’t notice her throughout school, they didn’t hang around the same circles, but they work together and just spent the day getting beat up by Russians. He’s finally come around to seeing the beauty in this girl. He loves spending time with her, they make each other laugh, and she pushes him to be the best version of himself.
Unfortunately for Steve, she’s into girls.
Now that part, specifically, isn’t common to the male experience. But everything up until that point is. Somewhere between being a young adult and a rapidly aging adult, we get tired of the bullshit. Bullshit–mind you–that we know is a byproduct of our own actions. So life finds a sneaky way to show us something better, something worth aiming for. We’re ready to change, but change isn’t instant. Change just creates a new journey.
Good for Steve, who despite not being able to form a romantic bond with Robin, at least knows what’s really worth going for. Plus, Robin is awesome, so at least he has a cool friend.
On the other side are these fucking pre-teens. These kids were like 8-year-olds two years ago, and suddenly they’re dating. Dating for a teenager entails hanging out in a park close enough to walk to, strolling the mall, or chilling at home with reduced parental supervision (25% – 75% depending on which parent is supervising and the gender of their child).
We know nothing about romantic relationships as teens. We still think we’re hot shit for turning 13 by default of being alive. We’re just horny now that we are conscious of liking what’s under our clothes. We enjoy all the things that come with being in a relationship because eventually, we realize relationships are work.
I felt bad for my boy Mike. Dude is dating the only girl the group knows. He’s their Neo. He is the one. He’s like Bill from The Losers Club. Problem is, the girl has supernatural powers, lacks social understanding after being held as a test subject, and has an overbearing father figure. Not to mention, Mike doesn’t know shit about girls because how could he?!
So your man is fucking up all season. He lies to Eleven about Hopper slick threatening him, won’t open up to her, distances himself, and then can’t understand why she’s mad at him. Then, rather than talk to an adult for advice (like his sister wisely does), he holds a conference with Lucas who also don’t know a damn thing and has settled on the “all women are crazy” train of thought.
Now it took the young man eight episodes to finally be real with Eleven, but Mike eventually came through. He’ll be better for it. But damn, between him, his friends, Steve, and Billy (who’s busy trying to hook up with single moms), the guys of Stranger Things are sharing the same struggle bus.
Come to think of it, the only guy who has any sense in dealing with women might be Dustin, and we all believed he was lying about his girl!
And I won’t waste words getting into Hopper and Joyce. Those are just two people who don’t need to be messing with each other. Experienced adults can be stupid, too.