I was raised to enjoy television and one of my favorite things to do is have it on as I work. I also love to pick it apart and talk about what I loved, or didn’t. If you follow me on Facebook, I’ve had a lot of fun sharing my thoughts live during This is Us.
Today I wanted to point out a romance I’m absolutely swooning over.
Okay, as of this writing, the romance has yet to connect, but all the elements are there. The show is about to have its series finale.
It’s The Middle.
If you aren’t aware of this show, it’s on ABC and stars Patricia Heaton, playing another mom that was on Everyone Loves Raymond. It follows the lives of the Heck family in the Midwest. They aren’t perfect parents, and they aren’t rolling in money. But in their odd ways, they love each other and have sweet lessons at the end of each episode.
Throughout the series there has been a thread of romance with the middle child and only daughter, Sue. From middle school to college she had a crush on her brother’s best friend and their neighbor, Shawn Donahue. What we didn’t know until recently was Shawn feels the same. Where brother Axel is annoyed by Sue’s optimism and energy, it’s endearing to Shawn. He’s in med school, so of course Sue appreciates his noble career.
What I’ve loved watching is that although Shawn isn’t perfect, he’s had so many chances to confess his love for her, but hasn’t, oh, he’s been swoon-worthy. They did share a kiss after Sue cheered him up over college stress. He’s went out of his way giving her rides, bought her a beautiful snow globe that Sue didn’t know was from him. To me, my favorite moment was when Sue turned twenty-one. Although I’m not condoning a night bar hopping or the consequences, the romantic in me loved how Shawn dropped everything to take care of Sue and her mom. Even when the sight of vomit scared away Sue’s then-boyfriend, Shawn not only stayed around, he wiped her forehead with a washcloth.
I remember as a teen announcing that if I find a man willing to wipe my forehead when I’m sick, I will marry him.
Well, my husband does not enjoy being around sickness. He will run and get me Ginger Ale and make sure the kids are fed, but I’ve never had my forehead wiped. He did have to give me shots in the backside during infertility, so I think he gets some points for that because it absolutely crushed him to do it.
But, back to Shawn. I think the reason it’s been such a sweet romance to watch was they started as neighbors and friends. Shawn’s an All-American kid pursuing a career that changes lives. Sue was the forgotten middle child who for years tried to fit in and never did. Now things are blossoming for her, but Shawn loved her from the beginning. He was rooting for her all along. He’s waited patiently and has been sweet, kind, thoughtful in his gifts and care, and never took advantage of her.
My guess is this will be a loose end the writers will tie up in a satisfactory way. If I were in charge, I’d have the Heck family overjoyed that their daughter landed a doctor because finances have always been a struggle for them. More than that, forgotten Sue would understand she was always remembered, always loved by the guy next door. The man willing to wipe her forehead when she got sick.
Although my last release wasn’t a straight romance, I added a thread with a boy next door romance, and it was so fun to write. That’s a theme I plan to use again in a future romance.
Aw, Shawn and Sue. I’m going to miss you two!
How about you? Is there a neighborly romance that you really enjoyed reading or watching?