Hey St Louis! Come out and see me (and Rori!) in the Artist Alley at this weekend's Wizard World. It's our first con, so if you're there, be sure to drop by to say hullo. We're at table 1103! http://www.wizardworld.com/home-stlouis.html
So many different angles here....
To me, Lauren is in the wrong. It still seems Lauren was the loose cannon, and Sam's outburst was more damage control (ending the craziness/hurt of being neglected).
I think that Lauren should have broken up with Sam earlier on. She shat talked "his" friends (even though the girls are defending her AND listened/talked to her through her questioning about Rick) Instead, she drags him through her maturing phase of wanting to be higher and mightier than his rag tag group.
In my opinion...
- Lauren has been irrational and her dismissal of Sam and his feelings are what really have me in Sam's corner.
Punching someone is the opposite of "damage control." If Sam wanted to end the "craziness/hurt" then he should break up with Lauren his own self. (But he doesn't want to end it, neither does Lauren, I think pretty obviously.)
I don't usually engage in the comments, but I keep seeing this attitude here, honestly, it's really disturbing in the sense that I'm pretty sure there are real people behind it, living these feelings and opinions out in the world.
Lauren isn't wrong. It's not her responsibility to break up with Sam, the man she loves and is making a life with, because HIS insecurities won't allow her to have a friend that HE doesn't APPROVE of. (Although, I have to say, I wouldn't blame her. I think it says more about how much she truly loves Sam that she's not told him to stick it by now.)
Strong relationships require compromise and trust, and Sam has shown neither.
What is compromise? It's "hey, I don't like your friend, so you hang out with them without me, k?" NOT "I don't like them, you aren't ALLOWED to be friends with them." And if you actually think the person is a danger, you express that in a way that isn't about your selfish feelings, because it's about your concern for the other person. You hold the other person tight and lovingly watch out for them, not command them.
I don't think a lot of people really understand this. Your spouse/bf/gf isn't your possession. Sam's attitude is utterly irrational, harmful and overbearing.
Also, this group is anything but homogenous in it's members' feeling toward each other. Not everyone likes Sam so much, not everyone likes Mulligan, or Michelle, or Patrick, or Kara, etc... Lauren's not trying to get away from Michelle or Wiley or Peter, etc. This story is way more complex than all this hate-spray at Lauren suggests.
See, here's the thing, Lauren has slowly become my favorite character. She's just a woman, she's not remarkable, isn't sexy or gorgeous, doesn't have a mysterious or tragic past (seemingly). She's just a person like so many people are, she's smart, a little shy, a little awkward, a little lost in the world. Sometimes she's nosy, opinionated, arrogant...but not evil, not saintly. I love that, it's not something you see so much. She also, in my mind, has a male equivalent to all that awkward, plain, sometimes arrogant beauty: Sam.
It was nice to read HipsLikeCinderella's comment, because I've been thinking pretty much the same.
Lauren isn't stupid, and she has told Rick that she is with Sam and plans on staying with him. She has made her intensions clear; she would like to be friends with Rick and nothing more.
I'm not saying that I particurlary like Rick, or that he hasn't been kind of a rude bastard, ignoring everyone but Lauren. But still, it must be hard for Lauren, when neither her boyfriend or her friends seem to trust her - I get that jealousy is hard, but, it must hurt that Sam seems to trust her so little, that he freaks out over a guy showing interest in her.
I also get the reaction from the guys after the fight, espicially from those who haven't been there the last few weeks - naturally thay want to support their friend. I'm also happy that so far Peter at least seems to be reasonable about it.
@HipsLikeCinderella: Sorry, where has Lauren shown compromise, or listened to Sam, or trusted (aka accepted) that he has a bad feeling about the guy, if that's what relationships are supposed to be based on? Has she entertained that though for a moment? No, not really. Lauren's attitude is just as harmful to a relationship
THIS IS LONG
@HipsLikeCinderella: Let's start with my first issue.
IF SHE IS UNHAPPY THEN IT IS HER RESPONSIBILITY FOR HER HAPPINESS TO BREAK UP WITH HIM. If she is so sick of his jealousy she should break up with him. That's her job. It does not fall on Sam to break with her for her own good. It's not an abusive relationship. He's not Devon. Quite Frankly I think Sam should break up with her. She's been dismissive, refuses to acknowledge that jealousy is a valid feeling for a person to have and that if Rick wasn't so dismissive or blatantly ignoring Sam would probably deal with this better. Lauren is not in our bad books for her belief in choosing her friends, which I fully support,it's about her disregard of normal emotions and an expectation for Sam to ignore every jab, insult and dismissal thrown at him.
Sam isn't being irrational. He's acting like a normal college student would when they feel they are being invalidated and feel like their opinions and emotions don't matter. He's jealous. What would you expect an early 20 something person in college to do instead? I'd love an answer to that which does not result in wondrous make-believe of an ideal world. and an expectation for Sam to ignore every jab, insult and dismissal thrown at him.
