The Fictional Hockey League

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Play the Man: Post 11

Chapter Six: Nick’s Aaaaaaaaangst and the Excitement of Wedding Planning

Nick gets roped into driving Alex home and is in a terrible mood. This makes sense anyway, since I wouldn’t want to drive Alex anywhere I’m with him on this, but it’s also because of his realization and dilemma about Jenna. This worsens when Alex starts talking about how everyone on the team has surely thought about having sex with Jenna because that’s what guys do.

I’m not going to go into it too much, but let me mention here that Nick ponders puck bunnies again and about how he doesn’t want that kind of girl. I think this kind of thing may be one of my biggest problems with this book (number three on the list of things I dislike, at this point), the repetition of things we already know. Then he contrasts Jenna with the shallow girls.

Jenna wasn’t a puck bunny, but she was a hockey lady. She was practically already a hockey wife (42).

A hockey lady? Sure. Nick rehashes how she’d be supportive of him and wonderful, but she can’t be for Nick because of her status as Ryan’s fiancée and how that would wreak havoc with the team. He even spends a paragraph wibbling over how guilty he feels for even imagining Jenna. Nick is 5 or 6 years younger than Jenna (I can’t recall and am feeling lazy) and this kind of thought process reads that way.

What isn’t in character, though, is that Nick decides he needs distraction and suggests that he and Alex go get a beer.

The chapter switches gears entirely to Jenna and Ryan’s house, where the former wakes up energized and excited and ready to plan the hell out of her wedding. Ryan is sleeping in so Jenna cooks his favorite breakfast in order to butter him up and get an answer as to the size of the guest list.

Jenna knew that Ryan was a typical male: he didn’t care about stuff like [wedding planning] (44).

I guess I’m unusual in that I’m a woman who hasn’t spent her whole life planning her perfect wedding and that I expect whoever I end up with to have some interest in planning said wedding. I expect better than gender stereotypes in real life and I want better than them in what I’m reading, too. But we don’t get that here.

[Ryan] smiled to himself as he stretched in bed, thinking that this was the way things were supposed to be: at home after a long trip and being taken care of by his woman (45).

I’d ask if she oughtn’t be massaging his shoulders, too, but I neglected to mention that she did do that after he came home from training (on the grocery day.)

When Ryan comes downstairs they do talk about the size of the guest list. Jenna wants less than 100; Ryan wants 500. Ryan suggests a compromise of 300 and when Jenna doesn’t like that answer, he guilts her, asking why she bothered asking for his opinion if she didn’t want to hear it. When he further explains that since all the teammates and their dates have to come, so the numbers will quickly grow, Jenna even decides that Ryan is now “the voice of reason” for the wedding (47).

I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but this relationship does not make sense to me. The narrative has spent nearly 50 pages so far showing how dysfunctional this relationship is in significant ways, but it has shown absolutely no reason for Jenna to be invested in it beyond the fact that she’s already put so much time into it and everyone expects them to marry.

No comments:

Post a Comment