Calendar Girl (April) Chapter 2: Wes Is Moving On

So. Mason’s a real dick, huh? Gotta say, I’m kind of torn, because on the one hand I was complaining that it was unrealistic that all of her clients were reasonably nice men instead of misogynistic assholes. Good job complaining, past Matthew.

Before we go into this post, let’s take a second to reflect on what Mia’s all been through so far. Seems like a good time! First, Mia met Wes, who’s our chief love interest. Makes sense! From a narrative perspective, it’s nice that there’s a possible ending to this story that the story can tease us with.

Second, Mia met Alec and learned to love herself. Remember that. Third, Mia met Tony and Hector and… uh… learned about “the fullness life has to offer if you only allow yourself to take the risks”. Remember that too.

Calendar Girl (April): Chapter 2

The chapter immediately kicks off with… this…

The moment a girl like me finds bliss in clothing, it should be treated like a national holiday, highlighted, and circled on the calendar with a giant red Sharpie pen.

Hey, I’m gonna introduce y’all to a fun literary criticism term I just remembered for no particular reason.

Now, I realize that women’s clothing isn’t exactly a struggle I deal with on a day to day basis so I may not be 100% the right person to say this, but, uh, wasn’t the entire second book supposed to be about Mia learning to love herself? Not saying we can’t have bad days, but an entire book in this series existed to teach Mia that she didn’t have to be so down on herself about… this…

This might seem like kind of a frivolous point, but keep in mind we’re on book four of Mia’s journey of self-discovery and/or repaying her dad’s gambling debt for some reason and/or sex. And this is also a series with twelve books in it. Eventually we have to start wondering where this story’s going, and what any of these books actually add to it.

The overall picture seemed to be booking me gigs, and I was getting closer and closer to paying off Blaine. Four payments down, six to go. If I booked every month, I could leave this life before the holidays. Though, who was I kidding? I was making a hundred grand a month, sometimes with an additional twenty thousand. Why give it up?

I mean, we’ve been asking ourselves this since Mia left Wes for reasons that went something like “because I have to pay off my father’s gambling debts which I have to do myself so I can fuck my way to self-growth”, so I guess it makes sense that the main character has made the same realization. Also all of her clients have been weirdly decent people and fun so far, so, uh, what is our main character’s motivation? It’s almost like nothing in this story has been developed or something.

my thoughts trailed to Wes. Out of anyone, he’s the one thing I’d like to pursue. When we’re together, it’s everything. Apart, I find it too easy to come up with reasons that we’re not meant to be or that our connection isn’t as strong as I wanted to think it was.

Mia calls Wes, but to her horror… a female voice picks up! First she doesn’t recognize it, but then she does recognize it (why pick one reaction when you can have BOTH) as Gina DeLuca!

You know, the actress who was flirting with Wes for a single chapter three books ago. Wow, it’s almost like having a different cast of characters in every book makes it hard to feel like any of them really matter.

It’s super obvious that Wes and Gina have been… busy…

I had absolutely no right to be hurt, none at all, but it didn’t change the facts. I felt gutted listening to Wes carry on with another woman. Is this what he felt, knowing I was going to a new man every month?

Once Wes realizes that Mia is on the other end of the phone, they have a very tense phone call. Very thankfully, they both mostly act like adults during it. Or at least they act fairly about it.

“This doesn’t change anything,” he choked out.
I snorted. “Really? It changes everything.”
His voice was a growl when he responded, “How so? We’re still friends. […] And this thing with Gina, it’s totally casual— you know, we’re letting off some steam. She knows I’m not the relationship type. Well, at least not for her.”
“So you are for me?”
He let out a slow breath. “If I answer that honestly, are you going to do something about it? I’ve given you that chance more than once. You’ve not taken it.”

Mia admits it’s unfair for her to “have any claim over you when I’m not willing to give the same” and Wes tells her that “I’ll do anything to stay in your heart”. She says that one thing he can do is “Remember me.” Jesus Christ, you two. There is a really obvious solution to this problem. But I guess we’re not going to do that. Gosh, if only Mia had learned something about the fullness life has to offer if she only allowed herself to take the risks. OH WAIT. THAT WAS THE ENTIRE LAST BOOK. WHY DID WE SPEND AN ENTIRE BOOK WITH A NEW CHARACTERS’ STORY THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH MIA IF SHE ISN’T EVEN GONNA START DOING THE THING SHE SAID SHE LEARNED FROM IT?

The chapter skips ahead to Mason taking Mia to a baseball game! He introduces her to his teammates. In the locker room. For some reason.

he walked me through the locker room. Yes, the fucking locker room. Half-naked and some completely naked drool-worthy men were standing around shooting the shit, preparing for the game. If I was a different girl, I’d have covered my eyes or at the very least tried to play modest. Nope. Not this girl.

I did get a chuckle out of this. Not gonna lie. Fuckin’ go for it, Mia.

