#902 + 903 – congrats

Hello from Bath, NY! I'm on my way up to TCAF as we live and breathe! Though they've been swift, this'll be the last update til after I'm back next week. See you in Toronto perhaps!

151 thoughts on “#902 + 903 – congrats

  1. There was… WAY more repressed feelings than I was expecting, shrieking out of the person I wasn't expecting to be the one shrieking in this situation o.o


    aaaaand there it is. pretty rich coming from the holier-than-thou, short fuse asshole we all know park as. the subtext is rich, much like those hippie stoner artisanal scones.

    1. also, gotta love that he left $50 for 2 drinks, since clearly his wealth he's been working so hard for all these years is all that he has to show for the depth of insufferability his work ethic/loneliness has caused him.

      also also: at the "the way I left you" is doubly hilarious, since he desperately wanted eve to go with him, but she's the one who left him! the self delusion is strong with this one.

      1. Reminds me of how Clark Li said "this is everything" when Eve mentioned how she'd wanted to write for the New York Times, too.

      2. I'm trying to upvote your comment 100 times and it keeps telling me I've already upvoted it.

        Well said.

      3. Park is a walking cautionary tale for putting career/money above genuine human relationships. Which is essentially what he's criticizing her for not doing here, but we see who's ultimately the more well-adjusted one.

        He'd probably be a really great guy if life would just manage to knock his head out of his own ass. Dude needs to fall in love with someone. People like him usually just need to know what it feels like to care about someone more than himself or his job. After that, he'll probably look back on this exchange with a lot more guilt. (<-from a former Park)

  3. This has exceeded all of my expectations.

  4. Baked some crow pie for the Park fans! $12.99/slice here at the Standard.

    Panel 6 is perfect.

    1. Also that he left a cool 50.

      1. All that and he's a crappy tipper?

        /NYCdrink price joke that's as old as Park's insults

    2. I'd prefer some OCTOPUS pie, myself, hur hur hur hur.

  5. Okay I have to say. I really love the contrast here.
    Pierce has moved up to very successful life but he's become stagnant as a person.
    Meanwhile Eve has changed and grown so much despite not really "moving up".

    1. fricken pierce

  6. Huh that went exactly as well as expected and actually it looks like Eve is in a much healthier place now! Cool! And I hope we never see Park's dumb face again.


  7. I don't keep up with such things but I really hope that Octopus Pie gets the recognition it deserves.
    Every other update I read I'm kind of floored by. I've been reading comics since… before I could read and this still Regularly and consistently blows me away.


  9. What's interesting to me about this arc is not only the story, but how vehemently anti-Park the comments are, for the most part. He is indeed a self-absorbed asshole (and Eve had seriously deluded herself about him), but in the strip above, he's also not entirely wrong. Everyone's been growing up around Eve … maybe that's why she's feeling such a disconnect right now. She may need to do some catching up.

    1. He is wrong, though. Eve has grown up a lot, and the stuff Park is accusing her of doesn't stick, which is why she can't help but laugh. He doesn't even really know her, and yet he thinks he can hurt her by calling her a hipster and telling her her life didn't pan out how it was supposed to. Eve has already learned this and made her peace with it. Not having a "normal, respectable" life is simply less important to her than it is to Park. She took a chance on this meeting because she's always had lingering feelings and thought maybe they could actually make it work together after this period of growth. But, as it turns out, Park is still just the same old asshole who cares more about fitting in and projecting a certain type of success than having actual relationships with people.

      1. Sure, but where are Eve's actual relationships with people? She's frankly not done a terrific job in that area of late, as things like the (excellent) Ferris Wheel comic have shown. She seems to be in a dead zone right now. Maybe Park's specific comments about her fixed-gear bike and ironic record collection are no longer accurate, but Eve is certainly drifting a little aimlessly right now, and I don't think she's "made her peace with it" at all, otherwise she wouldn't have been pinning so much of her hopes on Park in the first place. She hasn't decided that a non-professional life isn't for her. She doesn't appear to have decided anything. That's the issue.

        People grow in fits and spurts. Eve has grown a lot over the course of this comic, but over the last year, I think she's been in a lull. I think Meredith knows this very well, and I think *Eve* knows this very well — I also think those last two "head down" panels have a whole lot more meaning than just "I'm laughing too hard to look up."

