Jingle Bell Romance: Chapter 3, Part 1
Time for some good ole (and confusing) male bonding!
Nick actually does something nice for someone else, and helps his brother-in-law Todd shovel the driveway. Though in fairness, he stepped out to check on the snowfall, and it wasn’t like he was doing anything else, so it would have looked pretty crass if he had just slunk back into the house.
Anyway, BIL has this to say, out of nowhere:
“Lainie told me what happened to Ian and how things went for your family afterward. That has nothing to do with me, and I’m not one to judge anyway.”
It was one of the nicest things anyone had said to him all week…
Really? He’s home with his sister and mother and niece, who all adore him. What a friggin’ whiner.
BIL mentions playing with his daughter in the snow, and Nick condescendingly reflects that “the Martins’ humble lifestyle was starkly different from his own.” But is it? They live in a nice house in a tourist town, have sufficient space to put Nick up indefinitely, and have expressed zero money worries. And hell, Nick is only 28, and grew up in the same house as Lainie, pastor’s kids. Has his life as an online magazine editor really propelled him so high that he has forgotten how the little people live?
Just then, Julia pulls up with a delivery. Nick is genuinely surprised that she is making a delivery, and that Todd and Lainie have a place in the garage where they hide gifts:
Nick didn’t understand why they were going to so much trouble to keep the presents a secret.
Nick is kinda like an alien from outer space, isn’t he? “What is this Christ-mas, and these prez-ents?” Again, he and Lainie grew up in the same household—how is he NOT familiar with the concept of keeping Christmas gifts a secret?
Todd invites her in for some cocoa, and we get a classic movie romance moment where she slips on the ice and falls romantically into Nick’s arms. Cue the swell of music!
Despite the slip, he thinks she is “elegant and beautiful,” which I guess is kinda nice.
With the grace of a ballerina, she seemed to float over the snow, barely touching the ground before going up the steps. Nick had dated plenty of models and dancers, but he’d never met a woman who walked the way Julia did.
Yeah, what a player he is. Only the best in models and dancers for our hero, so he finds a “normal” woman…who looks like a movie star and moves like a dancer. It’s only what he deserves, right?
This is actually making me long for the days of Child in a Manger, when our hero fell hard for a plumpish, cute, very normal woman.
Nick then confusingly reflects that he won’t be able to impress her:
Men had probably taken her to Paris for dinner and a ride on the Seine. There was no way a guy like him could compete with that…
Wait, not three minutes ago, he was sneering at the “humble” lifestyle of his own sister, and not three SECONDS ago, he was thinking about all the models and dancers he’d dated.
In the house, Lainie and little Hannah show up and the talk turns to tree decorating. Nick tries to get out of it (and do what instead, sulk in his room like an emo tween?) and Todd advises him to “just do what the girls tell you.”
“This might come as a shock, but I’m not in the habit of taking orders from anyone.”
Damn, speaking of an emo tween… It was a joke, asshole.
Oh, and speaking of a humble lifestyle, it is then revealed that Lainie and Nick each have a Waterford crystal tree topper. Their mother got them on her trips (trips, multiple) to Ireland.
Yep, that’s a humble family, with their Waterford crystals decorations and frequent trans-Atlantic flights.
The three Martins vacate the kitchen to get the ornaments, leaving Nick and Lainie alone…