What? What? WHAT? (9/13)

The teenage years. Friendships, crushes, growth... and hating. Lots of hating.

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Postby atristain on Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:57 am

TheTeague wrote:And I predict that next after entering the shower, Karen finds out that Marshal wears a medival chastity belt. So instead of commenting on it or realizing he means business (or rather "no business whatsoever") she gets her cell phone and calls a locksmith to come to the men's locker room. Benny Hill style hilarity ensues.

But...but... the stain marks! :o
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Postby Kitsuiko on Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:42 am

Marshal is a tease. He talks about being in love with her, but only treats her as "just friends" and ignores her needs. He's using his power in the relationship to force his principals on her.

[/quote]

I really don't think this is a dirty trick. Now, this belief is partially because dirty tricks are interesting and Marsh is the male version of Tara from Buffy ("...he's.... nice...") but it doesn't seem within his style.

Here's his thought tree:

Action
|
----------------
| |
Moral Immoral
| |
continue stop


We've seen all signs that he's affectionate towards her in public, refers to her as his girlfriend and makes everyone know their status -- so it's not like he hiding them. Further, judging from the position they were in at the end of weights -- he's not above a little bit of kissing and cuddling. Just.. no boinking.

Karen's made NO reference that she doesn't get ANYTHING -- just not that. And we're not exactly dealing with someone who won't say what she's not getting. She's rather Queen Crass.
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Postby atristain on Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:50 am

For tomorrow strip, we'll see Karen looking at Marshall playing with his Rubber Ducky, only not in an Ernie kind of way... :-|
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Postby Freemage on Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:59 am

Karen has security issues; we know this. She needs to be 'wanted', because it's something she's never had before.

Marshall has intimacy issues. It's obvious that he keeps his emotional distance from Karen, and I agree that he's using the fact that he has the power to 'trump' Karen's desires to control the relationship. You can see it not only in his actions, but also his word choice and body language whenever they're together.

This is a bad combination. Yes, Karen is stepping way over the line here (and has been handling it fairly poorly even before this). But Marshall, too, has been dealing with the situation in the worst possible way. For instance, through that whole conversation at the party, he never once seemed to tell her, "If I didn't care about you so much, it'd be easier to just use you." That IS a decent cool-down line, in that it stresses the positive.

Honestly, these two are in desperate need in a lesson in 'alternatives'. Mutual masturbation. Phone sex. Maybe oral when they're ready. In short, all sorts of controlled, limited release valves that could allow them to grow more intimate (and would reassure Karen that yes, he DOES desire her) without bringing up the host of problem-issues that go with full-on sex.
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Postby iRobot on Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:07 pm

TheTeague wrote:Karen is insecure, selfish, and overbearing. She doesn't respect Marshal's feelings about sex.


If she can't respect his wish to hold off on sex, she should find someone else of a similar mind. Take Stan, for instance.

She bases her entire self worth on her new appearance and wants it validated with a little groping.


This isn't about making out or groping--she wants to be validated by doing the full-on beast with two backs.

Marshal is a tease.


Hardly, he's straight-up about where he stands on the issue.

He talks about being in love with her, but only treats her as "just friends" and ignores her needs.


So, by not having sex with her he is, in your opinion, treating her as "just fiends?" Because that's pretty much what you're implying--there is no evidence that he hasn't kissed her, been romantic, been supportive, doted on her, etc.?

He's using his power in the relationship to force his principals on her.


BS. He's just abstaining from sex until he feels that he's ready for it. If she doesn't want to abstain, herself, she should find a new boyfriend.

Maybe if there was a comprimise like he could "just stick to vegitables" while she was allowed to "eat some meat" with other guys on the side while the two are dating, but that wouldn't give her what she needs (to feel like a desirable woman to Marshal). Everyone needs to feel wanted.


There are quite a few non-sexual ways to make a girl feel wanted and special. If she's incapable of feeling wanted without having sex, then she has far too many issue than Marshal should have to deal with (or even be capable of dealing with).

I swear, if their genders were reversed, everyone would be up in arms against Karen.
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Postby SaraStar on Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:23 pm

Well all analysis aside, we can (for certain) come to at least three conclusions based on what we've seen.

a) Marshall's gay. So what happens next? Two girls' dreams are dashed and we've got a whole new teen issue to work though in the comic.
b) He get's mad and breaks up with Karen. So now she's got to deal with her insecurity and he has to deal with more weights.
c) He gives in and give her something. And there, either everyone comes out happy, or he comes out resenting her for pressuring out of him.

