Jingle Bell Romance: Chapter 7
So after sledding, the whole Scooby Gang (Nick and Julia, Lainie and BIL and the kids, Bree and Cooper from the first book, and Ben, who I guess is hero of the next book) head to a diner.
Lucky Lucy from the first chapter? Apparently one of the many people nick bullied in high school, and, ten years later, is still such an obnoxious ass that he drove her away from even getting a morning cup of coffee? She’s their waitress, even though she’s also a veterinary receptionist, because her parents own the place and she helps out in the evenings.
So yeah, Lucy is pretty awesome.
When Nick sees her…
…he bit back a groan…and felt h8 self stiffen reflexively, bracing for an unpleasant end to his happy afternoon.
Huh, it’s almost like actions have consequences or something.
But he simply asks how she is, and she says she’s fine. Though I’m not sure what other response could be expected, since the poor woman has to serve her high school bullies. (I’m assuming Ben and Connor were participants, given her remark about how Nick and his friends tormented her.)
So she says fine, and then feels “annoyance” because she doesn’t ask how he is in return. Yep, asking how someone is, once, when she’s about to serve you, is more than enough to undo years of bullying and present asshattery, and if the bullied person doesn’t immediately forgive and make nice back, it just proves she is terrible, and you are right to be annoyed.
I really, really hope Lucy spits in their food.
Nick pays for everyone, which is kinda generous and also kinda not, since he hasn’t even shown up in town for seven years and it’s not like he can’t afford a few diner meals.
In what is apparently supposed to be a grand and generous gesture, he gives Lucy a cash tip of $40. Lucy is totally taken aback, and…I dunno. Nick says to Julia that it’s to help repair the “bad rep” around town that he has, and this just feels like a very cheap and shallow way of doing it. Like, here’s two twenties, Lucky, er, Lucy. That totally makes up for years of torment and last week’s running you out of the coffee shop. All better now, right?
I still hope she spit in his food.
Nick and Julia go back to her place so she can help him complete the piece on her childhood (is it really that complicated?), and as she’s reading the draft, he feels all nervous and reflects that he should maybe try being a tad nicer to his writers. Yanno, just for kicks.
Except for Bree. She irritated him on purpose, and he couldn’t let her get away with that.
He JUST GOT DONE interacting with someone who, for years, he had “irritated on purpose.” Does he honestly not see what’s going on right in front of his face?
After what seems like a very short aiming of time spent writing/editing, Julia invites him to continue to stay for a movie and some Christmas snacks. It must actually be getting late now, rather too late for Christian romance bonding all alone.
But I guess we’re doing this: Nick picks out Miracle on 34th Street, because he’s never seen it. So they sit and cuddle on the couch and watch, getting nick out of there by 11:00. Again, seems super late for a small Christian town.
Back at his sister’s, he decides to buy Julia a super expensive Christmas gift: a gigantic mansion of a dollhouse, to hold all her dollhouse miniatures.
Hmmm…now that’s the kind of gift that might just make up for years of bullying…
Oh, and then, hilariously, Nick remembers to publish his own darn online magazine. He just has to push one button to do it, but apparently nobody can do it but him.
And back at her place, Julia has a lovely phone conversation with her mom, who is terribly sweet and awesome. And we get the odd little information drop that her ambassador dad grew up on a farm in Wisconsin, so I’m not sure where we get the attitude in this book, that Julia’s family is so removed from everyone else and nobody could possibly understand her.
Also, Julia’s parents’ romance sounds far more intriguing than Julia and Nick’s. Why can’t we read about these adorable people?
Ah well. Happy Wintermas Eve, all!