Worlds collide: A guest post by Obscura

I’m Obscura. I’m a relative newcomer to the world of Richard Armitage. Like Servetus, I teach university level history; unlike Servetus, I was not trained as an historian, but as an archaeologist, a related but distinct discipline. The historians I work with put up with me graciously, though. Some of what drew me to me + richard armitage was a certain affinity of thought.

Like many of us, I think, my life is divided into a number of separate pursuits. I’ll call them worlds. The only thing that connects some of my worlds is my presence in both. I am a professor, so I have an academic world. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a mother — my family world. Christian worship is an active part of my life, a practice that defines my church world. I was born and raised in Wisconsin (something else I share with Servetus) and it was to Wisconsin I returned to raise my family, having picked up an East Coast husband along the way.

For many in the United States, and even internationally, Wisconsin is synonymous with two things: cheese and the Green Bay Packers. At the risk of being branded a Dairyland heretic, I can take or leave cheese. Today I’m going to leave it, because I really want to talk about the Packers. The Green Bay Packers are an iconic franchise in the National Football League, with a long and storied history. Packer football is embedded in the culture of Wisconsin. We schedule weddings and funerals around games. Woe to the hostess who neglects to consult the Monday Night Football schedule before sending out invites to a weeknight jewelry or purse-selling party that will be doomed if it coincides with a game. Even those few Wisconsinites who are not Packer fans will inevitably concede defeat in trying to schedule events against the reality of the Packer season juggernaut.

This is my Packer world. I am not a superfan. I do not own a foam hat in the shape of a wedge of cheese. I have never been inside the hallowed halls of Lambeau Field (the only game I have attended in person was played at County Stadium in Milwaukee!) but the Packers are an undeniable part of my life. Packer football, whether I watch it or not, defines many of my activities from August until (hopefully) February.

In the past six months, a new world has entered orbit around me — Armitage world.  My story, I have discovered, is quite common in the global ranks of Armitage fandom. I “found” him accidentally via North and South this past summer, and was inexplicably captivated. You know all the triggers: the looks, the voice, the intensity. “What am I doing?” I thought. I had never been inspired to fandom, even as a teenager. OK, Rick Springfield was droolworthy, but I never even bought a record; I was content to listen to him on the radio. (Now you know my age.)

Inquisitive by nature and a little afraid that I had finally fallen off the deep end, I continued to investigate in secret. No one should find out — what would they think? I googled, I watched, I listened, I read, I lurked here and there trying to figure out this strange obsession I had developed. A month in, I was no closer to understanding it, and it was getting stronger. On August 22, 2012 (an Armitage intervention?), I was inspired to break my silence and comment, but to do so, I would need a virtual disguise.

Thus, “Obscura” was born.  Obscura is Latin, meaning dark, secret, unknown, as I rather prefer to remain in the context of this world. At least for now.

These are my worlds, and to some extent, I try to keep them separate.  The family and church worlds are related and intertwined, as church is an extension of my family and vice versa. The church, family and Packers worlds are combined in sense that Packer football infiltrates virtually every aspect of life for many Wisconsinites. For example, I set up the TV for the annual Packer Party at church which my mother and kids attended with me — enough said?

The academic world had been the furthest removed from the rest of my life. I am the first in my immediate family to have achieved a baccalaureate, much less a graduate degree. This context, against a career in higher education, makes my professional life rather difficult to merge with other aspects of my existence. The vocabulary I use in academic world is different, the jokes I tell are different, the people I interact with are different. Not better, not worse, just different. Some crossover occurs, but not a lot, and that is deliberate on my part.

Although I strive not to impose my academic world on my family and friends, beyond the kind of carping that everyone does about work from time to time, what I do for a living is no secret. Not so Armitage world.  I’m still conflicted enough about this world that I would rather remain Obscura, especially in terms of professional credibility. I doubt that disclosure of my Armitage world would seriously affect my career, but neither do I need the hassle of students or colleagues ribbing me about it. I have only recently let my husband in on my “secret” and he has been remarkably supportive. He scratches his head a lot about it, but he says, “If it makes you happy…” My Armitage world is safely confined. (If anything “outs” me publicly, it will be my young daughter, who has abandoned Justin Bieber in favor of Richard Armitage. I don’t know whether to be proud or afraid!)

Having successfully integrated Armitage world into a separate but parallel orbit with the rest of my worlds, I continued blithely along — working, mothering, churching, Packering and Armitaging–  until a most unlikely collision of my worlds occurred on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  The family and church worlds had enjoyed a busy few days, and now it was time to enter Packer world as I settled down with Obscurus (that’s Mr. Obscura) to watch a Sunday Night Football edition featuring the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants. Expecting to hear Faith Hill belting out the SNF theme song, I was shocked when I saw, not Faith Hill in a leather catsuit, but Packer and Giant player footage interspersed with promo scenes from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Imagine my surprise!