        1. The insults are not even really aimed at the old Eve, but at the old version of her social circle in which his achievements would not buy him status or recognition. It’s precisely this tirade that reveals how near this fixation already laid to the surface. It suggests that meeting Eve only after familie, once-shared-friends, after old co-workers and deliberations about seeing a hole in a bathroom wall was not merely being oblivious to the point of being callous, but intended to prove how little she means to him, and so remove any stain on his self-perceived standing by her not following him. Park’s insults have no bewaring on Eve’s present woes.

  10. Ah, yes. Laughter as an involuntary reflex, hiding real pain.

    1. Not to say Park's outburst isn't funny in a kind of cringe-worthy way, I just mean I don't think Eve is still laughing or even smiling under that curtain of hair in the last panel.

      1. Brutal thumbs down for an innocuous remark…

        The feels are real in this one, I guess.

  11. oh no your expectations are all that matter park

    all we all care about is what you think of other people

    park you're so important park stop walking away when im talking to you park

    1. but his contacts

  12. So proud of Evee for throwing the drink in his face.

  13. I think his last line hit a little close to home. Her world is changing

    1. "I can see the cracks…"

    2. That last line hit way too close to home.

      Fucking contacts.

    3. In fact, it did.

      Fucking contacts – it hurts sometimes to see things clearly.

      Let's remember the Mr. Lasik ad when they last saw each other. In fact, we did see. We ALL saw.

    4. I'd say that this update proves quite the reverse of what Park said. The world she wanted isn't leaving her behind; she's leaving the world she once wanted behind. Given that that was his attack of choice, he and she appear to differ in this regard.

    5. I think they both managed to hit each other's soft spots. Park obviously regrets some of the sacrifices he's made for a stable life and a well-paying job, so being "out of touch", ie. sounding just like the stuck-up baby boomers he works for must sting. Eve knows things are changing around her and she might not be keeping up. I bet being "left behind" is her worst nightmare at the moment.


    T-they're still keeping Portland weird, r-right?

    1. Not really. I miss it, not because I left it last year, but because it stopped being my home before I even left. I was born in Oregon, graduated High School in Portland, came back there after college, and… it's gone.

      R. Crumb wrote a piece about how Haight-Ashbury and the Summer of Love came totally unmoored from the things that made them beautiful, and that's how I feel about Portland now. The new folk coming in talked a good game about diversity and creative spirit, but they treated me and my friends like they were needy and pathetic, and I was some kind of boring old square who didn't "get" it. My family was growing pot in those hills before they were born. I learned to cook the native plants from an actual Native American. When I was a kid there was no Voodoo Donuts, the Pearl District was Skid Row, and George Bush Sr. (who wasn't Sr. yet) called my town "Little Beirut" because we hated him so much.

      Anyway, my multi-ethnic community bleached whiter than a dead oyster in the last fifteen years. The Ethiopian place down the street (which country was where my dad came from) shutting down and being replaced by a hookah joint run by a pasty-faced flannel-wearing kid from Seattle was kinda the metonym for the whole damn collapse.

      Portland's new weirdness isn't any more real than the landscaping at Disney World.

    2. thistemporarylifeblog

      Yeah yeah, bring Eve back to Portland!

      And Meredith Gran, for that matter.

    3. Man, Portland has nothing on Beach City.

  15. GOD, that felt cathartic. Just to watch. All he is made of is sound and fury.

    1. What would have been a better response? Action? What form would that take, giving Eve a slap? In this situation it's commendable that someone restricts himself to 'sound and fury'. I bet most people commenting here would go absolutely mental if someone threw a drink in their face, not least someone they had (some kind of) feelings for.

      1. In that situation, he knows he's guilty as sin. He may not be acknowledging it, but that little stumble he had over seeing the gardens and not calling Eve until now was a big, big giveaway.

        "Drink in the face" is about the best wake-up call you can get when you carry on being an insensitive douchecanoe while trying to explain away gross missteps.