Those aren't our only three of course, but those are the ones I see as most likely.
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Postby Ollie_Vera on Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:00 pm

StarKruzr wrote:Ollie, have any of those guys expressed clear interest in women? Have any of them even had girlfriends, or are they still stuck in nerdy celibacy (and I use this term as "lack of ALL sexual contact including KISSING) which, because they can't escape from it, they must embrace as part of their identity as a way of gaining control over it?

Ahahahaha, no. AHAHAHAHAHAHA God no. XDD
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Postby TheTeague on Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:03 pm

iRobot wrote:I swear, if their genders were reversed, everyone would be up in arms against Karen.


I thought everyone already WAS up in arms about Karen attempting to Rape Marshal.

People are both sexual beings, and emotional beings. Marshal is completely disreguarding half her identity like Rich blowing off Penny's feelings about his safety.

Neither Karen or Marshal are fit for a relationship right now.
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Postby ivy-chan on Thu Sep 14, 2006 4:13 pm

Not wanting to have sex with someone does not equal disregard for that person's feelings. NO ONE should feel pressured into sex, or should feel like they should have sex only to placate their partner. That leads only to resentment and pain. There is such thing as nonsexual intimacy, such as kissing, hugging, making out, lying draped on a couch sprawled almost on top of each other and watching TV, yes, even showering nude together with, you know, previous knowledge and consent... actual sex doesn't have to be involved for any of that.

For some people, sex is an intensely personal, special thing, and should be saved for someone who is fully willing to commit themselves to a long, loving relationship. Masturbation is all well and good, but Marshall seems like a private person who wouldn't feel comfortable masturbating in front of someone. Being a romantic, an idealist, and someone with the standard of morality that hold with no sex until marriage, (Swans mate for life), does not mean that you're insensitive to the needs of your lover. Not feeling ready for sex doesn't mean that you're gay, or that there's something wrong with you. It's possible for Marshall to want Karen sexually, to have all that teenage horniness, and to masturbate without wanting to have that kind of intimacy at this point of his life.
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Postby TheTeague on Thu Sep 14, 2006 5:35 pm

I'm not saying they should have sex at all. If they do, they'll both be disappointed: Karen unhappy that Marshal would turn out so vanilla and inhibbited in bed, and Marshal that his first time wont turn out to be the hugely transcendental moment of life changing enlightenment he plans it to be.

I'm just saying they've both got issues and they're both making each other unhappy. Marshal is making Karen feel unattractive and worthless again and Karen is making Marshal incredibly upset and frustrated with her pestering.


But it wouldn't be nearly as entertaining if they actually got along.
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Postby seh on Thu Sep 14, 2006 5:53 pm

I think people are blaming Marshal a bit too much. Actually, I think, way too much.

Yes, Karen has issues. Since we know little to nothing about Marshal except his stance on sex ("We're just kids."), I can't say with certainty whether he does or not.

However, to say that Marshal is going to make Karen miserable because is "Making Karen feel unattractive", as the previous poster said I think is extremely one-sided. (I don't mean to pick on you, but you said it nicely and succinctly. Couldn't have made it shorter if I tried and other posters have insinuated the same thing.)

We know Marshal and Karen kiss. (1) We know they spend time together. (1 & 2) We know he fully supports her wants her to be happy and healthy. (3 & 4) (He's a bit more into healthy than most teens, I'll wager, but everyone's different.) I wouldn't be surprised if his take on health plays into his not wanting to have sex with Karen yet.

After all, we already know he wants to, he just doesn't think they should. (5)

If Karen is made unhappy in this relationship by anyone, it is only by herself and with her own insecurities.

(1) http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060906.html
(2) http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20050929.html
(3) http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20051223.html
(4) http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060113.html
(5) http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060804.html
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Postby ivy-chan on Thu Sep 14, 2006 6:20 pm

Agreed. Marshall is not out to make her feel worthless and unnattractive. He isn't calling her fat, he isn't being aggressively or passive-aggressively insulting. They haven't discussed this in-depth , so how is he supposed to know? He is, in fact, being a pretty good boyfriend from what we've seen. He is levelheaded, supportive, loving, and he genuinely respects Karen- or who he thinks she is. If his denying her that level of physical intimacy makes her feel unnattractive, it isn't his fault. Her insecurities were there before he even came into the picture. I can't blame any of Karen's behavior on Marshall.

