1154 March Hare.

These debates about who screwed who are pretty interesting. Even my even handed viewpoint came under attack at one point. XD I have to say that, as far as holding a grudge after a breakup goes, the time you hold on to those bad feelings correlate to how much you loved the person and how much it hurt to have them gone. Some people can just give people up and move on, but it’s been my experience that even those kinds of people can have an attitude shift when they lose a mate that they thought of as “the one”. So, maybe attachment is the deciding factor for the statute of limitations on relationship stuff? I dunno, I haven’t thought the argument out, I’m just letting the thoughts spill out. In any case the interaction between Dawn and Nina is not one that is going to foster understanding. Nina made her mind up a long time ago and was perfectly willing to let it all slide for the sake of keeping the peace until Dawn found her hot button. She kind of screws the cap down on being scary today. A Nina is clearly not a creature that should be stirred to action…

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Okay so don’t piss Nina off.

…. but there is a side of me that wants to see her crazy side too.

As @Jerichow said,

“Okay so don’t piss Nina off.”

I was going to say something along the lines of, “Remind me not to piss off her Grace,” but that comment is a lot more succinct!

Nina is super scary today. Yeowch. Her being protective of her babycub Thomas is awfully sweet.

Quick question Sir Crave. Does your page go up at exactly 10 where you’re at? Just asking since it’s 9 here for me and I’ve never noticed the timestamps on my comments.

Let Materinal Kombat Begin!

(couldn’t resist….)

of course this popped up into my head as well

carol: “a handfull of people in a leaky store are going to save the world?…”
Brooksie:”exactly!”

I think Brooksie said of Nina something along the lines of “woe betide you who wakens the sleeping giant.”

I thought it was Carol, but you are right. Sorry Andy, it was giant, not dragon. /comics1/538-golden-haired-idol

“Woe be it to he who awakens the sleeping giant. That’s *so* cool” “You shouldn’t glamorize my bad behavior. Anything sounds cool if you say it like *that*.”

DAMMIT!

I’m getting to the point where I really CAN’T wait for the next installment!

((Excellent work, Sir Crave. This is the sort of feeling I get with the very best books))

I can’t help wondering whether Dan’s crazy comment was directed towards Nina’s behavior, or to the fact that she considers the possibility that she may have done damage absurd. Either way, I’m looking forward to three pages from now when Mike comes outside to find Dawn strung up by her feet with a rope made of blond hair and rage. Nina for the win!!

I see where the pair of the characters are coming from. But in this case, I’m siding with Nina. Dawn may have had good intentions, but her poor planning, and then subsequent poor attitude over it is probably what led to this farce of a signing. The fact that Thomas was willing to be there for her signing, despite everything that happened shows grace and humility, somethhing which Dawn has been trampling on in a subconcious manner.

As for Nina, I’ve been in a similar sitution before. Fear and insanity work well together. I sincerly doubt that Dawn will get harmed, except for her pride and morale. But fear is effective.

This is a no win scenario for anyone in this storyline. Unfortunately I see this from Dawn’s point of view more then the others. My only question was did she ask Thomas to come with her in the first place. If not that’s her error because Thomas couldn’t read minds. Still Dawn has come back to try to bring peace with her ex and probably to see how he’s holding up, perhaps to give some encouragement.

I love Nina to death, but I think she’s being Thomas was at the point where he was with Dawn, irrational and emotional as she scrambles to protect Thomas. She, if I’m reading this right, made Dawn out a bigger monster then Thomas did.

In the end I fear Dawn will end up only causing a bit of collateral damage to the group in her wake. While I do see Dawn’s point of view more then the others I don’t think that the book signing was a very good idea for her, if she had foresight of knowing if Thomas was there, for her to just forcibly reenter his life and forcibly spending the day where he would have to be in close proximity to her.

*sigh* Crave, its just a hot mess.

Dawn didn’t choose the venue, but she did specifically request Thomas be there as a condition of showing up. Which doesn’t really seem right even if she and Thomas had been on good terms when they parted. Inviting or asking someone to be there is okay, but demanding they be there seems a bit inconsiderate.