  16. Hahahahahahaha fuck you park.

  17. Park calling Eve pretentious is hilarious. Thats his reaction? Getting a drink thrown at you isn't some indicator of being a hipster. What planet does park live on? He just jumped to the first way he thought to criticize her without even looking at the situation or analyzing why she might have thrown her drink. After all of his pretension and bragging he calls eve pretentious for not taking his shitty behavior well. Its amazing how he has no self-awareness at all.

    1. It goes to show that he has been looking down at Eve this whole time wit these criticisms ready to go. Funniest of all, he says he has found her exactly how he left her when he is the one has barely changed. Eve couldn't be more different.

    2. some peeps be like that yo. some peeps be like anything you can imagine. what a crazy world

  18. Well that was a cop-out.
    I suppose the "villains" of this comic have never been that subtle or challenging, but this just seems a waste of what seemed to be a great set-up.

    1. 'I suppose the "villains" of this comic have never been that subtle or challenging…' Ugh. Anyway, the point is of course that Park can't now be a villain or much of anything else because the world he and Eve cohabited doesn't exist any more.

    2. I think it could still be great set up, in a way. This isn't totally clean and cut just because Park came off LOOKING like the asshole or villain–cuz honestly, he isn't. He wasn't wrong about everyone moving on while Eve seemingly isn't, and Eve might have to digest that after she's done with the high of getting over THE ex that she always kept as a fantasy. Now that that fantasy of Park is gone, what is she left with? Reality.

      And the reality is, Park is right… Everyone is moving on because everyone is making choices. Eve has options, but she has yet to make her own choices. So it can be set-up.. for a different battle, within herself rather than against someone else. The subtleties are in that Eve is the one who has to digest that Park isn't all wrong, even though she now knows he IS all wrong as a choice of partner for her.

      As some philosopher or zen duck might have said maybe some time in the past or something long, long ago and far, far away: Our enemies are our enemies because we recognize ourselves in them, and hate their faults as we hate our own.

      1. I agree with you. Part of what attracts Eve to Park is that he is so sure of what he wants while she isn't. She's at an impasse and kinda wanted to fall back on him hoping she wouldn't have to make a decision herself, but luckily their interaction has shown her how ridiculous that is.

        It's interesting to me how much Eve mirrored Park at the beginning of OP. She used to be cynical, hated how much of a hipster hippie Hannah was, hated pot, etc. etc. She's changed a lot over the years, but was it because she was softening her edges for herself or so she could fit in with the group of friends she wanted to be more like? Is that why she's so upset that everyone seems to be moving on while she is there, stuck with who she's become yet again for other people?

    3. I'd suggest that Park isn't the villain here. Eve's hangup on Park was.

    4. What is supposed to be subtle or challenging about a guy that just used sex to prove to himself that women still desire him and can't become "real people" without him?

      1. ????
        So now Park moved from being kind of a dick to being a mysoginistic pick-up artist (even tho this never implied anywhere since his inception in the comic in the slightest)?

        You've been reading too many feminists blogs if you think casual sex (and it WAS casual, at least for Park) is only enjoyed by men who hate women.

      2. Is he? It's never really been established why he contacted Eve or had sex with her. All we've seen is that he's just very much stuck in his own little bubble and is thoughtlessly unaware about who Eve is and what she is feeling. For instance, he really should have been off his phone while hanging out with her in the restaurant. It's tacky to text at a dinner table to begin with (though most everyone has done it at least once), but all the more stupid when you are visiting someone you care about who you haven't seen forever and just had sex with. If he actually wasn't so stuck in his little bubble, he'd never had a drink to his face because he'd have seen he'd be needing to edit himself a bit while telling Eve she wasn't informed about nor invited to a dear friend's wedding.

    5. Villain? Naw. I don't think Meredith would have wasted time showing him being a decent human in so many strips if he was villain material. He a person with some pretty big issues/flaws, though, and he's not at all a good fit for Eve anymore and doesn't bother taking the time to learn who she's become. That's been the point of the whole story.

      Then some people think he's using her for sex, but I think that is more up in the air. He seems to care about her (at least on the surface). He's just so self-absorbed/narcissistic and terrible about handling confrontation. But while these are not likable traits, he's not a villain. He's not actively going out of his way to deliberately undermine or hurt Eve (though his actions and reactions are mindlessly hurtful).

