The Fictional Hockey League

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Play the Man: Post 7

Chapter Three: Breaking News! Ryan is Still a Jerk!

I may not have made clear when talking about chapter one, but Jenna really, really doesn’t like Alex. His flirtations and crass humor make her uncomfortable. However, he has injured himself during training and had to have surgery on his MCL, so while he won’t be going on the first roadtrip, Jenna has to drive him at times and “had also been pressured into check in on him” (26). On one hand, I totally get checking in on a friend of a friend (or in this case, friend of a fiancé) even if you don’t much care for said friend. On the other hand, to be “pressured” into it suggests that this has gone further.

Alex is even more irritating than usual when injured, evidently, to the point where as the team is preparing to get on their bus for the airport, Ryan criticizes him. “You’re all moody and bitchy. You’re worse than Jenna when she’s PMSing” (26). Note, of course, that Jenna is standing right next to them during this exchange. Asshat.

Alex continues the banter, telling Ryan that he and Jenna are going to “f*ck like spider monkeys on E” while Ryan is gone (26). She responds that she wouldn’t touch him with a ten-foot pole, to which he responds that he has a ten-foot pole he’d like to touch her with, complete with a crotch grab.

Jenna hated when Alex talked like this, and she hated even more that Ryan never did or said anything to stop it. Everyone knew Alex was joking, but it wasn’t funny. It was inappropriate, and he always took it too far or did it too much for her liking… (26).

It doesn’t matter if “Everyone” is okay with Alex’s joking; Jenna is uncomfortable and has told him as much, therefore Alex ought to stop acting this way towards her. And if he does not, then Ryan ought to have stopped him. Now, if Jenna wants Ryan to say something, she needs to tell him how uncomfortable she is from Alex’s behavior. I have to admit that it’s not Ryan’s job to magically know how Jenna feels about Alex, although it would be nice of him to pay more attention to her. However, at the very least, Ryan shouldn’t be pressuring Jenna to spend time with someone who makes her uncomfortable. The whole dynamic here is messed up in multiple ways. Jenna wants Ryan to defend her honor, but she is also not defending herself or telling said fiance that she wants defense. Yes, her fiancé should support her, but surely she can speak for herself?

To finish up the chapter: Nick comes over to where these three are talking, and Jenna makes him promise to remind Ryan to call her when they land in Edmonton. (Their opening game is against the Oilers.) Once the luggage has been loaded, Nick points this out to Ryan so that the latter can be the captain and tell everyone to get on said bus. (Basically, Ryan is a lousy captain as well as a lousy fiancé.) Then they’re on their way and the chapter ends, leaving Jenna with Alex. And his ten foot pole.

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