I mean, it's like saying: 'Your kindness and peace with yourself made me feel frustrated and jealous and so I tried to hurt you, and it is your fault for being the indirect cause of my turmoil.'
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Postby Sebastian on Fri Sep 15, 2006 4:27 am

ivy-chan wrote:I mean, it's like saying: 'Your kindness and peace with yourself made me feel frustrated and jealous and so I tried to hurt you, and it is your fault for being the indirect cause of my turmoil.'


Not to be trollish but that sound a lot like the excuses rapist uses to justify what they do.
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Postby Yawnitz on Fri Sep 15, 2006 5:23 am

In this situation, Marshall has every right to refuse Karen sex, and be angry at her advance. Need reasons? How about:

1. Headline News: SCANDAL!
2. It's a crime to enter a bathroom of any sort of the opposite sex.
3. The gym will undoubtedly have to go through an investigation.
4. Charisma is probably going to be fired, on top of everything else.
5. Marshall will likely have lost a lot of credibility if he were wanting to enter the medical, physical, or any other career field.
6. The implications of how Karen will be negatively affected are numerous. Among them, are possibly marking herself as a target to be assaulted and raped.

If you need to, you can call me a troll for saying this. There is NO proof that Marshall is homosexual. IF Marshall had even so much as looked at a guy one way or another, that's one thing. If he happens to look at a guy in a certain way in another comic that is coming, that's another thing.

In a comic that makes extensive use of looks to determine who likes who or what, you'd think Marshall would have done so already. Perhaps, he might do it in the future. It hasn't happened yet.

If you feel it's necessary, start collecting your bags of "I told you so's" and be ready. I'll get my ketchup ready in case I have to eat my words. Until then, there's no proof that Marshall is anything but heterosexual.
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Postby Yawnitz on Fri Sep 15, 2006 5:30 am

Oh, and something I almost forgot to mention. Karen's appearance in panel 4 is consistent with her appearance in panel one. When she's seated on the rowing machine in a prior comic, she has a little bit of a roll.

A body standing will look much less chunky than when sitting. This is always going to be the case, unless a person has a tiny body fat %.

Karen simply isn't overweight anymore. She might still have been at the party. If you need to use "chubby" and such to identify her still, that's all you.
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Postby Bouncing Beatnik on Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:13 am

ivy-chan wrote:Agreed. Marshall is not out


No, he's not. Not yet, anyway.
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Postby Tarlia on Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:37 am

StarKruzr wrote:
No, I wouldn't. I would assume she was female.
Sorry, folks, I know this isn't a popular thing to say, but -- SURPRISE! -- men and women have different ideas about sex and approach it differently.

Also, the assumption is not that they -- imperative -- "MUST" want to have sex, but that they DO want to engage in SOME kind of sexual activity.

Marshall, had he been a straight, NORMAL teenage male, could have seized upon this event to show Karen what he WAS comfortable with in terms of sexual activity, be it "heavy petting" or any number of other things that could have been quite satisfying for her. We didn't have to see it in-frame, either -- obviously.


Surprise! - People are individuals. As much as you'd like to place everyone in neat little boxes based on a single characteristic - in this case, gender - the real world doesn't work that way. Even if many males would react that way, that doesn't mean that all of them will. And no, homosexuality or asexuality aren't the only possible explanations. We don't know what his reasons are yet, and maybe one of those two is right, maybe it's something else.

The point is that it's stupid to assume that there is such a thing as a "NORMAL" male or female way to react. There are girls who would love to jump at the opportunity to have sex too, believe it or not. PEOPLE have different ideas about sex and approach it differently. My ideas about sex differ a lot from many other women, and one man's ideas about sex may certainly differ a lot from other men's ideas. Like with most other things, generalizing about this is pointless.
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Postby ivy-chan on Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:42 am

Sebastian wrote:
ivy-chan wrote:I mean, it's like saying: 'Your kindness and peace with yourself made me feel frustrated and jealous and so I tried to hurt you, and it is your fault for being the indirect cause of my turmoil.'


Not to be trollish but that sound a lot like the excuses rapist uses to justify what they do.


Um...yeah, you're right. That was the point of that comment.
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Postby Kaymcc on Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:15 am

Yawnitz wrote:1. Headline News: SCANDAL!
2. It's a crime to enter a bathroom of any sort of the opposite sex.
3. The gym will undoubtedly have to go through an investigation.
4. Charisma is probably going to be fired, on top of everything else.
5. Marshall will likely have lost a lot of credibility if he were wanting to enter the medical, physical, or any other career field.
6. The implications of how Karen will be negatively affected are numerous. Among them, are possibly marking herself as a target to be assaulted and raped.


