Calendar Girl (July) Chapter 10: Problems Solved?

It’s the ending of another Calendar Girl book! We’ve read seven books about Mia’s adventures as an escort and, uh, learned pretty much nothing about what being an escort entails. As it would happen, a favorite podcast of mine – Here Be Monsters – just put out a new episode that’s the audio diary of an escort. Like, a real one. Not that I imagine anyone is reading Calendar Girl for the verisimilitude, but if anyone’s interested in hearing how wildly off the mark it is, it’s well worth a listen.

Also worth noting, we’re taking a little break before we start the next one, and will be taking off next Monday and Tuesday (but there’ll still be new ACOMAF posts next week).

Calendar Girl (July): Chapter 10

Mia wakes up to her cell phone going off, which Wes answers. Mia immediately thinks, “Shit. No. Bad idea. It could be anyone.” Which is definitely fair because that’s a weird boundary that Wes assumes he can cross, but also Mia and Wes haven’t really… ever talked about boundaries… and really need to. Also Wes is a dick, but I don’t think Mia agrees with me about that one, so I’ll take what I can get.

The caller is Aunt Millie calling Mia about her next client (which is another thing that Mia and Wes haven’t talked about – see, I can do this all day). Aunt Millie says that “something’s off” about this one, which if even Aunt Millie is saying…

“He’s too clean on paper. He’s been insistent that he reserve you as soon as you’re available. […] He needs you to be his long lost sister. Something about a business landing in the wrong hands if he doesn’t produce his sibling for the investors, blah, blah”

Guys, I cannot stress this enough – this next entry sounds batshit and I am ALL THE FUCK FOR IT.

“Her name popped up in some random agreement regarding the business, but he never knew her. They couldn’t really discern the scribbled name. It could be Mia Saunders or Mia Sanders, or Sonders with an O, but you share the individual’s birth date exactly”

I don’t need to actually talk about how strawberry-flavored batshit insane this plot is, right? Because it is buck wild and I love it to pieces.

“[He’s] only thirty, and he’s been at the helm of one of the top oil businesses headquartered in Texas.”
“Wow. Oil’s big money, right?”

My favorite part about Mia’s personality is that she seems only tangentially part of the world she lives in.

Mia makes plans to stay in Malibu with Wes between Anton and this new client. She tries to sweat Wes about it first, pretending that she isn’t going to stay with him, but in a rare genuinely funny moment for Calendar Girl, Wes does her one better.

“After this week, I’ll be in Malibu for six days. Wonder if there’s a place I could stay.”
With an absolutely blank face, Wes responded, “You have an apartment.”

Mia realizes she should probably just move out of her apartment by this point, since she hasn’t been there for seven months. Wes tells her that of course he wants her to stay with him, but this is Wes, so it very quickly just becomes about how we owns Mia.

“My parents have been bugging the crap out of me to get you back.”
“Get me back? You never had me in the first place.” […]
“I had you.”
I shook my head.
“You were mine even then.” [He] tickled me […] “Admit you were mine!” He demanded.

Yay so glad these two are finally together yay barf

Mia admits that “you had me in January” but she was in denial until recently. So recently, you might recall, that we didn’t even get Mia making up her mind about this – there was just suddenly a new chapter where she wanted Wes to be her boyfriend all of a sudden. Speaking of sudden, Mia also explains that she talked with Gin and Wes about what happened last month, per Maria’s advice, and we learn that she’s apparently over her sexual trauma now?

I figured out that it wasn’t just the touch from another man that triggered the response. Guilt drove the flashbacks, the anxiety, the niggling fear

So, uh, apparently dealing with trauma is that easy. No professionals, just some friends to help you think it through rationally. We’re good now, I guess.

Good thing too, because Mia has to shoot that seductive music video! So convenient that she got over that whole sexual trauma thing in time for the plot device requiring that that just happened to be at the end of this book. Worse, Wes is there during filming too and is Not Happy that his girlfriend is sexy dancing on film. All of this sounds so healthy!

You’d think he’d be a lot more considerate and accepting of the fact that I was playing a character and not think too much about it. Totally wrong. […] The way his eyes flicked from naked pieces of my flesh to where Anton had been touching them. All these were signs that Wes was barely handling it.

Mia even gently suggests he go somewhere else, but he stubbornly insists on flexing his fragile masculinity. So glad these two are finally together baaarf

Wes would lose his mind when he watched what was planned for the finale. […] Briefly, I considered telling Wes what was going to happen in the scene, but decided against it. […] Everyone knew that it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

I mean, Mia is totally in the right to do what she wants with her body and be in this video, but wasn’t it all of one chapter ago that Mia straight up said she didn’t want her relationship with Wes to be founded on lies? Literally one chapter ago?

The tips of my breasts were covered in gemstones […] A tiny thong, again made of sparkly gems

…where the fuck is this video going to be aired? Does that even meet YouTube’s content guidelines?

