ItSo…C: Chapter 9

Oh, how worlds collide.

Jade gets cast in the “Christmas program” at her (public) school, playing an angel.

The conclusion of the play was traditionally a nativity scene with the singing of “Silent Night” by the entire audience.  Once there had been talk of removing the religious scene from the school, but such an outcry arose that the tradition remained.  The town loved it, expected it, and turned out en masse to see the little ones dressed in sparkly, colorful costumes.

MITCH BRIGHT, WHERE ARE YOU WHEN WE NEED YOU???

See, worlds collide.

The play also sounds boring as shit, being as it is the same every year.  Also, I’m not sure Bethlehem was known for its sparkly clothes.

Naturally, this all means that Jade’ll need a costume, and I guess she’d be just SOL if she didn’t have her father’s employer to make one for her.

But Jesse, who has apparently been an asshole all day even before this went down, is having none of it.  First, he puts Jade off by saying Lindsey is too busy to do it.  Then when Lindsey insists, he tells her:

“You’re not her mother.  Stop trying to be.”

OH.

SNAP.

Well, fine, asshole.  From now on, you can make breakfast for your own kid every morning; how’s that suit you?

To be totally fair, the colossal dickhead apologizes immediately, but then he pulls the old, guilt-trippy, passive-aggressive, I-told-you-not-to-do-something-but-now-I’ve-changed-my-mind-so-DO-IT-I-mean-do-whatever-you-want trick, leaving Lindsey confused and distraught, and who can blame her?

But he apologizes again, which is good, and acknowledges his own jerkitude, and for some reason, this starts a conversation about how God loves us all and forgives us all.

Jesse says that he may not deserve God’s love, and not everyone is as good as she, Lindsey, is.

But Lindsey is a sinner, too.  Oh yes, she is.

“I trusted the wrong man, telling myself that love made our actions all right. …But that was a mistake.  He was a mistake.”

“That’s right, Jesse, I’m such a horrible sinner that I had sex with the man I was engaged to marry.  The depth of my depravity is almost unbelievable.”

Is it just me, or does this sound like Lindsey is saying that her great sin is in loving and trusting her fiancé too much?

Again, worlds collide:

But the main problem here is that this form of humble-bragging never works. It’s never convincing, this faux self-deprecation that carefully crafts what it’s willing to be deprecating about. Rather than inoculating against the charge of arrogance by humbly admitting faults, it reinforces the perception of arrogance by revealing an unwillingness to be honest about such faults.

The one place I’m sure you’ve heard this before, if you’re a church-goer, is from a preacher on a Sunday morning.

Sometimes it comes from a preacher who’s attempting to do the same thing Jenkins is attempting here — humanizing himself (usually him) by admitting to some minor or generic “flaw.” “I lose my patience in traffic,” the preacher says, as though confessing his worst sin. The unwillingness to admit to anything more meaningful — or the inability to recognize anything more meaningful — undermines the whole attempt to display humility. ”Sometimes I’m ill-tempered,” he says,  as though this sets him apart. And then, you realize that what he’s really suggesting is that he’s more extravagantly remorseful that everyone else — that his guilt over such minor failings sets him apart from, and above, others.

Just this past week at Slacktiverse!

Also, I have a feeling that Lindsey might not think her sin of Loving Not Wisely, But Too Well would be as big a deal if she knew Jesse was plotting to steal her home right from under her.  Some sins are, in fact, bigger than others.

***

Fast-forward a bit, and Jesse tries to get out of even going to the performance (which seems a bridge too far, even for a “Scrooge” like him), and Lindsey scolds him into it, and they go together, natch, and they hold hands when Jade is on stage.

It’s all magical and Christmassy, at least until some guy vaguely recognizes Jesse from when they were kids.  Jesse laughs it off, but it just goes to show that the nefarious scheme is still in place, no matter how many breakfasts Lindsey cooks or angel costumes she makes.

Jesse, you suck.

hit with pillow

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Posted on December 16, 2013, in Books, Christmas, In the Spirit of...Christmas. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. That Lindsey can blame herself for her former fiance turning out to be an asshole (and/or having oh noes had sex with him) is kind of an accidental window into just how horrible it is to be a RTC woman. Either the message is that she’s to blame and sinned by having sex (which caused him to cheat on her??) or the message is that she’s to blame for having not magically known he wasn’t a good guy. However we’re supposed to parse it, his bad actions become her fault. What a nasty world. (Also, I kinda doubt Jesus would approve…)

    I’m glad the author finally realized that there might be people around who’d recognize Jesse, though this further drives home how nonsensical Jesse’s plans are. His half-asses sneaking around is just going to further make him look like the bad guy. (Which he kind of is. Or a bad guy.) He’d be a lot more sympathetic to the townsfolk (and the readers) if he’d been honest and straightforward about the situation.

  2. And now Lindsey’s falling for a dude who’s scheming to take away her home? She really does have a knack for picking the wrong men. That’s not a moral judgement, just an observation.

  3. It is weird that a the adherents of a religion that’s based on the idea that every human is sinful seem so incapable of accepting actually flawed protagonists in their fiction.

    Frankly, I’m relieved that this book dares suggest that a woman who once did dirty sinful things with a man to whom she wasn’t married can still be a model Christian. I’m pretty sure L&J wouldn’t have let her be their protagonist. (From what I heard, Hattie is eventually ‘saved’ but still treated like crap).

  4. Yeah, that post of Fred’s was my first thought too.

    Ivan, I agree. RTCs and some pedigree dog-breeders seem to be the only people who go by the ancient theory that any sexual contact with a female leaves a permanent stain on her. (There’s a term for this, but I can’t remember what it is.)

    As for the play, well, to borrow a quote from Love Actually:

    Karen: So what’s this big news, then?
    Daisy: [excited] We’ve been given our parts in the nativity play. And I’m the lobster.
    Karen: The lobster?
    Daisy: Yeah!
    Karen: In the nativity play?
    Daisy: [beaming] Yeah, first lobster.
    Karen: There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?
    Daisy: Duh.

  5. I love how they just /had/ to get that dig in there about someone trying to remove the religious content before there was an outcry by the good Jesus-loving common folk determined not to let any children of pagans feel comfortable at their ceremonies.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, December 21st, 2013 | The Slacktiverse

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