Hi all,
It would be easy to say they were both broken people and they are just sorting it out now. There are however some significant differences between the ways that Dawn and Thomas expressed their brokenness and I believe that this is the genesis of this wonderfully perfect storm that we are seeing unfold. What is most intriguing for me is how well developed their particular “tunnel vision was at the time of their breakup and hows it has echoed through their subsequent decisions to the present. It is clear to me that Dawn and Thomas did indeed love each other – though in an immature, and not a little caught up in a high-school fantasy way. For me they were broken long before they got together and she, being more of the extravert, left when she became marginally less broken than him. Unfortunately, her way of dealing with her brokenness is self aggrandizement and she may well be setting herself up for quite the shock when she realizes how much damage she did to Thomas – not that it would change her drastically – but Nina’s threat may at least give her pause to consider what she will do around Thomas in the future.

I have often wondered about people like that – who seem to be able to externalize the negative impacts on their decisions on other factors in the world around them. On one hand it serves to free them from any of the guilt or responsibility of what might be considered poor decisions. But on the other hand, I thin it also serves to make the world a rather cold and threatening place that is perceived as adversarial. In addition I think that it through the recognition/reflection upon our though process and actions that lead to our less than positive outcomes that we are able to truly grow. I believe that both Dawn and Thomas just got some wake-up calls about their respective life illusions…gonna be interesting to see how they answer those calls. -D

So… Nina’s a Yandere. Good to know.

No…that’s definitely not the word to use. Yandere implies a combination of both extreme romantic affection and, more importantly, a complete intolerance of competition in any shape or form. This just doesn’t fit because Nina doesn’t see Thomas as anything past a good friend (and vice versa) and that she completely approves his and Carol’s relationship. If anyone is to be a bit like that trope, it’d be Thomas, but only in shades.

What Nina is actually doing is letting her over-protective anger get the better of her. We saw it with Ed and Reggie: when she decides someone’s on her good list, she brooks no threat to them, and can get over-zealous in her vengeance. That just means she’s got an anger button, not that she’s violently possessive.

OK, right now, Dawn should walk away very, very slowly.

But seriously, if Dawn still wants to salvage any of this situation, there is still an option. First, she should sit tight for 2-3 to let the heat blow over. Then perhaps ask to speak with Thomas in person, preferably in a very open and public place. Or she could arrange for her and her husband to have lunch with Thomas and Carol at a neutral location. Either way, she could get her side of the story on the table. In this case the “double date” scenario might work better, because Carol and Dawn’s husband should keep the atmosphere more or less neutral. It would also prevent any “he said she said” later on because there would be witnesses.

I doubt things will turn out the way Dawn wants them to. But at the very least the old baggage will have been dumped and everyone can get on with their lives.

Just a theory. :)

I’m gonna side with Thomas, because regardless of how things WERE, Thomas recognizes his own screw-ups and his own faults in how he dealt with Dawn moving away and breaking up with him.

Dawn, it seems to me, is only focusing on Thomas’s part in this “He was supposed to come with me” sparks the most thoughts. Because here’s the thing. When college came up with them, did she ever sit down and suggest they go, together, to some cool out of state college?

I gotta side with Thomas on this…and Nina. From all we’ve seen, Dawn hasn’t made an effort to remain a part of Thomas’ life. She went to college, ditched him when it worked in her best interest, and now that she’s `successful’, she comes back to Thomas’ store and demands he be there for her signing?

That seems to me a case of: “Nyah-nyah-nyah! See how awesome I am without you and what a loser you are without me? Bet you wish you were more awesome so I’d have kept you, huh?”

Sadly, it doesn’t seem as if Dawn really loved Thomas. Least, not as I consider it. She has apparently only been focused on herself and what most benefits her. While Thomas may have done his share of making a bad situation worse, the initial problem is Dawn is apparently only concerned with what benefits her. No sacrifice for the good of the team, etc and so forth. If the relationship gets in the way of what benefits her most, ditch the relationship. And while any relationship takes work on both parties part, Dawn seems to be the one (thus far) who wasn’t willing to put in the work, expecting Thomas to do it all. And not incidentally, take the blame when it falls apart.