Mia meets Junior Gonzalez. And no one else, so I guess that’s it for Red Sox players who are friends with Mason. If that’s hard to believe…

“Mace tells me you’re, uh, with us for the month?” His voice dropped, and he tilted his head, those chocolate eyes sharing the knowledge of my true reason for being here. […]
“I swear,” [Mason said.] “The hottest chick they had at the escort service, as luck would have it, isn’t an easy lay.”
I wanted to hit him again at hearing those words. Junior closed his eyes, dropped his head, and shook it from left to right. “Man, when are you ever going to learn you can’t treat a lady like a piece of ass? Girl”— he emphasized the word—“ I hope you teach this boy a lesson.”

Mia ends up in a section of the stands that the teammates’ wives and girlfriends have access to. You would think this is gonna be a scene where Mia gets thrown to the wolves, but once again Mia immediately becomes friends with everybody except for one person (Sarah) who instantly becomes her sworn enemy for the book for no particular reason.

“You Mace’s girl for the night?”
My eyebrows narrowed. “Um, no I’ll be with him all month. I flew in from Vegas. We’re old friends but working on more. This month will let us know whether we can go long-term or not.” […]
“We’ve never seen Mace in a relationship before. You know, he’s been the type to go the route of the three Fs.” She picked at her fingernail and then looked my way, bored. “You know, finger ’em, fuck ’em, and flick ’em off.”
“Wow. Well, that’s gotta suck for the bitches he’s fucked in the past,” I said nonchalantly, not letting her win.

…honestly a pretty good counter! And way better than a weird, vaguely insulting mnemonic that immediately had to be explained. Good nerd insult, Sarah.

Junior’s girlfriend, Kris, is the first to hit it off with Mia, and Mia slowly meets more people that I’m not gonna bother including in my summary because these minor characters aren’t gonna last until the end of the book anyway, let’s be real. Not that Mia has the same perspective on this.

Apparently, connecting with a woman was easier than I’d thought. I only had Gin and Maddy, but my chick arsenal was growing.

Your chick arsenal? Mia. Girl. You just met these people.

I now added Jennifer back in Malibu, who was happily pregnant, and of course Tony’s sister, Angie

You barely even know those people! You had one conversation with Angie! And I already don’t even remember who Jennifer is! She definitely hasn’t kept in touch!

This is exactly what I’m talking about! We’re given no reason to actually care about any of the minor characters we meet and discard in each book. We’re given no reason to think that Mia’s actually growing from the experiences she’s having in each book (the last one was pleasant enough, but ultimately wasn’t a story that involved Mia at all). We’re given no reason to understand what she’s expecting to get out of them (which is the reason she gives why she can’t pursue a relationship with Wes). We’re given no reason to understand why Mia has to pay off her father’s gambling debt to a loan shark herself, and that’s why this entire plot is happening.

In the meantime, I’d focus on the job and maybe make someone else’s life better. Starting with Mason. He wasn’t a lost cause. I could see a gentleman hiding under all that swagger. Life had taught him to live in the present […] I needed to find out more about young Mason. What made him tick, what made him the womanizer he’d been or, perhaps, pretended to be?

This is cool because we still don’t even understand what makes the main fucking character tick.


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8 comments

  1. Sue W Reply

    Wait, now she’s supposed to make his life better? As a therapist, she should probably be getting even more money.

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      Not even. I think she’s Wes’s work friend’s wife. The one that mia suggested she could solve all the problems with her marriage by getting pregnant. Whose name I never mentioned because that disaster of a subplot only showed up twice anyway.

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  2. wordswithhannah Reply

    More than anything in this series, Mia’s ability to charm people from all walks of life the second she walks in the door (in spite of being vulgar and “tough girl don’t give a fuck” in her internal monologue) is the biggest, blaring “wish fulfillment” trumpet.

    My social anxiety and me could be projecting, though.

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    • Jennifer Layton Reply

      Reminds me of Bella from Twilight. She moved to a new town and went to a new school, and everyone immediately fell in love with her. I hate when writers do that, not just because it’s unrealistic, but because it’s a cheat. It’s way harder to show your character building relationships and winning people over. It’s easier to just have them immediately charm the pants off everyone.

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  3. Madeline Reply

    I like to imagine that Mia greets every useless minor character like Tommy from The Room. Oh HAI Junior. Oh HAI Kris. Oh HAI Fartface McTuffington IIIX.

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  4. Anne Reply

    I’m probably misunderstanding the phrase, but “shooting the shit” sounds to me like they are using doping.
    Why is Mia the one who has to set him straight. Even his teammates want her to do that. Why don’t they try to do that. If your friend is acting like a dick, you should confront them with it. Don’t wait for the escort-girl with super social powers.

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      Haha I’ve always heard “shooting the shit” to more or less mean “hanging out”. I wonder if it’s not actually as common an expression as I thought!

      THAT IS ANOTHER GOOD POINT. People are raising great points in the comments on this post. Y’all are good.

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