.. Wait, *what*? ... I don't even know what to say to this. Since when is it illegal in the US to enter a bathroom that's not of your gender? Why would the gym be investigated over a girl going to have a shower with her boyfriend? I'm reasonably sure that Charisma owns the gym, but even if she doesn't why would *she* be fired? Why would Marshall lose any cred? And HOW would Karen going into the shower to be with her boyfriend => making herself a target?
... My head hurts. If you're being sarcastic in some fashion I'm not seeing it, but god I hope you are. Tell me you're joking and I'm just not getting it, please. :okthen: :gonk:
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Postby Freemage on Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:20 am

There's two broad categories opinions seem to be divided into here:

1: "Any problems Karen are having are all her own fault; Marshall is blameless."

2: "Karen and Marshall both are handling the issue poorly; Karen needs to be more honest with herself and him, and he needs to find a way to communicate his feelings for her better."

I don't think anyone is seriously blaming Marshall exclusively.

Every time we've seen him, though, he's been calm, relaxed, and a bit aloof. The problem is, that translates into keeping an emotional distance. Sure, he's been supportive and encourages her. But that's something you can get from a friendship. Karen wants romance and passion. She THINKS (and this is where it gets ugly) that means 'sex'. Problem is, Marshall's not showing her any difference. He withholds sex, which is fine--but he's also refraining from passion or romance. So, she gets that much more desperate, and he gets more resistant. It's a cyclic thing, and--once again--NEITHER of them is handling it properly.
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Postby Rebochan on Fri Sep 15, 2006 11:09 am

Freemage wrote:There's two broad categories opinions seem to be divided into here:

1: "Any problems Karen are having are all her own fault; Marshall is blameless."

2: "Karen and Marshall both are handling the issue poorly; Karen needs to be more honest with herself and him, and he needs to find a way to communicate his feelings for her better."
But I haven't seen much of that second camp. And you're ignoring the third camp, which is:

3: Marshall is an idiot for not wanting to screw his naked girlfriend and is insulting her and/or gay for not wanting sex.

I don't think anyone is seriously blaming Marshall exclusively.
Did you read the thread? There's been several comments that entirely blame Marshall and ignore Karen.

Every time we've seen him, though, he's been calm, relaxed, and a bit aloof. The problem is, that translates into keeping an emotional distance. Sure, he's been supportive and encourages her. But that's something you can get from a friendship. Karen wants romance and passion. She THINKS (and this is where it gets ugly) that means 'sex'. Problem is, Marshall's not showing her any difference. He withholds sex, which is fine--but he's also refraining from passion or romance. So, she gets that much more desperate, and he gets more resistant. It's a cyclic thing, and--once again--NEITHER of them is handling it properly.
The thing is, Marshall *has* been rather passionate towards her. We saw him do so during the birthday party, in fact - no passionless man gives out a serious gift like glass swans with a line like "Swans mate for life" unless they

A) REALLY want sex

or

B) Are ready for a lifetime commitment with the recipient

It's a statement that shouldn't be taken lightly, though Karen seems to be treating it like it is, which is quite sad. I think it reveals her own insecurities - despite how aggressive she's acting, her thought bubble reveals how unsure she is. No matter what Marshall says or does, in her head she's still trying to smother her old self and can't truly be confidant with the person she's become. The thing is, one romp with Marshall won't cure this - he's not to blame. She's going to keep wanting more validations of her worth and she's going to keep coming up with more demanding criteria and more things to flaunt because she thinks that's what she has to do to be happy.

I don't see Marshall as being to blame - he's been supportive of her, and he's made his feelings and reasoning clear. Rather than coax him past it or simply respect that Marshall has every right not to have sex, Karen is forcing the issue. I don't see this ending well for her, even *if* Marshall goes for it.

I don't see things ending well for Michelle either, but she's been kind of ignored, poor thing. I can't see her "not falling in love" with Stan if they sleep together, and she's already got enough problems. In this situation, a one night stand is going to complicate them.
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Postby atristain on Fri Sep 15, 2006 11:21 am

Kaymcc wrote:
Yawnitz wrote:1. Headline News: SCANDAL!
2. It's a crime to enter a bathroom of any sort of the opposite sex.
3. The gym will undoubtedly have to go through an investigation.
4. Charisma is probably going to be fired, on top of everything else.
5. Marshall will likely have lost a lot of credibility if he were wanting to enter the medical, physical, or any other career field.
6. The implications of how Karen will be negatively affected are numerous. Among them, are possibly marking herself as a target to be assaulted and raped.