So…go, Nina! Wake Dawn up to the fact she doesn’t always get a free pass. You need to be aware of the consequences of your decisions because later on, they may come back on you. Hurt someone because it was the best thing for you at the time…in the future, someone may decide to hurt you because it’s the best thing for them.

I vote we give Nina a new title: Karmic Enforcement Agent, Retail Division.

Sadly, it is possible for someone to love you and tear your heart and life apart at the seams.
My brother married a woman like that and even though she would tell you that she knew what she was doing was wrong, she would then say that she couldnt stop herself. And this was after chasing him down, marrying him, and having 3 daughters together.
I dated someone who ended up being similar in personality and, for a time, was very clearly in love with me. But that didnt protect me at all when she started to fall apart and shred me in the process.
I’ll never forget asking a good friend how anyone could say they love someone while making their life a living hell.
Her response: “They can, if they are emotionally compromised.”

And now you know what “love conquers all” really means. It was never an endearing saying. It is a frightful truth and a warning. And nevertheless we seek out that abyss and look forward to the fall.

And now I think it’s a Very Good Thing that Nina and Thomas were never a couple. If things went well, they might have been very happy together; but if the relationship went sour, look out!

Yeah, sad to say, siding with dawn on this. It’s a shame that the two of them obviously grew apart, which is a mutual thing, even if it doesn’t seem that way, it realistically, Thomas was content to effectively be ‘that creepy older dude at the video store’ for perhaps the rest of his life. After school, people strike out and try find themselves pretty often…Even if Dawn’s book is super-small market, she’s at least done that much, as well as started a family. That she’s trying to square things with Thomas after he stalked her shows a bit more maturity then some might have.

Not to mention, I know Nina’s a main character, and we’re all supposed to be in awe, but to a grown adult, being threatened by the skinny friend of your loser ex is just silly. And Dawn’s pregnant, so way to go Nina.

I had a lot of these same thought but tempered with “it’s not just what you do, it’s how you do it.”

Dawn’s execution style was/is self-centered and self-indulgent. One questions exactly how much she cared for anybody (Thomas included) but herself. Yeah there was obvious affection, but affection is not the same thing as love. Dawn’s declaration, “He was supposed to come with me!”, is very telling. She decided the future for herself and Thomas but never consulted him.

I understand some of the Dawn hate, she’s not my favorite person. When she says “He was suppossed to come with me!”, it’s just like a child throwing a tantrum.

But that statement isn’t as telling as you think. Your saying that she “decided the future for herself and Thomas”, but there is a simpler (and less malicious) explanation. She expected them to stay together during college. Thomas’s lack of initiative has been pretty well established, so it’s safe to say he wasn’t making college plans of his own. She expected him to join in her college plans, or at least move with her. That’s not an unfair expectation. If they were in a committed relationship, and Thomas had no plans of his own to follow, it would make sense for him to go with her. To Dawn, Thomas staying behind was the beginning of the end.

Thomas had expectations of his own. He “decided to wait for her to become whatever she was going to become” (1145-ymmv). Thomas expected that she would just come back, and still be in love with him. He opted to separate from her for years, while she underwent life changing development, and expected the relationship to not be impacted at all.

Thomas and Dawn had conflicting expectations of how their relationship would proceed after high school, and they didn’t effectively communicate or resolve this conflict. That’s the primary reason that their relationship failed.

But Thomas went to college; he told that a few pages back, though he dropped out because of the break up. The question is, why did Dawn insist on leaving, if there was a college right there and her boyfriend was going to it? I agree with you, ultimately, in that there is nothing wrong with a breakup. It didn’t work out, okay. That’s sad, you move on. Thomas was dumb with his response, but his response was only directed at himself; he hated her, but it’s not like he attacked her or anything. He just ruined his own life in anger. She, however, made the breakup far more painful than it should have been, and is causing pain all over again now, not just with her presence, but her attitude. She didn’t come to patch things up, she came to “allow” Thomas into her life, like a gift from Heaven. Notice how she never tried to talk to Thomas privately before this. How she demanded he be there for the signing. How she belittles his job. How she just throws everything in his face, and never notices his reaction (even if we assume it’s a bit exaggerated, as we see it, for artistic sake). How she has yet to simply ask if he is happy. She was mad before, and she’s getting mad all over again about how he lives his life; well, she broke up with him and stopped speaking to him for years, so she has zero right to judge his decisions. She’s just being self-centered, again.

