#838 – dining on scraps

The futility and ridiculousness of dating becomes a theme in Will and Hanna's relationship all the way to the end of the series. Will approaches dating as if it's a skill to build, like the act of dating itself is the goal. And that's just ridiculous to Hanna, for whom dating is a hellish path to escape the misery of being alone. Does one need to get comfortable with dating in order to escape it? What a horrible thought. On the other hand, we talk about being single as if it's a "good" or a "bad" thing, when generally it's a "necessary" thing for a person's understanding of themselves, for mitigating damage they'd be doing to or receiving from another person. Will finally knows he shouldn't just be jumping from one relationship to the next (or even starting one before he's finished the last), but he also knows he'll have options whenever he's ready. Hanna, like any woman reaching the end of her most marriageable years, is not comfortable in this assumption at all. So his advice doesn't actually help much. The real gift Will and Hanna give each other is staying friends, accepting one another as their flaws lock into place.

7 thoughts on “#838 – dining on scraps

  1. "he also knows he’ll have options whenever he’s ready. Hanna, like any woman reaching the end of her most marriageable years, is not comfortable in this assumption at all."

    Ha! YEP.

  2. "A pendulum of hope and despair" is possibly the most accurate way to describe dating I've ever heard.

  3. I like the sing-songy Will in panel one.

    What age range are Hanna, Will, and Eve supposed to be in? I can never tell, and since my life back at their age was strictly suburban and (mumblemumble) decades ago, I can’t guess by observing their vocations, avocations, and social circles.

    1. I always took them for post-college mid-20s, starting to shade into the low 30s as the comic went on. In fact, I believe one of the last stories is Larry's 30th birthday.

      This makes Hannah's worries about her options drying up feel extremely premature and overdramatic, but that's par for the course in your late 20s.

    2. This is a late reply, but early on in the re-run Meredith shared Eve's driving license as a bonus in the commentary and it showed that Eve's birth year as 1984..assuming that Octopus Pie ran in realtime on the year the strips were posted, that makes the cast around late 20s to early 30s when we came to the end of the comic

  4. "as their flaws lock into place"

    Ahhh this is what I'm most frightened of — the stagnation of growth, the increased difficulty of changing bad habits after a certain point. Twenty-five is supposedly when your brain is finished growing, right? I know to a certain extent this is a fallacy, but it still keeps me up at night

  5. "My options are drying up. I'm dining on scraps" LOL…. Oh, Hannah, you think it's bad in your late 20s, try dating in your 30's. And the further you get into your 30's, the more meager those scraps get.

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