It takes a few goes to meet the right person. He’s great, but he’s a vampire. He’d be perfect, but he has an off peak membership at the local vampire brothel. I like him, but his hair is in terrible condition from all that bleach, and he has the same accent as my father figure. But, but, but. Will I ever meet someone where there are no buts?
Hopefully, but we all experience toxic relationships before we meet the one. Poor old Buffy slept with a demon who ended up trying to kill her and her friends. We’ve all been there, Buffy. Then Riley Finn. He had such potential! He was polite. He had a job with the government. He didn’t have a problem with direct sunlight. But he knew he was the rebound guy, and would never be the guy, and he, too, became a monster. I just don’t have the word count to analyse the Spike phase.
People can change
It’s not always a happy ending
Xander standing Anya up at their wedding. Buffy dropping out of college. Giles’ not getting his OTP. Joyce. Oh, God, Joyce! And Tara! Why, Joss, why!?
Because life isn’t bliss. Life is just this. It’s living (thanks, Spike). So many of us grow up on films and sit-coms that tell us you always get your happy ending. That’s isn’t realistic or healthy. For all of the happy, laugh out loud moments in Buffy, there was an equal amount of how-can-you-do-this-to-me type moments, just like real life.
Uni isn’t for everyone
If you don’t look back on those three years with a heart full of fond memories, you probably feel like, well, a freak of nature. But our hero didn’t settle in well, either. From the excitement exuding from her pals, to her only new friend turning into a vampire, we could relate to Buffy’s feelings of displacement and confusion. Why didn’t we flourish at university? Because it’s not a perfect fit for everyone. Not even a slayer.
Your friends aren’t perfect
Another Sunnydale life lesson was that sometimes your friends screw up. They’re not perfect; they’re human (most of them, anyway), and they don’t always get it right. If your bestie forgets your birthday, forgive her and move on. If you hear that your mate’s been slagging off your stylish yet affordable boots, confront her. If your friend goes all veiny and tries to end the world, give her a good talking to and make her feel bad about it.
Family isn’t always blood
Of course, there’s a flip side to the above. The Slayerettes were more than friends, they were Buffy’s family. Some of us are lucky enough to have those kinds of relationships where your friends are beside you at every single apocalypse. People who know you better than you know yourself are true gifts. You don’t need tons of friends as a support system, just two will do. Plus maybe some series regulars.
Siblings are annoying
Dawn’s being irritating. Must be Tuesday.
You are capable of anything
Every single season. “How are they going to get out of this fine mess?” we would exclaim as we recorded Buffy on VHS and ate popcorn. There are moments in life where it would be so easy to just give up and roll yourself into duvet Swiss roll, but anything worth doing isn’t easy, and should be achieved through hard work and sacrifice. If you have your support system, self-belief, and determination, you can do anything, and you will always defeat that series Big Bad.
That’s it from me. I’m off to paint my nails white, brush up on my puns, and grab a burger at the Doublemeat Palace.
What did Buffy teach you? Tell us in the comments!