My mistake, Thomas did go to college (1147-tommy-knocker), but he still had no plan other than to “wait for her to become whatever she was going to become” (1145-ymmv).

Why did Dawn insist on leaving, if there was a college right there and her boyfriend was going to it? Not all colleges are equal. When I was looking at colleges, the college in my home town offered a computer science degree, but other colleges were better. (Later, I learned that CS degrees from the college in my home town are a joke, so I’m really glad I didn’t go there.) Dawn had goals, and there could easily be a good reason she picked the college she did. If Thomas had no goals of his own, why did he go to a different college?

How did she make the breakup far more painful than it should have been? They were pretty much doomed to break up, but neither of them was going to realize that right away. Either their relationship would slowly die, until there was nothing left but a bitter shell, or one of them would meet someone and realize that their current relationship was a dead end. That’s not Dawn’s fault.

Thomas’s job is worth belittlement. Retail is only a step up from unemployment. It’s not an aspiration, it’s something you do while you’re on the way to something better. But Thomas intentionally gives her the impression that he’s wallowing in misery (1098-dead-in-here). He can do better. She knows it, he knows it, she knows he knows it.

In fact, Thomas is doing better. He hasn’t just been wallowing in misery (as he would have her believe), he’s been developing close interpersonal relationships, learning how to deal with people, depend on people, and be dependable. Thomas’s relationships with his co-workers are what redeem him has a person, and Dawn hasn’t seen those yet (well, she’s getting a taste of one now). It doesn’t mean she’s oblivious, she’s only been there a couple hours now.

And where do you get that Dawn “demanded” Thomas be there? Mike says she asked (1073-face-off), no mention of demands. She stopped speaking to him for years? They stopped speaking to each other (1148-cradle-of-hate).

Dawn is no saint, but she’s no demon either. Rip into her for the things that she did, not the things that you imagine she did.

No, you’ve got the order wrong. IIRC he didn’t start working at the video store until AFTER he broke up with Dawn, so his video store career was the result of the breakup, not the cause.

I agree. I said it on the last page, but Nina is way out of line. This really isn’t how an adult should handle a problem, and I feel like this kind of behavior creates more problems than it solves.

I also agree that both Thomas and Dawn handled things in a less-than-perfect way, but if there was a lack of communication, then treating Dawn like an evil villain, out to harm poor Thomas, is pretty short-sighted. If she didn’t tell Thomas she wanted him to come with her, then that’s her fault for getting hurt that he didn’t. If Thomas decided he’d wait for her, but didn’t talk to her about it, then it’s his fault he got hurt for waiting around. The two stopped talking – does Dawn know about what Thomas went through? She might have thought he got over her quickly and moved on, and possibly missed her friend. I don’t think she came back to rub anything in Thomas’ face. I do think she’s sort of insensitive and probably not really all that aware of how her actions impact people, but I don’t think she’s as bad as Nina is making her out to be.

Nina reminds me of myself. You mess with my friends, I hate you. Forever. And if you try that shit again, you will regret that decision immediately.

I am the same way. I am pretty easy going, and I have the ability to see both sides of a situation, pretty objectively even in sad situations (such as this even!) But if you mess with my friends….I would hold a grudge forever.

We should form a club, several months back I described this exact thing. I don’t hold grudges against someone that slights me, I just write them off and don’t deal with the person anymore. Hurt my friends, though, and I will never let it slide.