OMG! Danger…Danger…collision imminent! Of all worlds to intersect, these had never intersected, not even in my dreams. It was absolutely surreal, and absolutely over in 30 seconds.  I honestly don’t remember if Mr. Armitage’s character, Thorin, was featured in the promo, which rather cheesily (pardon the pun) compared the “Road to the Super Bowl” to the Unexpected Journey. (I have scoured the internet, and reached out personally to friends in Packerland trying to find video evidence of what I saw, but it turns out, that when the Packers lose 38-10, EVERYONE deletes the DVR footage of the event.)

Six months ago, I would have dismissed this collision as exactly what it was: a blatant attempt to shake the target audience from their fantasy football-induced stupor and remind them of their love of blockbuster fantasy films. That was before Armitage world.

I looked at Obscurus. “Did you see that?” I asked, trying to maintain composure.

“Yup. Weird, huh?” he replied nonchalantly.

What is wrong with him?! Is he blind? Can’t he see the explosion right in front of him?  Oh, right…that’s only going on inside my head.  I digested it briefly, but was then temporarily distracted by the unfolding Packer debacle – Packer world is a powerful force.  Later the same evening I mentioned the collision in a comment to Servetus and here I am.

Since this cosmic cataclysm, I have come to accept that, for some inexplicable reason, Richard Armitage has entered my life as a sort of lodestar. I’m not fighting it anymore. I still don’t fully understand it, but I don’t know that I actually need to define what it is about him that inspires me, although I enjoy pondering it. Things that seemed so far out of reach are now almost within my grasp. My worlds are aligning and balancing with the universe. After the Packer-Armitage collision, I no longer doubt this. I’ll admit, Richard Armitage is probably not an actual supernatural force, but somehow he has managed to unlock a whole lot of doors inside me that were keeping me stuck in a place where I didn’t want to be and I am grateful.

So is Obscurus. Mr. Armitage, if you are ever in Wisconsin, Obscurus says he owes you a beer! (We’re pretty famous for that here too.)

~ by Servetus on December 10, 2012.

62 Responses to “Worlds collide: A guest post by Obscura”

  1. Reblogged this on the armitage effect and commented:
    One of our regular blog commenters, Obscura, in a wonderful guest post at Servetu’s blog. Enjoy~~

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  2. Welcome to Armitage World Obscura. From commenting to blogging… yup… tomorrow domination. Serv did tell you how it goes, right? 😉

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  3. Nice to “meet” you, Obscura! Why do you think you were so captivated by Mr. Armitage? I’m asking because I sensed a tone of bemusement in your words when you described your stumbling across N&S — and it’s something that I still wonder about for myself. Over a year later, it’s still like, “What hit me?” 🙂

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  4. Thanks for sharing your story, Obscura. It’s actually reassuring to hear that this cosmic lodestar thing is happening to others. I’ve largely given up analyzing what’s happened to me and am just enjoying the ride.

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  5. Welcome Obscura to all that is Armitage. It has been 5+ years for me and I finally outed myself to all and sundry. So much so that hubby and youngest daughter are going to stand and wait with me to see Richard on the red carpet on Wednesday! 🙂

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  6. Thank you for the post, it was a pleasure Obscura 🙂
    Oh…archaeologist..how romantic! *sigh*

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    • Thanks Joanna! I thought it was glamourous once upon a time…mostly it’s dirty! Good thing I don’t mind a little filth 😉

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  7. Hi Obscura…… so glad to meet you!

    After four years, I am still loving being in Armitage World….he has inspired creativity in me after many years. There’s just something indefinable about him isn’t there!

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    • That is a huge part of the draw…that undefinable “something”. I am loving the creative outlet that has opened up too 🙂

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  8. I’m also relatively new to the Armitage blogs (i started with looking at just one and it ballooned!)so i hadn’t realised you were a newbie too Obscura. I have really enjoyed reading your posts – you’ve made me laugh and nod in agreement and i’ve enjoyed ‘chatting’ with you. Thank you for telling us a little about your life – my life is also governed by American football as my Australian son plays Centre for his Uni. Actually, we have lots in common – not least the gorgeous Mr Armitage.

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    • Likewise! I really like following RA – he is divine (in a non-supernatural sense of course 😉 ) The sense of belonging to a community is so gratifying too…it’s like I’ve stumbled into a whole new group of friends many of whom think a lot like I do (that is scary!). A guy could do a whole lot worse than to inspire a group of intelligent, clever, resourceful, creative women to admire him 🙂

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  9. Welcome to the Armitage World Obscura. 🙂

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  10. Yes, you’ve described the way many of us tumbled into the RA-verse perfectly, Obscura!

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  11. Hi Obscura,
    Loved your essay!
    Richard Armitage is an exquisitely talented actor and storyteller. And he is a nice guy “with” a nice guy face–a gentleman and a gentle man. What is not to love? Welcome, Sister!
    Cheers! Grati ;->
    P.S. I’m coming up on 3 yrs of admiring Mr. Armitage in February–and my hubby is amused by it all, too.

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    • To me what’s even more amazing than the man himself is how so many of the people who fall into the RA world do so in relatively the same way and follow the same course until they’re all addicted. Also how RA has the same effect on a lot of us, i.e. he’s a muse for many as well as helping to heal what ails us. Just from reading the various posts and blogs we all seem to have a lot in common, RA being just one of those things.
      Re the worlds colliding…it is a bit surreal when you’re sitting there watching the TV with family and all of a sudden you see a hobbit trailer and there’s RA/Thorin in your living room.

