February 02, 2007
McDreamy or McSteamy?
Something Like Life
Feb. 2, 2007
A FEW weeks before Christmas, my sister posed an intriguing question to me via text message: “Are you for McDreamy or McSteamy?”
Without hesitation, I texted back, then asked her what was up. She told me that she was in one of those ubiquitous Yuletide bazaars and there was a stall selling T-shirts with the front printed with either “Team McDreamy” or “Team McSteamy.”
Now unless you’ve been living in Pluto — which, alas, has already been stripped off of its planetary privileges (mental note: must move to Uranus) — you probably know what I’m talking about. Yes, I confess, I am a Grey’s Anatomy fanatic. So much so that every week, I download the latest episode of Season 3 off the Internet.
Like so many of the TV show’s avid viewers, I can’t wait to find out what will eventually happen to the love affair of intern Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Dr. Derek Shepherd (a.k.a. McDreamy, played by the cutie Patrick Dempsey), and how long Dr. Mark Sloane (a.k.a. McSteamy, the sizzling hot! Eric Dane) will keep upsetting the staff around Seattle Grace Hospital. (I must say the show’s cast really deserve their Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. And yehey! Chandra Wilson, who brilliantly plays my fave tough-talking but lovable Dr. Miranda Bailey, also won the SAG for Best Actress in a Drama Series.)
While it is simplistic to narrow men down to just these two types, the show is fairly accurate in depicting the maddening confusion women experience when faced with such a difficult choice. Should we choose McDreamy, the seeming all-American hero, albeit troubled and suffering his own inner demons? Or should we just have a go with the fairly predictable McSteamy, knowing fully well the relationship may not last? (I don’t know if the show on cable TV, still in Season 2, has already introduced the sweet and very much available Finn Dandridge [Chris O’Donnell], whom the interns quickly dub "McVet".)
McDreamy in Season 2 has yet to get a divorce from his fabulous and super-brainy talented wife, Dr. Addison Montgomery Shepherd. He’s still hurting over the affair she had with McSteamy, his one-time best friend. The ordeal left him so torn up that he bailed out of a successful career in New York and moved to Seattle, where he meets Meredith in a bar. After a few tussles in bed, he falls in love with her — we believe so — and she even madly so.
We witness how the entry of McDreamy’s wife impacts on his relationship with Meredith. But he does the honorable thing, trying to repair the damage in his marriage to Addison, much to Meredith’s dismay, especially after having swallowed her pride and begged McSteamy to “Choose me!”...Ouch! Sad.
Then along comes McSteamy, who just wants to get Addison back and all hell breaks lose. Addison knows fully well that McDreamy is still taken with Meredith, but she loves her husband and will fight for him. But McSteamy has come to win her back, and wants her to return to New York with him. Does she love him enough and can she see a fruitful long-term relationship with this man whom everyone seems to have slept with (yes, even McDreamy’s own sister! Oops!)? Poor Addison...we don’t envy the tough choice she must eventually make.
Many of us have met our own McDreamies and McSteamies. If we are into the whole romance package, we will choose McDreamy and hope our presence can help ease his suffering. We think by just “being there for him,” our love will be enough to save him from himself and he will become the perfect man we all want to marry and grow old with. To what extent we choose to delude ourselves with this notion and wait around until he comes to his senses, only time can tell. If our egos can take the suffering, and we can do away with our pride, then probably we will hang around till hell freezes over.
On the other hand, there is McSteamy, ready and willing to be with us right now, and will surely give you a grand time while you’re both at it. Of course, it’s just about sex, but at least it will not be the complicated relationship with a McDreamy. McSteamy knows what he will get out of being with us, and we know what we will get out of a relationship with him. Wouldn’t it be nice to just sit back, relax and enjoy the smooth but fun ride?
But then I think most of us women are suckers for complicated men. We love men who have lots of drama and mystery in their lives. So we give and give and give until we realize we’re all dried up inside and all the goodness and love have been sucked out from us. What’s worse, he makes us believe that there will be a nice house with a white picket fence and babies for us if we do stay. So no matter how tense the relationship becomes, we want to hold on until the very end. Not content with the drama anthology’s ending, we even want a sequel or another season of bad scriptwriting and reused plots (like 24! ugh!). We’re like masochists...we’ll do anything, even prolong our agony, because we’re still holding out to the fantasy that McDreamy will change and things will turn for the better.
Exactly like Addison’s case. It’s quite obvious that McDreamy no longer wants to be with her. (Although, in fact, he is so screwed up that he really doesn’t know what he wants! Typical.) Yet she will stand her ground, endure getting spit in her face, and pray that he will realize that he still loves her. (Hmmm...this reminds me of a woman I knew awhile back. Her husband had made it very clear that he no longer wants to be with her—and, in fact, had already left her for his own life abroad. Yet she’s still lighting the candle in the window for him. Hoy gising!)
Perhaps by now you know whose team I’m rooting for and have it printed on my T-shirt. At some point in a woman’s life, we just want our relationships to be simple and, yes, perhaps predictable, but, no, not boring. A relationship with a McSteamy may not last long — don’t delude yourself, honey — but at least there won’t be any grandiose, elaborate, long-winded dramas that may only hurt your pride or ego.
Now, don’t go trying to convert McSteamy into a McDreamy because that will just be painful. We shouldn’t expect the moon and stars from McSteamy, and he won’t expect anything from us. With McSteamy, there may not be a house with a white picket fence and sweet babies crawling around, but at least when our relationship ends, we will walk away whole and still breathing.
P.S. Season 3 will show what Addison has finally decided to do. Personally, I think she made the right choice.
(My column, Something Like Life, is published every Friday in the Life section of the BusinessMirror. Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane's photos from BusinessMirror.)