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I hear ya,' "Spence"

Updated on August 26, 2016
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

Leah Remini was "Carrie (Spooner) Heffernan," on the sitcom, "King of Queens"
Leah Remini was "Carrie (Spooner) Heffernan," on the sitcom, "King of Queens" | Source

Toxic preface

W.B. Yeats, Dante, and Jane Austen. These are more-than-famous literarians who delved into the painful area of "unrequited love." Although they went beyond the normal para-dimes of love, hate, romance and even the madness they manufacture, neither these three writers in their God-given talents could capture the true essence of how it "truly" feels to be the one with such a case of such love.

These writers worked many years ago, but even in 2016, unrequited love is still a monster loose on society--high level or rural. Love, hand-in-hand with its first cousin, madness, knows not names, races, monetary value or parental relationships. It is just as it is in its Hades-like torment to the one carrying around such love that he or she can never share with the beloved who has not only broken, but keeps their heart as a silent hostage.

This is more of a thesis than a hub with separate capsules for each subject. I am working now to just knit each paragraph together with the same thread that in the end will not only present a fresh, new look at living with unrequited love, but how one can deal with it without shame.

Unrequited love to me, of all of the films, books, plays and television programs I have watched over the years, the very best presentation of this topic I find was in the "King of Queens" sitcom that starred Kevin "Doug Heffernan" James, his wife, Leah "Carrie (Spooner) Heffernan" Remini, along with regulars, Victor "Deacon Palmer" Williams, Jerry "Arthur Spooner" Stiller and Patton "Spence Olchin" Oswalt.

I loved this show. Even with "Carrie's" temper outbursts from time to time, I still loved her. Not endured her. There is a difference. And talk about being a gorgeous woman, Leah Remini outdone own gifts of acting with the role of "Carrie." In other words, she "was" "Carrie," long, flowing hair, pouty lips and all.

Then there was "Spence Olchin." Like me, he was the one of the group of friends who hung tight with "Doug," as he did in their high school days, but he never grasped the reality that he was never on the level of friendship with "Doug" as that of "Deacon Palmer." Or as it was written on some episodes. I will give the show's writers Kevin James, Gary Valentine, Michael J. Weithorn and more whose talents are still alive on reruns of "The King of Queens," on most cable and satellite television providers., for giving us a few episodes where "Doug" and his crew did come to "Spence's" rescue to confirm their care for him (e.g. "Spence Breaks Up a Wedding". ) This light drama-type episode starred Rachel Dratch who played "Denise Battaglia," who was "Spence's" girlfriend, but as on more than one episode, "Spence" was the victim of unrequited love for "Carrie."

You could see it openly in "Spence's" eyes and how he was suddenly mesmerized when "Carrie" entered a scene and the writers, always thinking of the smaller details, would let "Spence" go into a freeze frame even as "Carrie" would many times chew him out for just being misunderstood as the friend with such a deep unrequited love for her.

As my headline says, "I hear ya' "Spence," I can personally relate to his bad case of unrequited love. Over the course of my life, I (believe) and openly face it, that I have fallen in love with four different women and only one who was one whom I dated. The rest were either co-workers or a close friend. It's tough to admit such a sinful thing to an open audience as my hopefully-understanding followers. Does it, or will it help me? These are two questions that I fear will go without answers.

Neither "Spence," or I, did not wake up one morning and say, "I think that today I will fall madly in love with so and so and never tell them." Laying all comedy aside, "Spence" was just making a good living following directions and memorizing mannerisms and lnes as "Spence Olchin," whereas me? It just happened. I think.

I say that I think because I cannot find a true definition of what the term and feeling of the soul, "in love," really means. I can hear it mentioned in songs and read about it in Hubs or books, but as far as conclusively telling you that "I" know what being "in love" means, I do not. And what is even worse, I may not know as long as I draw breath.

Yes, "I hear ya' "Spence," as it pertains to the inner-pain we carry around every day. I mean every day that we live, it's there nagging, eating away, and reminding us of "that" one female whom our heart is craving to see, talk to, and even share the most-intimate details of our hearts. But that opportunity in all that we dream it may be, never materializes.

