Hubert doesn’t mention the marriage idea again; it seems when the drink and sick wears off, he’s probably aware how out of the blue and awkward that sounded, so would rather pretend it didn’t happen.
Most of Saturday was taken up with recovery. I wasn’t hungover or suffering from food poisoning, but I was tired and had dirty laundry up the yin-yang. I shuffled through the house with baskets of clothing and paid a few bills online. Hubert and I took turns napping on and off.
My Saturdays often include the farmer’s market, the dentist, the bagel shop, grocery shopping, two more meals crammed in there someplace, basic cleaning, and a standing gaming appointment in the evening. Sundays include laundry, homework, writing blog posts, et cetra. Spending the whole day on just laundry, bills, and napping sounds like a friggan luxury. Recovery from what? Nothing’s wrong with her! I have aches and pains and sleep deprivation all week and I still manage to get chores done.
Late in the afternoon (how many naps can she possibly have squeezed in?), she calls Piper, and gets Mike first.
“I was just thinking about you! Honest to God, I was on the verge of picking up the phone when it rang and it was you.”
Flattering, but it left me wondering why Mike answered it if she was on the verge of picking it up. How did that work? Did he race over and grab it away from her outstretched hand?
That’s… actually a very good question. Piper seems a bit overenthusiastic for that to be just polite smalltalk. Any suggestions?
Piper continues to disbelieve the food poisoning angle. She then rapidly changes the subject to the much more important topic of Lola’s love life. At least she asked about Hubert first.
And at least we’re not treated to a recap of events we just saw. Instead we get the same commentary we’ve been getting: Mindy’s awful, Lola’s decided to go along with this plan. Piper seems…. very enthusiastic about it:
“I wish I was going to be there to see it. But you can show me the video footage, right?” From her tone you’d think I was actually getting engaged. “Now we just have to go shopping for rings. I was just reading in Cosmo about these simulated diamonds […] can I be your maid of honor? […] And Hubert can stand up too, don’t you think? He did at mine.”
Piper… you… you know there’s not going to be a wedding right?
Actually… come to think of it….
How WILL Lola get out of it? Staging a huge breakup a few months later would undo all the meager victory points she’d get for making the announcement as her sister will proceed to rub it in her face for the next eternity that at least she could KEEP a man. Lola doesn’t seem to think she’ll have a wedding, though, so…. what then? Having told everyone it’s not like she can then pretend it never happened…?
Will she fake an elopement, wait for Mindy to get a divorce, then make her divorce bigger and messier? Will the rest of her life be a sham meant to put one over on her sister?
Anyway, she recounts the Hubert-proposal and Piper… goes quiet. We get some grade-A denial:
Instead, I got silence that could be dissected by a Ginsu knife
(but Ginsu knives are meant to be sharp… so they can cut things that are thin and hard to cut…)
It occurred to me that maybe we’d been disconnected and I’d been rambling to myself.
I got the sense she’d pulled Brandon onto her lap. I could hear his babbling close to the phone.
I chuckled, but Piper didn’t join in. Distracted by the baby, no doubt.
Sure enough, Piper theorizes that Hubert has been bearing a secret torch for Lola since high school. Turns out, he asked her to prom, but she rationalized that as being a pity-date and turned him down in favor of going out to the movies and skipping prom altogether. Which… I wonder if this doesn’t explain some of Kelly’s behavior? It’s inexcusable, of course, but a little more understandable if her boyfriend’s not-so-secretly been in love with someone else the whole time. Maybe she’s been feeling like she can’t measure up to his memories of Lola; maybe that’s why she always disapproved of them spending time together, if she ended up feeling like a third wheel during and after?]
She’d been psychoanalyzing me? WTF? Please. “Stop already, that was a long time ago.”
Haha it’s funny because we’re sitting here always psychoanalyzing her. Let me feed this novel into my sophisticated psychoanalysis software…
Here are the test results: You are a horrible person. I’m serious, that’s what it says: “A horrible person.” We weren’t even testing for that.
Yup, that about covers it 😉
Anyway, Piper is on the Hubert/Lola shipwagon, and we’re treated to “a movie montage playing in [Lola’s] head” of all the times she and Hubert got along better than her and Piper. Which… I have to say, that sort of thing is highly prone to suggestibility. If she was thinking about how close Lola and Piper were, we’d probably get a very different montage.
Still, as Piper says, “it’s a very good start.”
The only good thing about Hubert’s sickness was that we got out of eating kimchi over at the Cho’s house.
