"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Men In Trees: Home, Seized Home

It’s a big step -- moving in with someone -- and Jack and Marin certainly did it sooner than most couples. But then again, if you almost lost someone, it makes sense that you want to keep them close to you, right? Near death experiences make "seizing the day" seem less like a choice, and more of an obligation. We don't know how long we have, so we've got to make every moment count. But, as Marin learns, the day AFTER you seize the day is when reality sets in, when the romance starts to fade and you have to deal with all the pesky details. Which are often messy and complicated. Just like life.

In this episode, all of our characters are struggling with the practical fallout from their decisions. Theresa and Ben want a baby, but this desire transforms sex from a romantic act, to a scheduled event. Buzz allows Patrick to fly his plane, only to be met by Celia's wrath. And Jane and Sam? Well, their hasty wedding and their decision to split their time between Elmo and New York, means that Jane has to reconcile what she thought her life would look like, with what it actually does look like. Even if that means she won’t get into the New York Times Vows section.

And then, there is Marin and Jack. Marin’s fear that she and Jack moved too quickly, and that he will be less enchanted by the "real" her -- warts and all -- is, I think, a very relatable one. After all, in the early stages of dating we pick and choose what we reveal. We hide our flaws, and then show them slowly. When we feel safe.

But, because Jack and Marin never really dated, and their history is more a series of stops and starts, she doesn't feel safe yet. And so, when her work is lost due to his "unplugging", she overreacts. And then, when Jack calls her on her overreaction, she overreacts further -- as if daring him to love her, despite her flaws.

She is upset about her lost work, of course, but more than that, she is scared that she and Jack made a mistake -- that they rushed into things, that once he knows her -- really knows her, the way you know someone when you live with them -- he won't love her. She sort of spirals into self-doubt (as we all are prone to), until Sara points out that she's looking for reasons to bail, instead of looking for reasons to stay. See Marin likes to be in control. Plus, she's been burned before, by Graham. All of which makes opening up, and sharing a life with someone, a very scary prospect. Then again, maybe that's why they call it "falling in love." You can’t be in control. You have to let yourself "fall."

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