Sam's insecurities would be fixed if he was given reassurance that she's not going to dump him during his stressful exhibit time and run off with some guy who will only acknowledge his existence if it's stressed to him. Sam fears that Lauren's already drifting away and that there will be nothing he can do to fix his relationship. This is only further forced by Rick, an "attractive male" who is getting cosy with Lauren and doesn't truly respect the relationship Lauren is already in. This male continues to drive a wedge between the two by provoking Sam, which plays to his advantage. I do not condone punching Rick, but that's what makes it believable, that Sam as a 20-something would in fact do. Sam who admitted he lost control, regained control and left without further incident.
Jealousy is a NORMAL feeling. EVERYONE gets it and it is not an emotion that should be ignored or dismissed. It should be and every time Sam makes an attempt to be heard or get Rick to even acknowledge his existence Lauren should be stepping in; not with "I can't believe you are doing this" but with something more constructive than a blame game.
She hasn't made any compromises either and neither has Sam. However, you expect me to believe she is the more rational one, well than perhaps she should make the effort to keep her relationship together. She hasn't done anything expect make poor expectations and blame Sam. She doesn't yell or argue with Rick. Only Sam. It's one-sided.
She's very clearly not shy as well though. She was quite happy to talk to Rick when he started conversing with her, and she obviously does talk with the rest of the group (even though she does believe them to be "Sam's" friends and not her own. Perhaps if she saw them as her friends she would have more presence in the group.)
And AT NO POINT did SAM actually say "Don't hang out with him.". They had a massive fight (in which Sam was blowing off stress, and she refused to admit at the time what Rick's most probable intentions were, as well as the fact that she had no right to pass judgements on Christo's behaviour and then get defensive when Sam questions her behaviour - That's hypocritical.)
So, that is my issue with Lauren. She's not as believable as Sam. People understand jealousy. Lauren MUST feel jealousy. It is not possible for a human to not feel it.
I understand her view, and I do sympathise, but Sam is not soley to blame. Sam isn't handlying this well, and he sure as hell shouldn't have punched Rick, but he owns up to what he has done wrong. When will Lauren admit to her part in the breakdown?
@Guest: Lauren's attitude is the guy's her friend and there's no reason for Sam to worry, which she keeps telling him and he keeps not believing. She's talking to him but he's not listening to her. You think she has to trust (accept??) what he thinks but he isn't trusting her at all. He has a bad feeling (aka jealousy) so she should do what he thinks? Has Sam entertained the thought for a moment that Rick might not be trying to get into her pants? What's the compromise Lauren isn't showing? Most people here are acting like it's ditching someone she thinks of as a friend and doing what her boyfriend wants (aka demands). That doesn't look like compromise to me, it just looks like obeying her man, because men know best and women need protecting. It's just insane to see a man yelling at his girlfriend and punching her friends and thinking that SHE is the one who is harming the relationship. Where's Sam's compromise? I don't see one.
God, people, stop being so judgmental! Neither Lauren nor Sam are to blame for the situation, and both are responsible for it. Both have done things to make it worse, and both have neglected to do things to defuse it. If they can grow up, learn from the experience, move on and find back to each other, as the prologue suggests, good for them!
But shoving all the guilt and blame onto one of them, based on who you like better or on your own experiences, is really not a very mature or intelligent way to handle these kind of relationship situations. That is exactly what Lauren and Sam are doing right now, and why Rick has a chance at all to break up their relationship.
@Jess: Acting in a typical, predictable fashion and acting irrationally are not mutually exclusive. Sam is doing both.
I agree that the situation could have been ameliorated if Lauren stuck to calm reassurances - she and Sam have both made things worse with their finger-pointing - but ultimately, I agree with HipsLikeCinderella that her position (however badly she may have been arguing it) is the stronger one: Sam doesn't own her. If she wants to be friends with Rick, that's her decision. If Sam doesn't trust Rick, fine, he has good reason for that. But regardless of what he thinks of Rick, he needs to trust Lauren enough not to get pissed off when she's with Rick, or their relationship is doomed (which, of course, it is).
As for your assertions concerning jealousy, you are correct to say that it is normal. To say that everyone feels it and it's impossible not to, however, is not only wrong, but also contributing to erasure of polyamorous and polyflexible people - as well as aromantics, and monamorous people who are rational enough to trust their partners, and to realize that if cheating does occur, it's not a problem in and of itself, but rather a symptom of a pre-existing problem with the relationship. I suggest you look up the word 'compersion'. I'm not saying it's applicable to the comic - it isn't - but your egregious blanket statements are really bothering me.