Aand we’re back to the whole horrible person thing.
Good news! Ben Cho and his mom are nice people! They sent kimchi over to Lola and Hubert since they weren’t able to make the dinner.
News traveled fast in King Street. It reminded me of an ancient joke that I mentally modified to fit the situation. What are the three best ways to spread news quickly? Telegraph, telephone, and tell-a-neighbor. Ha! I smiled at my own cleverness.
First of all, if you laugh at your own cleverness, you’re probably not that clever.
Secondly, the original joke goes “Tell-a-friend”. But Lola has no friends. She only has neighbors that she tolerates due to necessity.
Thirdly, has she ever seen a telegraph machine in her life? Because honestly… that joke’s pretty dated. Even phones are rarely prefixed with “tele-” anymore.
(Fun fact: I’m 66% through this book and all we’ve got is a terrible boyfriend and even worse puns.)
They sent the kimchi in glass jars, which Lola snickers at – “apparently [they] hadn’t heard of Ziploc bags or GladWare” – though frankly, given the nature of it, glass jars are probably a better transportation method anyway? It’d stain the Tupperware so it’d never get clean again. She complains at having to return the empties, though, it’s neighborly to return Tupperware anyway so…?
I could feel myself getting sucked into their little vortex. Bit by bit I was losing ground.
Aunt May had kept a radio on the kitchen counter, the old type with the circular dial.
Anyway, Lola’s being mildly sweet here by listening to her dead aunt’s favorite radio station, so take a moment to send her a gold star for trying before we move on.
Warning: Ladies and gentlemen, Hubert is in his bathrobe, cueing one of the worst sentences of all time:
I had a fleeting unwelcome thought that right behind that flap of fabric hung an example of what separated the men from the boys.
and it doesn’t stop there. PENISES. It just keeps prattling on about PENISES.
blah blah kimchi, blah blah smalltalk with potentially naked Hubert. Lola promises to forget Hubert’s drunken proposal jokingly.
“We’re more than OK– we’re best friends, and we always will be.”
Hubert begs for forgiveness, and there’s a terrycloth and Ivory-soap hug that goes on longer than Lola feels comfortable — which, by the way, is really creepy and intimidating when that happens. She yet again compares him to a previous boyfriend, as he flirts with her and strokes her hair.
“We fit well together.”
WAY CREEPY DUDE.
I looked up at him. “Hubert, I have to–” But before I could finish my statement
Oh no. Oh god no. I almost liked you, Hubert…
Warning: It goes on from here about how you’d expect. Dubcon and men behaving badly.
he took the hand that had been caressing my hair and moved it back under my chin to tilt my head back.
I NEED AN ADULT!
If I were being completely honest, I’d have to admit the suddenness of it made me a little breathless.
That’s called shock and fear. It’s happened to me a number of times, including the situation I spoke of last week. It’s not romantic in and of itself — it can be, if it’s accompanied by glee and giddiness of new love, but it can also be a terrifying loss of control.
He lowered his face toward mine, and I saw it coming. I knew he was going to kiss me.
When it happened to me, I knew, but I didn’t want to believe it. I thought surely he was just reaching behind me. And then he WAS kissing me and my brain just refused to process what was going on, and then it kicked into gear and I started panicking.
I felt like I was watching a play that had taken an unexpected turn during act two.
That’s one way of describing it.
I lifted my hands to cradle the back of his head. Oh my god, I’m kissing Hubert.
It turns out she does like him — that’s more how I felt when my first kiss ever happened, just as forcefully, when I was just as unprepared, but with a guy I’d been hoping would kiss me and didn’t know how to breach the subject. Only she literally just finished telling him and thinking about how much she didn’t want to date him. Maybe she’s deluding herself, maybe she really does like him, but that doesn’t matter. He needs, needs, to respect her boundaries. I cared a lot for my first boyfriend too, until I realized that every time I opened my mouth to speak he took it as an invitation to put his tongue in it. To this day, I don’t like french kissing. I knew all he wanted from me was physical.
The chapter ends with Mindy and Ryan catching Lola and Hubert in the act. I don’t want to read this book anymore. I’ve heard this story. It goes, “Wah wah Lola’s such a slut”, and then it goes, “How could I cheat on Ryan that way I’m such a slut”, and it goes “Hubert’s better for you anyway”, and it goes “Hubert wins the prize and Lola’s glad anyone will take her after how she behaved”, and it just sickens me.
Thanks a lot, Kae.