  19. To all of you who are stuck in the Good people/ Bad people worldview, Park also is just a human being. Here is (what could be) the story from his point of view:
    He came back to NY because he was invited to the wedding. After that was done he still had some spare time which (from all the opportunities he had) he decided to spend with Eve. He’s probably single at the time and still feels about Eve just the way she still feels about him.
    So Even though they both know ther’re better apart he had a weak moment when he called her to meet up. And thats just the same weakness she had when she accepted.
    Now the sex happening between them has been understood by some as Park taking advantage of her because of eve’s medical condition. However I doubt Park was aware of it so it was Eve’s own decision not to listen to the doc’s advises.
    Also he takes her out and tells her how much he missed her AFTER they already had sex, which shows us he really wanted more than just that.

    Now his last lines are really mean to Eve, but what else would you expect from someone who just got a glass full of lizzard goo thrown at his face?

    Also sorry for my english.

    1. Yeah, I don't see Park as an asshole. He and Eve are looking for different things in life, but failing to realize this about each other.

      Park went off and became successful because he wanted to. And he's proud of it. That's not a bad thing. We don't really criticize Mar for doing the same thing with her life.

      And if he is disappointed in Eve for being happy in a dead-end job with no real goals, I think that's fair. To be honest, it's a fairly unattractive trait in a partner. So he should just leave her alone – but maybe he really thought she would have "grown up" in the meantime.

    2. Even if I reacted as immaturely as Eve to Park's own insufferable immaturity, I would think someone who really cared about me and did not, underneath all vows to the contrary, look down on me and consider me beneath him, to at the very least NOT go on the attack immediately in the most vicious way possible.

      I wouldn't do that (when I had a verbal/metaphorical drink thrown in my face once by a friend I didn't, anyway – I deserved it, I was very hurt, and I apologized).

      My husband wouldn't do that.

      This is what Park has thought of Eve all along and the fact that this is his immediate, instinctual reaction – to be as cruel as possible (which we've seen before with the "see ya" comment) – is very, very telling.

      1. he went on the attack after, well, being attacked. I don't know if you've ever had a drink thrown in your face, but I'd liken it to being slapped, spit at, or any of the other ways that a person can violently publicly debase you.

        The talk about how deserves to get punched is one thing, but that has to come very long after the grade school lesson that we don't respond to people who upset us with violence, in any form. That's not how grown-ups act.

        Also, If I'm attacked, my reaction to the attack can't serve as validation of the initial attack, that's straight insanity!

        His apathy hurt her feelings inadvertently, she made a conscious decision to hurt him back viciously and intentionally, he responded trying to hurt her intentionally.

        Park is guilty here of being thoughtless, Eve is guilty here of being malicious.

  20. thistemporarylifeblog

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAND HE'S OUTTA HERE! Good riddance! I gave him the benefit of the doubt at the start, but man is Park a dicklord. Good for Eve for realizing how little she needs him in her life.

    Second: good grief, the colors of this comic. I love that the redness starts to fade as he's leaving, leaving the placid blue for Eve. It's just beautiful, the whole thing.

    1. And look at how HE stays red while she's mellowing out as she laughs. 😀

      1. Commodore Biggles

        The gradient in panel 5 is even centered on the 'snerk' to mark that exact point of shifting momentum. Masterful use of color to convey emotion here.

  21. "Congrats on doing nothing – NOTHING- to defy my expectations."


    1. "Wait, this was what it was all about — defying your expectations? Let's rewind, then: no, I don't want to see you again. Have a nice life!"

      Is this scene more complex than that? Yes, I think so. But damn, that's such an assholeish thing to say, Park!

  22. Yeeeeeeessssss!
    Feel the sting of the emotional band-aid being ripped off!


    (And now I feel I can gleefully judge him)

    The colors are absolutely gorgeous on this page.

  23. And right there, for everyone asking last comic why we all hate Park so much and 'what did Park do that was so heinous', is why we all hate (well, dislike – I think his character is great in the sense of being well-written) Park so much.

    He cheated on Eve and then broke up with her at the absolute last possible second, without even thinking that going all the way upstate for a much-anticipated visit would hurt her more than it was the 'right thing to do'.

