Today in Calendar Girl: awkward white people.
Calendar Girl (May): Chapter 4
The last chapter was entirely Mia and Tai hooking up and ended with them about to have sex again, but then Tai realized he totally forgot that it’s time for his big family dinner that happens every Sunday night. This is really what happens. He invites Mia, his hookup he met one day ago, to his family dinner. This is also really what happens.
Amazingly, after that is when things start to get uncomfortable.
“Now, Mia, my family is cool. The coolest. However, you are white, a mainlander. So if they make a comment on your being haole, just go with it. Our people are very proud of our culture, our heritage, and our family lines. They will treat you well and welcome you with open arms… as long as they don’t think we’re in a serious relationship.” […] His voice got low, so low I felt it in my hoo-hah. “Don’t look at me like you want to fuck me, girlie, or I’ll be nailing you to the closest wall, and fuck all who hear us. And they would hear you. Nothin’ beats making a woman scream out in pleasure when you’re buried balls-deep in her flower.”
…oh my god I am overwhelmed with everything going on in here. Oh my god. Where the even fuck do I start.
- Why does Mia constantly have to meet her fuckbuddy’s family? Why? This includes Wes’s family, who knew she was an escort, and Mason’s family, who for some reason Mason was also lying to about having a serious girlfriend for PR reasons. In what world is this normal behavior?
- Even considering #1, it’s extra arbitrary this time. Why did Tai feel the need to invite Mia? Why did Mia feel the need to go?
- What the fuck kind of comfort level does Tai’s family with each other that fuckbuddies are a-ok for family dinner, fucking them at family dinner is fine, but where they draw the line is a serious interracial relationship?
- I get that it’s hard to write an erotic novel and keep coming up with different words for the same thing over and over again, but there was nothing higher up the list than hoo-hah and flower?
Tai explains that everyone brings a huge dish to the family dinner that always happens every single Sunday always that he forgot about this week.
“But we didn’t bring anything.” I worried my lip with my teeth, suddenly concerned that we weren’t following Samoan protocol for a good party.
“Of course we did. What do you think you are?”
Just so we’re all 100% clear here, an interracial hookup is not only preferable to an interracial relationship at Tai’s family dinner, but a novelty on par with providing food for the guests. Seriously, what else could this comment mean?
This is the first warning sign of a big problem with this chapter, and potentially with the rest of May. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that not all of Mia’s clients and hookups are white and that there’s some diversity in here (albeit only starting with book five…). I love that we’re finally getting people of color in this series, and it’s a pleasant surprise that if Calendar Girl is going to a different culture that it genuinely wants to immerse itself in that culture. Also importantly, Mia isn’t fetishizing Tai (although admittedly I’m having some trouble telling if she is or isn’t, since Mia describes literally everyone in terms of their fuckability). But while those are both good things, you know what’s a little iffier?
“Tama, this is Mia Saunders. Mia, this is my father, Afano Niko.”
I held out my hand, and he shook it.
“She is working with me on a modeling campaign.”
His father’s eyebrows rose up into his hairline. “Another model? I thought you’d learned from your last mistake” […]
“Mia is not my girlfriend, Tama. Just a close friend. She’s only on the island for the month. Then she will take her leave.”
That seemed to perk the grump right up. He slapped a hand onto Tai’s shoulder and squeezed. “Well good, good. Then she should eat and talk with the family. Learn of the Samoan culture while she can.”
How everyone’s just kinda… pumped to be part of a white cultural tourist fantasy?
“Mia, this is my mother, Masina.”
I put my hand out, and she grabbed it lightly and tugged me into her arms. Then she softly kissed each of my cheeks and then my forehead. Her hands cupped my cheeks, her thumbs pressed against my temples. “You are very lost and on a great journey. Never fear. You will find great joy in the experience before committing to your forever.” […]
“Mother has a bit of a spiritual way about her. She’s been blessed with sight.”
A MAGICAL CULTURAL TOURIST FANTASY?
“Do not let my boy mix up your forever with his. Sadly, they are not linked.” At that time, she frowned, puffing out her thin lips. “You have but a short time. Make it last.”
Seriously, this family is weirdly chill with their children’s fuckbuddies.
Roughly half the chapter is Tai explaining his tattoos to Mia, because nothing’s as immersive and natural as an infodump
“What do all the tattoos mean?” I asked. […]
“In the way of Samoans, if you want to get tatau – or the ink – you must earn it.” […]
“Why is the entire right side of your body free of tatau?” I tried the Samoan word for tattoo on for size. He grinned at the use, so I must have said it correctly. Go me!
“Go me!” for saying “tatau” instead of “tattoo” wow this is a low bar
Oh, also, because this is Calendar Girl, of course this is also a sex scene.
“I want to see your melons.”
[I was] ready to be his willing slave if he’d just give me another sip of his sweet pleasure.
If one of the themes of your book is about white people learning about people of color’s cultures, maybe don’t use the word “slave” in your sex scenes?
I wanted that massive appendage in me like I wanted that million dollars to pay off Pop’s debt.
Yes, I’ll take “Things That Are The Opposite of Seamless” for $500, Alex. Oh my god, I can’t begin to explain how ridiculous that line is. So. Guess what time it is?
- “So if we destroy the horcruxes, then we can kill Voldemort!” Harry said, wanting to destroy horcruxes like he wanted his dead parents back.
- “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” Jane Eyre said, wanting a richer and more fulfilling life than typically afforded to women in the Victorian era like she wanted to marry Mr. Rochester.
Hahaaaaa, oh, but seriously, thanks for the reminder of how ridiculous it is that the actual plot of Calendar Girl is that Mia is going on a journey of self-discovery that also happens to be about paying off her dad’s gambling debt that also happens to be about getting a lot of ass. All those things. Simultaneously. Somehow.