‘Twas the Night Before: Chapter 3: Tom and Noella, Part Five

I’m gonna cover Tom and Noella’s past relationships.

For Tom, all we get is that he thought he was in love before, but with Noella it is Different. 

I bet.

For Noella, we get some more (and fascinating) detail:

Being optimistic didn’t mean Noella couldn’t be bossy at times…

Noella?  Bossy and controlling?  No!

…but that wasn’t why her previous relationships hadn’t worked out.

Those guys wanted to be able to talk during a memorized movie.  Go figure.

She’d liked those guys, each in his own way.  But had she loved them?  She had told each she had.  She hadn’t intended to lie, but deep down she knew better.

Ohhh, I see.  She hadn’t intended to lie when she told people she felt something that she knew she did not actually feel.

Nice woman.

She enjoyed the attention, the devotion, the fun.

Wow.  I gotta say that it is pretty ballsy of Jenkins to come right out and say that his innocent, optimistic heroine is in actuality a selfish attention whore who plays men and lies right to their faces about the most sacred of emotions, all so she can be showered with their puppy-like adoration and attention.

What makes me mad is that this is the kind of woman who gives the rest of us a bad name.  She tells men she loves them so she can get attention and devotion, men get burned when she inevitably throws them over for the next shiny new thing, and then women are called fickle game-players.


All I gotta say to the three guys is: you all dodged a Pollyanna-shaped bullet.  Now don’t go being all jerkish and thinking all women are like her.

She had broken three hearts, and guilty as she felt about wounding men she cared about, she refused to prolong relationships that didn’t satisfy her deepest need.

I see.  So she prolonged the relationships JUST LONG ENOUGH to make the men care about her, aided them in this by declaring her (lying) love for them, then dumping them because they weren’t Soulmate Material.

Nice.  Fracking.  Girl.

Our Heroine, ladies and gentlemen.

This is a bit of a short one since I was busy this evening, but I thought I’d end with some casting of the Metas. 

You all know how seriously I take my casting duties.

For Meta-Tom, the confused but noble and hard-working and great-tipping hero, Jack Davenport, of Coupling and the Pirates of the Caribbean series:


Yeah, I know he’s English, but somehow he just says Meta-Tom to me.  I bet he could totally do an American accent.

Meta-Noella is harder, because she is kept so hidden by Jenkins-Noella, the manipulative, controlling, breaking-men’s-hearts “heroine.”  Still, I shall keep in mind her one great Meta Moment, when she tells Tom that she would have flunked him, as I pick…

Melissa Rauch, of Big Bang Theory fame.

(Picture from True Blood News)

I think Meta-Noella, a real Professor Pollyanna who doesn’t toy with men’s emotions, would be adorable with Rauch’s awesome-cutesy voice.

Whaddaya think?


Posted on December 14, 2011, in Books, Christmas, Twas the Night Before. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Wow. She sounds worse than Hattie. And not just by normal standards, but by RTC standards as well, for different reasons. Does Jenkins wants us to like her or not? I’m not sure now.

    I gotta say though, while as a person this makes her bad, I’d at least give Jenkins props for writing this as a character. Thus far, our two protagonists may be jerky, but it’s recognizable human levels of jerkyness, and more importantly the story seems to judge it as human levels of jerkyness and not as either proper godly behavior (when it’s done by Paul or Rayford) or worthy of everlasting torment in hell (when it’s done by anyone who disagrees with Paul or Rayford). I gotta say, that is still a step up from Jenkins usual style.

    Given that it’s still a Jenkins novel, I guess all she’s supposed to have done is go on months of dates to break the ice and give the occasional kiss, and “fullfilling her deepest need” isn’t what it sounds like (seriously, that’s just too easy to make fun of). Which is a shame, because otherwise she can get all the fun and attention without breaking any hearts, by just saying openly she’s looking for a temporary companion. I’m betting it shouldn’t be too hard to find takers for that.

    • Yeah, at this point I’m willing to give Noella a pass, because she’s a jerk, but in a more-or-less realistic way; and more importantly, she acknowledges her own jerkhood and feels at least vaguely guilty about it. For a Jenkins hero, that’s pretty awesome. It’s okay if protagonists start out flawed and less than fully likeable (hello there, Terminator 2), because confronting and overcoming those flaws is frequently what the story’s all about.

      There’s still plenty of time for Jenkins to screw it up, though. I have a feeling when we get to the end, we’ll learn that the moral of the story was that Noella Was Right All Along and that she doesn’t have to learn a damn thing. And not just on the Santa issue, but for romance as well. Hooray, Noella has finally found in Tom a relationship that satisfies her deepest need! That means her life’s strategy toward men was justified all along and it’s fine that she lied to all those Not-Quite-Mister-Rights.

  2. I can’t quite figure out who the author insert is in this story. Is it Noella? Because I can totally see Jenkins being the kind of guy to tell some woman she loves him for the attention and then dumping her. But I can also see Jenkins having a rough time in college and carrying a grudge forevah(!) like Tom. Ivan is right, though. Either way these are things actual human beings do around other actual human beings. Maybe freed from the confines of the apocalypse Jenkins is able to imagine real people for once?

  3. she refused to prolong relationships that didn’t satisfy her deepest need.

    So she was a size queen.

    What?! Someone had to go there.

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