    Then they get back together years later and again he says he missed her, but again in all those years he never tried to contact her. Not the worst thing, sometimes (usually) it's better to stay away from exes you miss, but it did feel like she showed up by surprise in his life and he was all "well OK guess I'll hit that again" (to be fair she did the same thing).

    Then he spends a fair amount of time of their renewed relationship criticizing her job, her friends and her lifestyle. It's all very subtle but if you go back and read you'll see this is sort of his MO. Everything he does, even working at Stark's, is in pursuit of a higher goal to him and everything she does is pointless in his view. Whenever she is down, he never quite 'gets it' or really tries to get it so he's unable to fully be there for her, because as he sees it she's only down because her life sucks. He doesn't stop to think that maybe she loves these friends and to her, her life doesn't suck.

    Then he does ask her to go with him (more like pressures her, repeatedly) when he gets a job out of town, but doesn't address any of her actual concerns (he says "I'll make you feel safe" and "you'll never be lonely", without really considering that those aren't actually her concerns – the idea that she might not want to give up the life she already has doesn't even cross his mind, nor the idea that 'not lonely' with only your boyfriend around is not a great consolation to being away from everyone else you love). This after basically forcing her into an answer. Again not what someone who loves you does. Eve is not quite mature enough to call him on it, though. She takes it as normal.

    Then when she says she can't go with him, he stalks off saying 'see ya' – obviously he was going to be hurt but he prioritized lashing out and thereby hurting Eve as a way of tending to his own hurt. Sure, I can empathize with that, it's something many otherwise decent people do, but it is not the sign of someone who really, truly loves you.

    And now this. I mean, of course he was going to be angry that he just got a drink in his face but his immediate reaction is to attack Eve in the most vicious way he knows how. An understandable reaction from a flawed person, and Eve isn't exactly Jesus in this, but telling that his very first instinct was to go on the attack. That's not the hallmark of someone who really loves you or even cares much about you.

    Especially, as someone noted above, he didn't leave her. He wanted her to go with him and she declined.

    He's not 'heinous', but he is absolutely wrong for Eve and is insufferably self-centered. His first reaction is always to get what he wants, and if he's obstructed, called out or reacted to badly in any way, to lash out at the other person. Not only is that not a sign of someone who loves (or even likes) Eve, it's a sign of someone who can't really love or be a good partner to anyone. My guess is he'd do this with any girlfriend. God forbid she thinks he is anything less than perfect!

    He is never – at least not until he grows up, which feels like it may as well be never – going to look back on this conversation and ruminate on what *he* might have said to bring about that reaction. He is always just going to assume he is fine and she is crazy.

    Good on Eve for finally seeing it so clearly.

    1. Could you go into more detail, though?

      1. Actually, I could:

        People keep asking what is so terrible about Park, he doesn't seem bad at all, Eve is maybe worse…I feel like a solid level of detail is needed to show exactly where the anti-Park crowd is coming from. It's not just a feeling, we didn't just make it up. We dislike him for a reason.

        1. I'll admit, I may have forgotten way more about Park than Eve did.

        2. What happened to that cat? I haven't seen him in ages.

    2. You know, I re-read a lot of stuff thanks to some links here and… Park (outside of the current arc and how he has treated Eve) doesn't seem like a demon. It's obvious that he and Eve just don't work, and it's obvious that his selfish obliviousness hurts people (including himself) but… as much of a dick as he is this month, his character is still very human. The comic with him and his grandma should drive that home if anyone doubts it.

      Yeah, Eve is actually too good for Park, and it's unlikely he will be satisfied in any relationship until he pulls his head out of his rear, but it's also important to remember (I think) that his character isn't some one dimensional shallow bastard. Sure, he's a jerk now, but he's also very human. For a made-up character anyway.

  24. I mean, did Park ever even ask Eve what was new with her, what was happening in her life? Or was it just "Oh hey, good to see you, here's a list of stuff I've done since we last saw each other"? Park obviously has an image of Eve as much as Eve had of Park, but it seems Eve has realized this faster than he did (if he ever does).