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      • After the Hobbit, we will probably get used to the colliding worlds.

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        • It’s going to be really weird saying “Richard Armitage” and then not having to explain, or else saying, “Thorin in the Hobbit” and having people nod right away.

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      • I liken it to the slow-boiled frog metaphor. At first you think you can stop it if you really wanted to or that it will naturally fizzle out. But you indulge your interest a little longer and before you know it, it’s something completely beyond your power to withdraw. It becomes a part of who you are.

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      • Isn’t it interesting, that pain alleviating quality. I suspect that he is much to modest to ever admit the notion, but there is an alchemy to the man that defies logic. So many rational people cannot be wrong 🙂

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        • I’ve mentioned this before, but when my father was sick we would watch old movies together and I just happened to hear a story on NPR at the time re how watching old movies had a theraputic effect on terminally ill people. RA seems to have that same theraputic effect which makes me wonder what is that RA and old movies have in common that causes similar results.

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        • Armitage analgesia!

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  12. Hello Obscura. I am writing from São Paulo, Brazil where RA also has some admirers, including a Blog “La Loba” ( in English and Portuguese). I was amazed at the coincidences between you and Servetus and also – as sloan puts it – “even more amazing than the man himself is how many of the people who fall into the RA world do so in relatively the same way and follow the same course until they’re all addicted”…apparently all over the world.
    I wonder how things will be now that The Hobbit might be another path to this world.
    (By the way, when I was a kid I wanted to be an archeologist thanks to Nat Geographic Magazine and the building of the Aswan High Dam Reservoir. I attended some courses in College, but gave up the idea entirely, and not because of the filth ; )

    Bem vinda!

    Bibiana

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  13. Many thanks to Servetus for the opportunity to contribute!

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  14. Thanks for sharing your story! Enjoyed reading it

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  15. Thanks, Obscura, for your wonderful post, which I found on THEARMITAGEFFECT. I have noted your name on Angie’s blog and appreciated your comments. I’m also glad that you’re no longer quite so obscure.

    My story is the same as yours re the armitage world, except that I dislike football and am a fan of Roger Federer. The last time I was smitten by a movie star, it was Mario Lanza back in the 50’s. So you see I’ve reached senior citizenhood. Is this insane, or what? No, it means that I’m still alive, more alive than ever thanks to RA and Angie, and I have a more finely developed sense of beauty and psychology. And more time.

    I’ve been addicted about a year and a half now, and like so many others, I’m always trying to puzzle out the exact nature of RA’s appeal. Having lived most of my life without real accessibility to the internet, I am so glad to have this virtual world, which makes “our little community” possible. And grateful for people like Angie, Ali, Servetus, and the others who put themselves out to facilitate our appreciation of RA. And I wonder about the other world’s of the names I have become familiar with.

    I could go on and on here–so many of the previous comments have pricked my brain–but it’s 3:00 a.m. in DC and a little sleep would be helpful. Thanks again, and to Angie for reblogging this. It’s a wonderful world!

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    • Thanks for coming on over, Lynneloubielat!

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    • Hi Lynnloubielat…sorry it took me so long to get in here to respond…darn RL always interfering. I love that chocolate commerical Roger Federer made 🙂 If this is insanity, I’m ready to become a permanent member to the asylum!

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  16. Hi just thought I’d let you know what a fantastic time we had at the Hobbit emier yesterday. Despite the cold everyone was in good spirits. Hubby didn’t make it so it was myself and youngest daughter. We met some lovely people including a French girl who was as nuts about Richard as me! Managed to get several autographs including Sir Ian and Martin Freeman …..but best of all Richard and a photo too! I’m still on cloud 9 he was so sweet said I must be freezing. Can’t wait until next year oh and youngest daughter is now an Armitage Army girl 🙂

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  17. Thanks for all the great comments for obscura!

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  18. […] about 8 months now, reading, commenting, ogling, objectifying, you know the drill.  I  wrote a guest post for Servetus at me+Richard Armitage and I’ve recently started posting fanfiction at Dreamer […]

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  19. […] delicious leading man Richard Armitage was irresistible.  About six months after my entrance into Armitage World, I decided to take a stab at writing a fan fiction of my own – a “one off” in fan fic lingo, […]

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  20. […] Collide which appeared as a guest post on me+RichardArmitage last fall.  You can find the original here. […]

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  21. […] I was a youngster in the fandom, I reflected on potential “world collision” when RAA (Richard Armitage Affairs) spontaneously intersected with my daily life […]

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  22. […] maiden voyage into the blogosphere was a guest post me + richard armitage titled World’s Collide almost three years ago to the day.  (Seriously…3 years ago?! Seems like yesterday!)  In a […]

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  23. […] child (formerly Showbiz Kid who I shall now refer to as Drop Dead Diva), because a few weeks later, my world’s collided again like they had something like 8 years […]

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