Huffpost Culture
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Maddy Lederman Headshot

Peeta: Real or Not Real?

Posted: Updated:

I'm coming to this party late, but after seeing the movie, I read The Hunger Games trilogy in what seemed like five minutes. My husband is a Peeta-type, an artist, charming and affectionate. I'm lucky. He doesn't know I'm in love with Peeta. Or maybe he does. He knows I'm obsessed with THG. I'm hoping he'll laugh this off. Am I cheating on him?

I don't think so, but my fascination with Peeta feels wrong. Besides being fictional, he's 30 years younger than me and already in love with a girl/goddess his own age. His capacity to love is one reason why so many women adore him. But I'm so not his type.

While I can't picture myself with Peeta, I dwell on him anyway and hunger for more Hunger Games content. I've looked at district maps of Panem; I've read fanfiction. I know. I'm ashamed that I've spent time on these corny romance scenarios and yes, sometimes there are lemons. If you know what that means, you're in no position to judge. The best ones are when mild-mannered Peeta suddenly dominates, but he still has to be Peeta, please, not some creep. When I get mad at these amateur writers, I know I really need help. I'm starting the sequel to my own book, Edna in the Desert, and now it feels like I'm writing a fanfic. I'm cut off.

Naturally, I came across interviews with Josh Hutcherson in my quest for content. Great guy, but Peeta-wise, disappointing. For example, Josh likes tattoos and would get more of them, he explains, but he worries they might limit his acting roles. Or something like that. Yawn. Call me old-fashioned, but my Peeta does not get inked. What I know all along finally seems to sink in:
Peeta? Not real.

In fact, Peeta was written by a woman, Suzanne Collins. I don't know if a real man could be Peeta, or would even write Peeta, wounded and rescued in the end by a girl. Josh H. said that they gave the character more of a spine for the movie, distancing me from him further. I don't get why Peeta has this weakling rap. They only survive because of the storyline he creates and his ability to sell it while his life and love hang in the balance.

My geek meter is off the charts. Is there a support group for this? Do I even have to ask?

I wonder if, over time, would Peeta even be Peeta to me? Would he become someone I took for granted and got used to? Can I think about Peeta enough to grow tired of him and break up?

Would Peeta forget to take out the garbage, or use the wrong tone of voice, or become inexplicably unable to close things, leaving cabinets and containers partially open all over the house? Because that's real. Every day, confronting a carelessly left-open sugar bowl. I have no idea how this happens. What is he thinking, walking away from an open sugar bowl? What about bugs, and mice?

I know this would never happen with Peeta. Not because he's not real, but because a baker wouldn't leave sugar out.