Home and Marge gave us a form of hope all of our fairy tales and rom coms simply could not. Marge Simpson gave every eccentric, every clown, every person who was accepted in society as a novelty the hope that someone had a heart so big and wonderful it could hold them and all of their eccentricities. They gave all of us the hope that we would find someone willing to love us in spite of our love of chili cook-offs, someone ready to testify in our favor when a seafood buffet did not deliver on the promise of “All You Can Eat,” and someone who could always find the silver lining in dark clouds by wanting to see us in our Mr. Plow jacket instead of dwelling on a failed business venture. It gave us all the hope we could find someone who pushed us to be the best possible person we could be who held us accountable to stop swearing, stop drinking, be a better parent, and be a better partner. Everyone wants someone who loves them for all of their weird habits, who pushes them to be a better person, and who can see how hard they’re working when the rest of the world has given them a massive eye roll. When you find that love, you give the same undying support, kindness, and love and support their quest to become a cop, do everything you can to make their pretzel business a success, and treat them to spa days to help them relax because you know how hard they work. Marge and Homer showed us that life has a lot of obstacles and a lot of struggles, but if you can find someone who loves and supports you through the days when you’re not at your best, life is a lot smoother.
Marge and Homer’s D-I-V-O-R-C-E
Yesterday Al Jean announced that Marge and Homer will legally separate in the upcoming season of The Simpsons. Another woman, voiced by Lena Dunham, catches Homer’s eye and has more sway over his heart than Mindy did. Whereas I am a supporter of new ideas and interesting changes that bring new life to old characters, this revelation leaves me depressed.
I have to remind myself that there is nothing to get upset about until this teaser comes to fruition, but in this case, the thought of a world without Marge and Homer together is a little sadder because we live in a world where Marge picked Homer. Marge picked Homer with his mini golf job and his onion ring wedding ring. Marge picked Homer after he tried to gamble Christmas back and came back with Santa’s Little Helper. Marge picked Homer, and she loves in a way that she knows everything about him; she knew to find Homer with his new friend, EARL, because she knew he would be on foot because he thinks public transportation is for losers, she knew he would go west because the town slopes down that way, and she knew he would be at the lighthouse because he loves blinking lights like the one on the waffle iron (or the guy on the walk sign). Marge picked Homer, and when she stopped that car on prom night he hugged her, and kissed her, and he’s never been able to let her go. If you never wanted someone to love you like Marge loves Homer, you were watching a different show than the rest of us were watching.
Like Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters, Homer gave everyone who did not fit in, everyone who ever screwed up, and everyone who was still working on themselves the hope that someone wonderful would love them, tolerate their strange ideas, support their bizarre adventures, and go along with things like impulsive [possibly cursed] trampoline acquisitions. Homer works because Marge loves him, and because Homer loves Marge even more than that. In a recent episode Marge and Homer are trapped beneath tornado debris and Homer, saying it may be the last thing he will ever write, writes “Save Her First” on the window so rescuers know to get Marge. Homer is a buffoonish oaf; this character only works because once his antics, his overreactions, and his moments of selfishness recede from the main plot, Marge is there and reveals that Homer is good, kind, and worthy of such unrelenting love. We can love Homer because Marge loves Homer. You don’t need fairy tales or romance novels to tell you there’s someone out there for everyone; you simply need Marge and Homer.
Understandably, The Simpsons needs to do something major in order to maintain visibility in the prime time cartoon genre. Whereas they used to be the only game in town, shows like Family Guy, American Dad, and Bob’s Burgers have come for a piece of the pie The Simpsons used to own. On top of that, The Simpsons are losing their longtime audience because fans find the show stale. However, if Marge left Homer we would understand because at some point the final straw comes that breaks the camel’s back. Marge leaving Homer makes sense because she is the one who has put up with so much bullshit. Homer leaving Marge betrays Homer’s character because when you find that unconditional love, the love that forgives you when you’re wrong and loves you when you get excited about fireworks and pushes you to be the better person they see within you, you sacrifice all else and “Save Her First” if it’s the last thing you do. Marge loves Homer for all he is, and Homer loves Marge with every cell in his body. A world without Homer and Marge, a world in which Homer and Marge separate, is a world that is sadder because in a world of sad realities, Homer and Marge are something wonderful to hold onto and remind us that when the world falls down, there’s always a reason to get back up.