.. Wait, *what*? ... I don't even know what to say to this. Since when is it illegal in the US to enter a bathroom that's not of your gender? Why would the gym be investigated over a girl going to have a shower with her boyfriend? I'm reasonably sure that Charisma owns the gym, but even if she doesn't why would *she* be fired? Why would Marshall lose any cred? And HOW would Karen going into the shower to be with her boyfriend => making herself a target?
... My head hurts. If you're being sarcastic in some fashion I'm not seeing it, but god I hope you are. Tell me you're joking and I'm just not getting it, please. :okthen: :gonk:

Perhaps if you read my last post, it could clarify it for you.
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Postby oddtail on Fri Sep 15, 2006 11:24 am

To add a new argument to the discussion:

I've been thinking... even though Marshall acted a bit like a jerk when he refused Karen sex (he could've handled it more kindly), is he really avoiding sex only because of "not being ready", and other reasons revolving around him?

Let me explain:

1) He says "WE are kids". He means himself AND her.
2) Karen wants sex, yes.
3) Would Karen really be happy after her "first time"? I know quite a few girls/women, that are quite sexually active, started their sex life pretty early, are not prudes or anything. But they often make the comment along the lines of "I wish I hadn't started so early; it was a mistake, I rushed into things".
4) We see that Karen has self-esteem issues. We can safely assume, then, that she regards her first time as a symbolic thing, as something that would be ultimate proof that she is desirable and needed.
5) If her expectations are so high, she's bound to be disappointed. A lot of less insecure girls are, after all.
6) Now, let's assume that Marshall, being a smart guy (and caring about Karen - even if he shows it in an awkward way), realises points 3 to 5?

My point is - is Marshall really backing off because of what *he* wants, or perhaps he's showing some consideration for her well-being after they have had sex together.

I'm not going to provide Freudian theories or anything like that, but - I'm assuming that the first sexual intercourse is much more of a big deal for women than for men (for different reasons, ranging from psychological to simply physical).

Seeing all this, isn't what Marshall is doing at least partly for Karen's benefit?

Just a thought. If I'm not making sense, laugh at my conclusions all you want ;).
Last edited by oddtail on Fri Sep 15, 2006 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TheTeague on Fri Sep 15, 2006 11:25 am

I'm in camp #2 that believes the two just don't understand each other. Marshal is all about quiet, internalized, lofty literature passion...Boring.
Karen wants loud, dramatic, in-the-moment movie passion....Shallow.
Neither will ever get what they want from each other as it is.

I think it needs to be a little of both. A deep flowing love peppered with moments of shout-it-from-the-rooftops enthusiasm. Like what Duane has going on, albeit a bit too sachrine for Penny to take seriously.


Michelle has already convinced herself to fall for Stan even before their first date. But who knows, maybe Stan will stick with her after the date. Like Jack said, Stan stringing her along and ditching her would be bad storytelling.
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Postby JK9000 on Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:22 pm

Freemage wrote:Every time we've seen him, though, he's been calm, relaxed, and a bit aloof. The problem is, that translates into keeping an emotional distance. Sure, he's been supportive and encourages her. But that's something you can get from a friendship. Karen wants romance and passion. She THINKS (and this is where it gets ugly) that means 'sex'. Problem is, Marshall's not showing her any difference. He withholds sex, which is fine--but he's also refraining from passion or romance.


'Cuz the swan thing wasn't romantic at all. Nope. Nor were the dripping profusions of how "inspiring" Karen is that he made during the party, or the bedside cuddling we saw during the 'Weights' storyline. Or the numerous dates they've alluded to being on.

No sir, Marshall's a dry, passionless man, starving Karen of emotional support/love.


Look, folks, I don't even like Marsall all that much. He's not a very exciting guy. But, sex aside, he's made all the checkpoints on the "caring boyfriend" list, and it's not really fair to ask him to have sex when he's not comfortable with it.

Karen wants sex. She's has all sorts of support, compassion, and general love from Marshall. But she's got her mind wrapped around this idea that it's all worthless unless she's hot enough to make him throw caution to the wind and make passionate love with wild abandon.

All she wants is validation of her physical beauty. "Pretty people get to do what they want", after all, and damn all if she isn't pretty enough to have sex with.
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