Chapter Ten: I Never Expected to Use the Academia Tag So Often
To Ryan’s credit, he doesn’t shirk his duty or complain when it’s his turn to awaken Nick. The patient, however, at first thinks it’s Jenna who’s come to wake him and invites the intruder into his bed. Sorry slash-fans, his response when he realizes it’s Ryan is “Ew, you’re fucking gross, Biggie. What the hell are you doing here?” because he’s forgotten again that he’s not in his own apartment (64).
Ryan suggests they play cards but changes his tune when Nick says he’d been playing strip poker with Jenna. Instead, they go and play Call of Duty on the Xbox. No, no, no, no, no. That’s a TERRIBLE idea for someone with a concussion. Dammit, that would be the last thing any decent doctor would allow. Gah.
Before, however, they can adjourn to the living room and the tv, Ryan insists that Nick put on pants because there’s no way he’ll allow nearly-naked Nick to sit on his couch. Weird.
This is more or less a throwaway scene that lets Ryan know that Nick has a lady friend of some sort (he assumes this when Nick is mostly out of it and suggesting that someone (Jenna) get in bed.)
The next morning, Jenna gets up as usual and does all her morning chores, including making breakfast, but “[t]oday, she had two growing boys to feed” (65). Could that be any more disgustingly motherly? The mothering imagery continues in the narratives description of what Jenna will be doing that day, instead of her usual Thursday activities.
She was supposed to keep an eye on [Nick]; it was going to be perfect practice for when there were kids roaming underfoot (65).
Which would be fine if Nick weren’t being set up to be her romantic partner. I’m all for being motherly if that’s what floats your boat, but to mother your fiancé is kinda gross, particularly since she’s expected to cook for them.
Ryan takes exception to the fact that Jenna cooked both bacon and sausage, since she doesn’t normally on a weekday and says he’d rather she was cooking it for him instead of Nick. Good grief, dude. She already cooks all your meals, gets your groceries, cleans the house, goes to all of your home games, and works with the Blackhawks charity events. You’re miffed because she cooked a little extra since you have an injured houseguest who is also your teammate? I cannot stand this guy.
And my hatred of Ryan gets stronger when Jenna goes through the mail and finds a notice about the Art Institute featuring a borrowed Caravaggio painting. (I’ll have more to say about that in a moment). Jenna asks Ryan to take her to see it, suggesting that they make an evening of it since they spend so little time together. His response?
He groaned. “You know I don’t like art, babe.” … “It’s art. You know I don’t get it” (66 emphasis original).
She’s not even suggesting that they roam the halls of the museum together—she wants to see one single painting and have dinner out. When she points out that she’s supportive of him and that she’s “not asking [him] to… even pretend to care” (66 emphasis original), he accuses her of guilting him into going.
I don’t condone violence in real life. In fiction, however, I hope someone slams Ryan’s head into the ice next game.
Ryan won’t talk about art, but for a moment I will. Well, sort of. First, I think it’s very odd that Jenna finds out about this exhibition of the Caravaggio through the mail since it’s occurring at the very place she goes to graduate school. I’d be shocked if one of her professors didn’t mention it in the classroom or she didn’t hear it from a classmate. And if she didn’t, I’d be triply shocked that she didn’t get an email about the exhibit, something mass-mailed to all the students. Getting the notice in the mail is a convenient way to shoehorn the information into the story at the right time for Jenna to bring it up with Ryan, but it was hardly necessary and not very likely.
Second, upon getting the notice, the narrative explores Jenna’s reaction.
Although she was focusing her studies on more modern art, she loved the Baroque period as well. This was a great opportunity, and she had to go (66 emphasis original).
My last art history class was more than a decade ago, I must admit. But I’m dreadfully confused by the above. The Baroque period started around 1600 in Italy, which I’d say is still broadly considered the Renaissance, or just after. (The Renaissance, of course, didn’t start one day and all of Europe flowered.) Jenna’s comment that she’s focusing on more modern art doesn’t necessarily mean modern art, just something more modern than Baroque, which, fair enough. But 40 pages earlier, as she had lunch with Ryan before he went off to play the Oilers, and he barely listened to her, she said the following.
“…I’m so excited for this semester’s class. Surrealism is so much fun. I mean, it’s not my favorite art movement, I appreciate the realism of Renaissance so much more, but still, I can’t wait. Picasso! Miro! Chagall! Oh, you know how much I love Chagall” (24).
I find it very odd that in the above passage she’s contrasting surrealism (not her favorite movement) to the Renaissance; she doesn’t say that *is* her favorite, but it’s suggested. Yet now Jenna is saying she’s actually focusing on more modern art. Perhaps someone with more art history experience than I can chime in about whether I’m right to find this weird. Baroque is certainly distinct from Renaissance (in some ways), but the latter is not more modern. I suppose it’s possible the author meant that Jenna is focusing on more modern art (ie surrealism) *this semester* but that’s not at all how graduate students talk about their work.
Anyway, the “pressure” from his fiancée wanting him to go out with her to see a single painting and then have dinner is too much for Ryan and he storms out of the house to go to practice, leaving Jenna, Nick, and way too much food.