  25. I had the same thing happen to me last week. Tried to reconnect with an old friend and it didn't work out, so in the middle of an argument she started hitting me with insults about insecurities I haven't had in half a decade.

    1. That's awful. On the bright side, bonus opportunity to high five yourself for all the growth!

  26. Man, nothing to humanize your crappy ex like listening to them trot out some God Damn Millennials think-piece tropes!

    1. For real! Eve's not perfect– there's TONS of stuff he could actually criticize her for. But instead, he snaps at a version of her that doesn't even exist. He wrote her off from the start.

      1. YES! That version doesn't even exist! He is describing a person that he fucking superimposed onto Eve, not the actual Eve. Not the Eve she has ever even been! These aren't memories of her, these are concepts that he made up about her, proof positive that he never really paid attention to who she is and what she is about at all.

  27. I was wondering if he was wearing contacts. OW…it must hurt to have contacts, and a green martini, in your eyes. Hm.

  28. At this point, a reminder is perhaps in order that, in spite of current appearances to the contrary, Park too is a human being who has loved…

    …and suffered…

    …and been tormented by those f***ing contacts for at least 7 1/2 years.

    1. He's also apparently held on to a lot of judgment and negativity about Eve's choices. I get that he has suffered but most of his suffering has been about himself.

      The first time around, he dumped Eve at the worst possible time after he had cheated on her for months.

      Then he spends most of their second time around criticizing her friends and judging her decisions and her lifestyle. Then he expected Eve to move for him.

      I get that he's a human being, but so is Eve. They're both better off without each other.

    2. Yeah, there was always something kind of unhappy about Park to me, and it seemed that he depended on Eve to be the person he could relax around and not have a bunch of expectations to live up to.
      It's hard to put yourself into that pressure to succeed at all costs and it ends up separating you from people.

      Like, even now I don't hate him, because it seems like he was hoping Eve would approve of him… or took it for granted that she would. Instead she rejects him… And the nostalgia and charm of "what-if" is completely broken.

      1. But this, about relaxing next to Eve, it's exatly about how he sees her. There aren't expectations being with Eve not only because she's chill about who people are or do (she really grew up about that), but also because he can compare himself to her.

        It's like Gauguin said about Van Gogh: "I like living with him because it reminds me there's always someone more miserable than myself", or something like that.

        It's about seeing that, next to the failure he sees Eve as, he is doing "oh, so fuking well".

    3. I was going to snark something like "Well, a garbage human being is a kind of human being," but mostly I just want to express rage that 2008 was 7 1/2 years ago.

    4. For real though, I think the contacts thing is such a great note for this page to end on. Eve is trying to be who she is and find comfort in that. Park is all about holding up a perfect exterior image. He spends the entire page calling her pretentious and meanwhile his own pretensions are [physically] hurting him. (No judgement toward contacts here, it's just a great shorthand)

      1. That is a sick burn.

  29. eve i love you

  30. Holy shit! Park sounds like my stepfather! Totally on board the Park hating train now!

  31. Damn, I didn't think the point would be missed as much as it was… let's never forget that Park is an absolute fuckass but he's almost completely right here.


  33. Anyone find it interesting that Park's immediate response isn't to say "What the fuck was that for?!" Because that would be the most typical response.

    My guess is that it's because on some visceral level he knows exactly what it's for, and exactly what he did. And that it was shitty.

    1. Yup. His immediate response to attack Eve rather than ask why the fuck she did that is SO telling.

  34. Cannot believe how well the speech of a narcissist was nailed! Hope he never has or cares for kids.

  35. Well… He's not wrong.

    1. On the surface he isn't, but when you look at the whole picture he is. He's only 'not wrong' if you think the way he does about Eve's friends, but you can see from previous arcs how they are actually good people and good friends for Eve. Even Hanna. He's only 'not wrong' if you think there is something wrong with Eve's life, or that growing on the inside (which Eve has done) is not as important as markers of prestige and traditional adulthood on the outside. I happen to think they are not (says the downtown-living child-free long-term expat – heh. But I am married, which is pretty traditional).

      But if you disagree with even one of these, he IS wrong.

      1. Exactly!

        Set the "Magic of Friendship" aside, and he's correct.