So apparently high school relationships are a big deal? I mean, yeah, I get post-break up anger. I had been going out with a girl in high school for over a year and when she broke up with me I had been frustrated for a bit, but the contempt these characters are showing towards this women borderline on psychotic, especially considering the break is a thing long past. She didn’t like that he was unwilling to move forward in life and as such drifted apart from him. If anything it seems like the entire crew along with Thomas are using her as a scapegoat in place of his own failings as a person. To hate someone so blindly is very childish. I guess in my opinion, real friends would be helping him move on and make something of his life, not coddling him and nurturing his deranged hatred. Then again, this a story about a selection of people working at a convenience store, so mental maturity might not be their thing. (That isn’t to say all people who work in retail are stupid, just that the chances are likely higher as a result of less education or being younger in age.)

All in all, their is no real “villain” in this situation and taking sides seems petty at best. Though I will say that, of the two, Dawn seems to be the more rational and level headed individual. Though, who knows. Maybe she freaks out too when people break up with her.

I don’t see that at all. You must not have been paying attention to Thomas’ discussion with Carol. He does not blame Dawn. He was right out front, he blames himself. He KNOWS his failings. And he is trying to work past that. He realizes that his behavior is unhealthy. That is mature.

Also, yes, their defense of him is a little overboard, but he is a private person, not likely to share with them his troubles, so how could they help him?

And Dawn may be rational, but she is also self-absorbed, arrogant, and self-aggrandizing. Some of her behavior here may be because of her hormones from pregnancy, but she is not winning any favors with me for how she went off on her husband earlier, and how she is behaving in general. Sure she may not be completely at fault, and she surely does not deserve to be attacked, but she needs to realize that HER actions have consequences!

Not so much that she broke up with him. That she broke him. For some time afterwards I gather, he was a broken person. And she did not and does not see that. Feeling animosity to those who’ve harmed those we care about is pretty natural, I think-especially if they do not acknowledge or recognize the harm. If she was apologetic, Nina would probably react very differently. And how much of Thomas lack of ambition is a result of the person he became subsequent to her leaving? How many of the characters stay at the store as a result of Thomas’ charisma? Would an unbroken Thomas have wielded that charisma for power and or public office? Perhaps something more respectable? Public office being generally less than respectable.

Dawn wanted to move away to college. Thomas wanted to stay home and go to college there, and was more than happy to wait for her. 4 months later (start of the semester till Christmas break), she drops him like garbage, and immediately begins dating another guy (if she wasn’t already with this guy, it’s unclear, though the guys says she was), even throwing that fact in Thomas’ face. I don’t see how, by any measure, we can blame Thomas. His obsession? Stupid, but Dawn isn’t even aware of it, so that’s not really part of their relationship/post-relationship. Dawn wanted him to change his life, he was 18 and not ready. Her leaving IS fair, but the WAY she left, and the way she acts now, is utterly selfish. Thomas is being pretty mature, even paying people to come to the book signing to help Dawn out, while all Dawn can do is be condescending towards him.

The broad strokes of the conflict aren’t what people see Dawn as the problem for. Sure, breaking up with a boyfriend and leaving is completely rational and defensible.

But as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. “What happened to him?” and “He was supposed to come with me” Not to mention the boyfriend that was thrown in Thomas’ face, and a few other little details of his and her story speak of someone who has a fairly callous disregard for him largely because he doesn’t fit with her view of what he should be, or should have been.

And as for “real friends would be helping him move on and make something of his life, not coddling him and nurturing his deranged hatred” I disagree. Real friends do what they have been doing. They stick by you and support you.

I miss the fun, and sexy attitude of the Nerf War.
But Nina has all the cuteness… even when she’s mad.

Character’s Best Friend vs. Character’s Former Love Interest is my favorite flavor of “Reason You Suck” Speech.

nina… I love you. WHERE IS MY NINA!? T-T

nina bestest friend in the world… don’t lose your job over this nina. I know what it means to try and protect a coworker. it doesn’t always pan out, even if you are less violent sounding than you currently are.

this is another one I definitely commented on before. Its nina moments like this that make me swoon between carol and nina. Carol is my favorite but nina makes oh-so-very-difficult not to choose her. Okay, I’ve decided. both favorite. Favorite is now redefined to accommodate my selfishness.

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