@Georgie Porgie: On the one hand, I completely agree that Lauren is not Sam's possession (nor is any woman any man's possession) and has the right to be friends with whomever she pleases.
On the other hand, we all know that Rick has been focusing solely on Sam's negative points while discussing the relationship with Lauren, despite barely knowing him at all. Furthermore, we have definitive proof that he blatantly ignores Sam when he sees him.
This is what Sam gets from Rick: ignorance and disrespect. Had Rick been willing to engage in even the most basic civilities with Sam, this whole mess might have been avoided. Sam would then see Rick as just a guy Lauren wants to be friends with. Honestly, Sam was the most laid-back guy in this entire comic. To push him over the edge like this is very telling. When he and Lauren initially spoke of Rick, Sam was actually willing to trust Lauren, but this was only followed by disrespect from Rick and his constant shadowing of Lauren.
How would you feel if your significant other had a friend of the opposite sex who ignored you when you were together. How would you feel if your SO didn't even address this issue? Would you feel respected? Would you feel that your relationship is even acknowledged?
Again, this is what Sam sees, because that's the info he's privy to. Did he fuck up when he punched Rick? Absolutely and he deserves whatever consequences this entails. Did Rick show any indication that he respected Sam and Lauren's relationship? Absolutely not.
Not so fast
@HipsLikeCinderella: Don't be so quick to beatify Lauren. She is just as much to blame for this as Sam. He shouldn't have acted the way he did, he should have expressed himself more plainly that he didn't like Rick or what he was doing, but as his girlfriend, she should also have been more willing to see ti from his point of view, as even Sam himself said earlier on. There is fault and blame to be found in both parties as far as this situation is concerned. No ONE person has wronged the other. They have both been acting like a couple of selfish imbeciles. Whatever Lauren says to the contrary, she DOES like the not so subtle attention Rick gives her, whether she is aware of it or not. And Sam should have either more calmly expressed his concerns to her, or simply gone and talked to Rick himself to straighten things out, with WORDS. Both have been stupid, and both are wrong.
@HipsLikeCinderella: I strongly, STRONGLY disagree with you on sam's attitude being "utterly irrational" for a few reasons.
Firstly, what Rick is doing shows a huge lack of respect for Sam, as would any girl acting the same way show a lack of respect for Lauren. It's not because she's his "possession". It's because somewhat common courtesy is to not chase someone who is already taken.
Secondly, I would have done the exact same thing as Sam, because both times in the last five years that my (two separate) girlfriends had "friends" that acted like this, they were cheating on me behind my back with said friend.
If Lauren would have simply said "hey dude, i'm in a relationship" that may have stopped Rick.
Or it may have just been even more of a reason for him to have his ass kicked.
First time this whole comic I've disagreed with Peter. If someone is hitting on my girl, and he refuses to acknowledge my existence so I can't call him out on it, and my girl pretends like it doesn't matter, either it's time to break up because the girl doesn't care enough about me to respect my opinions on the matter or it's time to punch the guy because that's the only way to get my point across. Something has to be done- Lauren should have easily noticed that there was anger and frustration boiling inside Sam. That's the responsibility of an SO- to realize when your actions are causing your partner pain, and find a way to deal with the situation as productively as possible. If I hadn't read the prologue, at this point I would be guessing that Lauren has actually decided she prefers Rick to Sam, and set this whole thing up to rationalize it.
I'm guessing that Peter is realising there's a bit more to this than meets the eye. He knows they just walked into something. I'll be interested to see what insights he has on the situation at this point in the story (back-story?).
Sometimes your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/spouse will have friends that you hate, and sometimes they might even hate you back. That doesn't mean you punch them, it means you grow the hell up and ignore them. Simple as that.
@That guy: To be fair, said guy was actively threatening Andy, so the accidental beer spill simply triggered (and, admittedly, magnified) Peter's violently protective instinct. When Peter fully came to terms with what this personality trait fully entailed after he handed Devon's ass to him, he calmed down considerably, which probably contributes to his current attitude.
Not saying he would step up to defend a friend, but I'm sure his response would be considerably more measured.
@Xasswuwe: I agree with the "no punching" and "growing up" parts, but not the "ignore" part, especially when a "new friend" seemingly has an agenda.
Some people can be paranoid and see signs that aren't there, which needlessly fuels jealousy, but I have a hard time believing anyone else wouldn't at the very least be concerned were they in Sam's shoes, especially with Rick's attitude toward him.
Some folks have said that Sam should just deal with it, while saying that he has no right to tell Lauren what to do. Do they not see the inherent hypocrisy in this? She can tell him to shut up and mind his business, but he can't ask for some understanding on her part? How is that fair?
Still not getting why Lauren is basically giving Rick a free pass.
If Im attached and somebody not only keeps hitting on me...and on top of it is completely rude to my SO. What does it say about me when I dont even bat an eyelash?
