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Aaron Waite Aaron Waite
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Romantically Influenced

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Best couples of the digital age

At the time of this writing, I'm getting married in two and a half days. Two and a half days until my inner bachelor dies a bitter death (but not before consuming a last meal of Hot Pockets and Ramen), so you'll have to forgive me, because romance is one of the only things on my brain right now. Romance, and the savory taste of pork-flavored Maruchan deadening the pain of the last few fleeting moments of being able to sniff-test the wearability of my laundry. Seeing as you're not going to get much out of me other than that, I've decided to put together a list of my favorite classic geeky couples.

Cloud and Tifa from 'Final Fantasy VII'

Oh dear, I can hear the fanboy squeal from here: 'Cloud's love interest was Aeris, you bespectacled clod! Everyone that's ever camped on a fansite with their PS1 next to them obviously knows this! 'If you're echoing these statements, shut up. Shut your greasy, lying trap and pay attention to the story. Tifa has been a support, guide and friend to Cloud for years upon years. She's followed him to hell and back time and time again, with nary a complaint or grumble. She nursed him back to health when he became a gibbering moron drooling about in a wheelchair (not to mention the fact that she has to maneuver said wheelchair around a gaping hole in the earth).

Basically, Tifa not only sums up unrequited love, she's the bloody definition. Only until the very end of the game does Cloud actually start to grow a clue about Tifa's feelings for him. In true Final Fantasy style, nothing's ever cemented about their relationship, but you know that there's no one else for them.

Guybrush and Elaine from the Monkey Island series

If anyone has had a reason to become completely disinterested in a potential romantic interest, it's Elaine Marley-Threepwood. Since Guybrush Threepwood first came into her life, she's been kidnapped, turned into a gold statue, had her position as governor snatched away and, adding insult to injury, been turned into a demonic form of herself. Usually, just one of these is generally a good indication of an impending breakup and immediate restraining order.

But Guybrush is too frigging loveable. Everything he tries to do for Elaine usually ends up backfiring in the most terrible way possible, but he does it with such earnestness that you can't possibly fault the guy. With that same determined earnestness, he cleans up every mess he makes, rubber chicken pulley and talking skull in tow. Guybrush is the pinnacle of commitment to making a significant other happy whilst Elaine is the very picture of patience with the ability to see past Guybrush's failures and see him for his well-meant intentions rather than his disastrous results.

Fry and Leela from 'Futurama'

Haha! You thought this was just going to be video game romances did you? Well, belay that line of thought, reader! I can't possibly make a list of my favorite couples without listing the couple from my all-time favorite show. Matt Groening's better cartoon half (I went there, 'Simpsons' fans) is a goofy, hilarious romp through the world of the future seen through the eyes of cryo-frozen 1999er Philip J. Fry, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have its oddly emotional moments.

Fry is something of a loser, much in the vein of Mr. Threepwood. His immature antics hide someone that desperately wants to be a better man for Leela, but for whatever reason, that's the side that always ends up winning in the end. He finds joy in moronic things, which both amuses and agitates Leela to no end. However, the thing that sticks with you about Fry is the fact that he is desperate for Leela to love him for him, not for some facade that he can put up. In support of this, he gets rid of intestinal worms that give him superhuman strength and allure, as well as returning the Robot Devil's hands at the expense of an opera he wrote for Leela. Leela in turn recognizes his transparency and grows to love him for it.

In the end, I love these romances that accept the imperfect, inconsistent qualities that make up their human sides, allowing them to love each other to the fullest extent regardless of faults. They don't ignore these imperfections, but embrace the good with the bad.

Much like my own Leela.

Aaron Waite's writing is bad and he should feel bad!


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