Ships. In entertainment, and especially, in fandom, we live and die by them. Which is why every Friday, we’ll be focusing on a couple, analyzing why we ship them, and overall, just proclaiming our eternal love for those couples that make us say:
I will go down with this ship.
One Day At A Time isn’t a shippy show, it’s a show about family. And yet, Schneider is part of that family, has been for a while now. And within the context of that family, and his role in it, it’s hard for us to imagine Penelope ending up with anyone but the man who has always been there, not just for her, but for Alex, Elena and Lydia.
So, yes. We’re fully committing with this ship, and it starts with …
DEFINITELY NOT LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
It wasn’t love at first sight for Penelope and Schneider. It wasn’t even like at first sight. Schneider wasn’t a really easy person to like back when they first met, and Penelope had Victor to lean in on, or at least she thought she did. But not all love stories start out being love stories, and that’s okay?
Some people’s love stories are mostly about how they got to a place where they could find common ground, about how they got to even like each other, and how they worked on their relationship, grew together, learned to love each other. That’s, in many ways, what Schneider and Penelope are, two people who have now grown to depend on each other, but that had to really work at it.
OR SECOND SIGHT
And when I say work at it, I mean work at it. Work at seeing the best in each other, work at giving each other the benefit of the doubt. In many ways, that’s why their possible relationship feels, at the same time, like an inevitability and also, sometimes, unnecessary. We already know they love each other, we already know they have each other’s backs. Will romance really change that?
The answer is not, and that is, perhaps, the greatest argument in favor of romance. A partner should be just that, a partner, and Schneider and Penelope have already been partners in so many ways without it ever being romantic. What other story is there to tell?
WEIRDLY SEXY SCHNEIDER
How about this for a foundation: there’s no doubt these two are physically attracted to each other. It’s not just about the emotional connection, which we all know is there. It’s about looking at the other person and thinking, yes, there is a spark here. Yes, this could be more …even if it isn’t now.
There’s a time for everything in life, and though that time might not be now, make no mistake, Penelope and Schneider don’t look at each other and think no, that’s not a thing I could ever imagine. No, instead, they look at each other at think …maybe, one day …when I’m ready.
It’s hard to risk things, sometimes. Especially when what you’re risking is the one person who’s always there, when you want them to be, and sometimes when you think you don’t. The one person who’ll move heaven and earth if you ask, and the one person who understands that sometimes you don’t know how to ask, but who still manages to give you what you need.
Friendship is the best foundation to love. Friendship is love, after all. And to love someone as your friend, you have to know them, really know them. Which is, ironically, the same thing you need to fall in love with someone in a real, lasting way. Well, that, and the spark we talked about before. Good combination, right?
It’s hard for Penelope to admit things, to be open, to let herself be vulnerable. And yet, with Schneider, she is. With Schneider, she knows she’s found her rock, her safe harbor during a storm, the person who no matter what, will have her back. She might have said best friends, because that’s the only way she can put into words what he means to her.
And what it means is this: she believes it. She believes that he cares, not just for her, but for Lydia, Elena and Alex. She believes he will be there when she needs him. She believes that he will always try to give her the best advice possible, but that he will never try to control her, or tell her what to do. She believes that he will trust her, and that even if she makes a mistakes, or two, or three, he won’t leave.
DON’T QUIT BEFORE THE MIRACLE HAPPENS
Just as she won’t when things get tough for him. Because the love goes both ways. For someone to be your best friend, for someone to be your person, that usually means you have to give something in return. You have to be willing to be that for them too, if not, is the relationship equal? Can you ever be someone’s person without that?
We know the answer to that, and Penelope knows the answer to that too. That’s why, despite all her blustering and her jokes about the fact that Schneider was someone she cared about, when he relapsed, when he absolutely needed her, Penelope wasn’t just there, no, she was the rock he needed to get through it all. His emotional center. His very best friend in the entire world.
This isn’t a love story, not yet, but in so many ways, it is. In the ways that count, in the things that make us ship two people together. Because if One Day At A Time has made one thing clear is that this …this the story of a family. And that family includes Schneider. This isn’t Penelope’s family only, no, this is their family. Families are, after all, made out of love first and foremost.
We’ve said it before: we love these two together so much, we won’t truly be angry if this doesn’t ever turn romantic. And yet, can this story end any other way? Does anything else make sense? We’re not sure the answer is yes, and that’s what keeps us here …dreaming. Hoping.
That is the story of Penelope and Schneider. That is why they’re the stuff OTP dreams are made. And those are just some of the many reasons that make us say: We will go down with this ship.
One Day At A Time airs Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c on Pop TV.