Granted Sam needs to cool down (And dump Lauren) but she needs to get in Ricks face and say "Hey Buck-o...back off already. Im in a relationship so stop asking me out on start treating my SO with some freaking common courtousey"
She keeps saying it doesnt matter if Ricks hitting on her, but actually it does matter. Even if Rick has no shot, the fact he keeps trying despite knowing shes in a relationship should say alot about him....If Lauren cared....which she doesnt.
<3 <3 <3
This is by far my favorite story line in the year or so I've been reading. I am with @HipsLikeCinderella in that Lauren is proving (to me) a complex and relatable character. Early on, she seemed to read more like "love interest" placeholder text and I'm glad she's getting a turn on the wheel.
Sam and Lauren's relationship is what it is. They clearly aren't people doing a very good job of meeting each other's needs for respect or security.
The idea that Lauren's actions (or lack thereof) forced Sam to commit an act of violence, is one I don't ascribe to. Women do not cause men to be violent, men do that of their own accord. Ask anyone who's in recovery from physical abuse.
We all Win =)
I am glad these last chapters have gathered so much attention and conversation! This is what great writing does, it makes you think. It's not just black or white, good or evil.....
With that being said, I want to clarify that in no way am I demonizing Lauren, or being sexist towards her. So often we want to get on the bandwagon of our "favorite character" and glorify their actions.
If you remember, Michelle has been very hesitant about Sam. In some cases, referencing possible violence. Whether this came from evidence or this was just her being defensive, we'll have to wait and see.
We have seen multiple abusers/abused in Pictures of You that one could maybe automatically assume Sam is the aggressor and Lauren is the victim, but I'm not heading there. It is not guilty until proven innocent in my eyes.
Maybe Sam will kick puppies for fun in the next chapter and Lauren will be vindicated.. who knows?
Brandishing Sam as the one who should have made the decision to break up is clearly taking the path in Lauren's favor. Women can be just as destructive as men, and punches don't have to be thrown on either side to accomplish this.
Right now, from the way I have been interpreting the story, Lauren is being more destructive than Sam.
Time will tell, there are ten books in this saga, and we are not yet at the half way point. WHICH MEANS MUCH MORE PICTURES OF YOU TO COME!! (We all win here)
Crossed the line
Lauren's picture is in the dictionary next to the word "naive". She is so bent on showing she is not "owned" and her own person (spill over from her early relationship in the first chapters?) she doesn't see SHE is the one causing pain to someone she is supposed to be in love with by leading on the idiot Rick.
When Lauren didn't answer his question of "is a simple hello too much? Maybe some eye contact?" and she responded with just a "you are driving me crazy", it should have told Sam there was a problem there. He didn't say she couldn't talk to him, just that he deserved some basic respect.
While perhaps relatable to some, what do we call Lauren's casual disregard for her SO's feelings? They are a couple, and while that doesn't mean that everything has to be shared, including friends and social life, they should each ensure that the other is treated respectfully. THAT is what has been missing from the start with Rick. Does anyone think Sam would put up with anyone doing that to Lauren for 2 seconds?
Sam is tied to the situation by Lauren. Typically a reasonable person would just walk from Rick and his moronic behavior, but Sam cannot without walking from Lauren. Keep applying pressure to any untenable situation, and something is going to give. Lauren did nothing but add more heat to the situation by pretending to be "reasonable", when from the start Rick's actions (belittling her SO in a good variety of ways) was nothing but egregiously wrong in itself. Sam hitting him was wrong, but no more wrong that Lauren's allowing it to get to that level. (and before we get into the "Devon" argument, he hit another man who was a complete idiot. Yes, I'm a caveman...)
Dump her Sam, until her maturity level reaches a point that she can look past her own insecuritiies about "wanting to be her own person despite what it does to anyone around me, so just suck it up", it's only going to keep happening....
and that's called selfishness to most.
Regardless of whether Rick is hitting on her or not I just can't believe Lauren's letting him be so rude to Sam. She hasn't once pulled him up about refusing to speak to Sam (even when Sam has been polite) or why he won't even acknowledge him. I think that behavior also says something about the sort of person Rick is. We're supposed to believe that he & Lauren are great friends but what kind of friend actually out-right ignores their friends SO? If you don't like them fine, you don't have to be friends with them but any normal person would be able to see that by ignoring their friends SO they're making a bad situation worse. If they really are just friends Rick should be able to be civil to Sam, for no other reason than that it would make things easier on Lauren & their friendship.
As for Lauren she's justified in being angry with Sam. However letting Rick treat him the way he has without saying something just makes it seem like she has no consideration for the way Sam feels.
@j: First, I thought it was clear enough that we were talking about jealousy within the context of a relationship. Second, I think you'll have a hard time proving that among all the billions of people who have ever lived on this planet, there has never been even one who never became jealous of anything.