Oh, it teases us with the "near" chance opportune times when all conditions are right and "that" special woman is open to our heart and the complexities it has inside, but something always shows up or goes wrong. A phone call from someone, a forgotten errand. A thousand interference's. And these only make our pain worse as well as deeper. So we live for another day.

As we wait for "that" perfect day to share our true feelings with "that" one woman, we rehearse just what words we will say and how we will say them to her. No actor ever put as much work into rehearsing their lines in any on or off-Broadway play as those of us with unrequited love. No, sir. And we even dream of picnics, butterflies and driving around pretty countrysides in an '57 Chevy BelAir convertible, but those days, as our invisible mentor, "reality," teaches us often, are gone. Never to return again.

So what do we do? Occupy ourselves with hobbies, activities that are sure to keep "her" out of our thoughts and hearts. And this does work for awhile. Then the process starts all over again. It's like being in prison serving a life sentence for a crime not yet committed. That's it. I wish I had stumbled upon this discovery long ago.

See what just happened? I started wishing of my past, younger days when I could have told "her" about how I felt. Then I start to thinking about "if" she and I had been a couple? Or maybe become married. What then? Could we live together knowing all about each other's faults, flaws, and shortcomings? I cannot answer that. But to the person with unrequited love, we see none of our beloved's flaws, faults and when it comes to shortcomings, perish the thought.

Once in a rare moment, one of us "will" tell the object of their love and then one of two thing will happen: she will say, "I am glad that you told me for I feel the same about you," or, "I am so flattered. I really am. But I do not see you as a lover, but we can still be "friends."

Not many times the first response happens from the woman or man who hears those words, "I am so deeply in love with you that I cannot live any longer," and sometimes, in another rare moment that only comes once, they become a happy couple enjoying the very nectar of life even with its ups and downs along with the twists and curves.

So I close now, but I say again, "I hear ya' "Spence," but I not only hear you, but I completely understand you.

Comedian, Patton Oswalt, who was "Spence Olchin," on "King of Queens," who had a case of unrequited love for "Carrie"
Comedian, Patton Oswalt, who was "Spence Olchin," on "King of Queens," who had a case of unrequited love for "Carrie" | Source

© 2016 Kenneth Avery


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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      18 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Glenn,

      and how are things in Long Island? Peaceful, I pray.

      Thank you so much for your exciting comment. I loved it. And am very appreciative of your warm compliments and yes, my friend, you nailed the meaning. And I must compliment your powers of observation and reasoning. Great job!

      And I too share the appreciation for King of Queens as well as the lovely Leah Remini. Kevin James started a funny sitcom on CBS not too long ago, but I think that it was canceled as I have not seen any trailers for the show in a long time. This is a shame.

      What I would love to see is a King of Queens Remake, but with the original stars. Most of them are still around. I don't know about Jerry Stiller, Arthur Spooner. But the rest are still working.

      Hey, if you can get the email address of some outlet who you think would do this project, go ahead and send them the idea to remake or even have a reunion show.

      And you can write me anytime.

      I look at you as my Friend in Long Island.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      18 months ago from Long Island, NY

      I like how you used the show "King of Queens" as a lead into a serious discussion of unrequited love.

      It's so true that we tend to miss opportunities only because we overlook the chance we may have to communicate our feelings. Then we rehash those thoughts of communication later, when it's too late. If only we can think of it while in the present moment when it counts.

      Kenneth, Did I get what you were trying to convey? Or did I read something totally different into it? Either way, it shows how powerful your writing is. I'm glad I took the opportunity to read your essay. And by the way, King of Queens was one of my favorite shows too. And I adore Leah Remini to this day.

    • profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      23 months ago


      Thank you for your sweet comment. I got a smile from it. You are right about the practicing, but not in all cases.

      This is where I think I will cease from traveling down the road I see ahead of me.

      Maybe someday.

      Yes. Maybe someday.

      Write me anytime, Dear DreamerMeg.

    • DreamerMeg profile image


      24 months ago from Northern Ireland

      Unrequited love. I guess everyone has suffered at some time. It's probably our way of practising for "the real thing" and it's probably as well most of it is unrequited. How many dreams survive smelly socks and morning breath? LOL


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