The Fictional Hockey League

Critiquing hockey romance novels, of which there are many. Overthinking it is the point.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Play the Man: Post 5

Chapter Two: At Home with the Engaged Couple

The more I learn about Jenna and Ryan’s relationship, the more I dislike them. I really hope that this is the author’s intent. Occasionally the narrative will reveal a detail about why Jenna loves Ryan but they are too few and far between for me to believe she’d stay with him for eight years. Her reasons for loving him, frankly, seem shallow.

Ryan was tall and muscular, strong and powerful. And hot. Jenna thought he was the hottest man she’d ever laid eyes on (21).

Ryan’s relationship with his mother is on the list of reasons I don’t like him. This scene starts with her haranguing Jenna about when they’ll set a wedding date and nagging her that she has to get Ryan to commit to a date. Why can’t his mother nag him directly if it’s that important to her?

After the phone call and when Jenna returns from grocery shopping, Ryan returns home from training camp and immediately asks what’s for lunch. Since she’s just walked in the door, she doesn’t have an answer. They bring in the groceries—and more on that in a moment—and then have a bit of back and forth about the snack foods Jenna bought for herself—and then he asks again, “But seriously, I’m so hungry. When are we eating?” Dude, make yourself a f*cking sandwich.

Back to the groceries for a moment. She’s carrying armloads of bags into the house and she has to ask him to help her.

Jenna knew that she had to ask because Ryan didn’t always think to help out on his own. It didn’t bug her though; he wasn’t being inconsiderate. He honestly never thought about chipping in to accomplish the little things around the house (19).

I kind of think that not thinking about pitching in around the house is the definition of inconsiderate in this situation. Asking Google informs me that the dictionary definition is “thoughtlessly causing hurt or inconvenience to others.” He may not be hurting her but he’s causing inconvenience.

Once she asked though, he did it—and she usually only had to ask once (19).

Meaning that sometimes she has to ask multiple times. This time around, though, Ryan agrees and he grabs all of the remaining bags in one armful.

“Did you see that? I brought everything in! All in one go.”
“Great, Ryan, thanks,” she said with a big, genuine smile. The way that Ryan approached the most menial tasks with childlike enthusiasm was only one of the reasons she fell in love with him (19).

I know that everyone’s tastes are different, but I personally would just find this annoying. And what happens when they have kids? Jenna is going to have to mother all of them, Ryan included. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that Jenna finds Ryan attractive. He’s a professional athlete, after all, so his body is going to be pretty fabulous. But “tall and muscular, strong and powerful. And hot” just doesn’t make sense to stay with him for eight years let alone wishing for eternity. An eternity of making him dinner and genuinely telling him he’s great for bringing in a carload’s worth of groceries in one go, and putting up with his sense of humor and penchant for public declarations that embarrass her.

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