Mia describes films the finale of the video. Backup dancers remove pieces of her armor – because metaphors – until she’s in her jewel-studded near-nudity, cups her hands around a kneeling Anton’s face, and mouths the female vocal “Forget me” that ends the song. I want to take a moment to appreciate that the only lyrics we know to this song about a woman the singer can’t have are the man singing “Ride it, baby, ride” and a woman singing “Forget me”, but for some fucking reason the music video is about the woman shedding her metaphorical armor so it’s actually her who has issues, not the dude trying to pick her up with “Ride it, baby, ride”.

Speaking of Calendar Girl not 100% getting its own themes, Anton kisses Mia to celebrate a job well done. I fucking can’t.

“Lucita, you were a genius!” […] cupping both cheeks, he stared deeply in my etes, his intent clear. He leaned forward and kissed me softly on the lips. […] The best part of the kiss was the fact that there was absolutely no fear. No flashback, just the comfort of a friend congratulating me.

I’m goddamned sorry, is the happy ending of this book seriously that Mia got over her sexual trauma as indicated by a man who keeps trying to kiss her without her consent finally doing so without her having a panic attack? IS IT FUCKING REALLY?

“I think that’s quite enough of you touching my girl, eh, amigo?” Wes spoke in monotone.

In front of her possessive and now casually racist boyfriend that we’re supposed to be happy she finally got together with?

[Anton] pulled Wes into a man-hug complete with hard slaps to the back. “You’re good for her, amigo. Now we celebrate.”

And fucking none of this gets talked about. Fucking awesome. This is so good for all of these awful people.

Mia writes another stupid goodbye letter so she doesn’t have to say goodbye where Audrey Carlan ham-handedly misunderstands the theme of her story.

Anton,
How does a person thank someone for helping her deal with a trauma?

Did he really though?

It’s not like I can go to Hallmark and pick out a card that says, “Hey, you helped bring my back from the ledge. Thanks buddy!” Tee hee

“Tee hee”

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11 comments

  1. Cara Reply

    Fucking kill me. This is the worst writing I’ve ever seen? And I read blogs about bad books.
    Actually, no… Crossfire was still worse.

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  2. 22aer22 Reply

    Oh my god this is HORRIBLE. Honestly, honestly are we supposed to like Wes and still be rooting for him and Mia?

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  3. Jennifer Layton Reply

    Wes ANSWERS HER PHONE and acts creepily possessive. I wouldn’t mind if we’re about to see Wes turn into the villain of this series, but he’s going to be the romantic hero, isn’t he? Did I mention he ANSWERS HER PHONE?

    It’s weird how much that really bothers me. Phones are different from when I was growing up. Cell phones didn’t exist when I was a kid (full disclosure: I’m really really old). Answering the rotary dial phone at someone’s house was one thing. But now our phones contain our whole lives. It’s a personal computer containing our personal data, contacts, and all our business. So Wes picking up her phone and answering it feels really really out of line. Am I oversensitive about this? Because there are a million other things to hate about Wes, so I can let the phone thing go.

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      Ooooo I really like your observation that Wes could pivot to the villain of the series. I don’t think calendar girl is gonna do this since none of this chapter was presented as abusive, but that could save the story.

      Yeah, the answering her phone thing is so weird. Nobody does that. Hell, I don’t answer my own phone when it rings. What weirdo lives in 2017 and answers any phone ever. (I’m exaggerating slightly but seriously Wes is not exhibiting normal human behavior)

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      • 22aer22 Reply

        I was flirting with the idea that maybe Wes-turned-villain was the case, but the series has been SO pushy about Mia not believing good things can happen to her/not accepting love that I can’t see it turning around and being like, “She fucked up in love again!” I mean, maybe it could, but I haven’t gotten that sense from the story yet.

        I answer phones cautiously and skeptically and only if they are my own.

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  4. Sue W Reply

    You’d think he’d be a lot more considerate and accepting of the fact that I was playing a character and not think too much about it.

    Yeah, you would think that, seeing as how he works in movies, if I remember right.

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      Oh, yeah, she did actually make that exact point right before that quote, but I didn’t include it in the post bc i figured, well, in GENERAL that would be reasonable behavior to expect of someone

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      • Sue W Reply

        But reasonable behavior is SO unromantic! We can’t have that.

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  5. Lya Reply

    I hate when books has plot about trauma/mental ill and treat it like that, imagine someone suffering Mia’s trauma reading this book. I remember when I was teenager and I read The Mediator ~written by Meg Cabot~ (which deals in the wrong way about mental illness) and it made me not talk about my depression to my parents

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    • Jennifer Layton Reply

      That’s awful. I’ve been struggling with the way this book has been handling Mia’s attack and the emotional aftermath as well. It’s particularly dangerous for people who have been through it and can’t bring themselves to tell anyone. I hope you finally did talk to someone.

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  6. Judy F. Reply

    Wes is sooooo awful and the fiance of Mia’s sister was also awful and possessive. Is this what the author thinks makes good relationships?? The wrap up of Mia’s trauma plot was beyond ridiculous. Tee Hee

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