        1. Friendship is important though, you can't just set that aside, so saying 'set it aside' makes no real sense. What Eve has with her friends and what she's become is far more important than whatever Park has been doing at work, growing on the outside but not on the inside. He is not correct.

          Proof: her reaction to his dissing her lifestyle and friends before they broke up (to be angry but basically take it, explain it away, not defend it) vs. her reaction now (to tell him in no uncertain terms to fuck right off with that nonsense). That is the reaction of someone who finally sees clearly. The reaction of someone who actually has grown quite a bit.

          What she's actually doing vis-a-vis a job (which seems to be all Park cares about) is really just not that important. Set aside others' expectations for what constitutes 'growing up', and Park is almost entirely incorrect.

        2. So logical arguments really mean nothing to you. Out of all the stuff Park said all you can say is, 'Nuh-uh! She has REAL friends!'

          I beg for you to consider the fact that he's not attacking her friends, them as individuals, or their 'quality' in relation to Eve, and all you can come back with is, 'Friendship is SUPER important!'

          His point is that Eve has refused to grow up and unjustifiably clings to her past. No, she isn't the same person she was in the first chapter of this comic, but does she know that? She desperately keeps trying to make a relationship work out even though it has, as of this drink throw, hit three hard dead-ends. She loses it over losing contact with a "friend" who she was making no contact with for years. She lashes out when her 'dumped her twice' ex-boyfriend lets her know that she wasn't his one and only priority in life. Why? Because it shook her illusion of a secure past. She wants that fake past so badly. THAT'S what Park is lashing out at her for. The fact that she can't move on with her life and progress in a real and mature direction. Filter out the completely justifiable rage of having a drink surprise thrown in your face with someone you just had sex with, and you can clearly see that he's criticizing her for forcing herself to act like things are still the way they were 10 years ago instead of moving on. It doesn't matter what career path she took, hobbies she adopted, or music format she listens to. Just realize that hooking up with your high school crush isn't going to make all of your dreams come true. That's the essence of Park's rant.

          Octopus Pie is a comic about millennials subtly coming to the realization that they aren't children anymore, and finding out in their own ways what it means to be an adult. Right now Eve went from being the mother of the cast to the most left behind. That's what this is all about.

          But wait, I want to get up-votes super bad.

          "Grrrrr! Park bad! Park's a jerk! How dare he have a job!? SELL OUT! It's your fault Eve didn't follow her gynecologist's directions!! Drinks for ALL the men's faces!!!!"

        3. I agree that those are legitimate things for Park (or anyone) to call Eve out on. I disagree that that’s what Park is doing. My reading is that, much like Eve has an out-of-touch view of who Park is, Park is also referring to an Eve that doesn’t really exist anymore (this has been highlighted throughout the arc, such as with the comment about the churros). I think he does inadvertently hit on some truth (as you point out), but Park here is attacking a hipster-passed Eve with her hippie, pot-smoking, aimless friends (something I don’t see as actually being reflective of Eve’s current reality). In fact when Eve says his insults are “old” I don’t think it’s necessarily (or exclusively) that he sounds like an old person, but that his insults are outdated to her life, they are attacking an Eve that isn’t the Eve she is now.

          That said, he is right that Eve is being left behind (but maybe not in the way he envisions it – for instance Park seems to think she should have caught up with/followed him, but really she needed to properly let him, and the past, go).

          I also agree with you that Eve has very much stagnated recently, while the people around her have moved ahead (can you see the cracks?). I hope that she awakens from this breakdown a little more able to let go of the past.

      2. He's… wrong at almost every stage. Eve's life has shown little to no pretention or "hispterism" for a long time now, and records, coffee and bike are all old stories that have little to do with where Eve is–hell, she was over coffee *during* the coffee storyline. Hannah's no longer a stoner, and his description of Hannah's baking suggests that Park has no idea how successful Hannah's become. Even when he was trying to connect with her (via churros), he gets it wrong.

        Really, just look at each of the things he references as story beats and ask yourself how long it's been since any of those have been relevant to the story. Some of them may even be physically true, but emotionally and narratively they're way off-base.

        1. Yes, exactly! The stuff that is true (living in NYC, single, still in a dead-end job though we haven't actually seen her do that job in ages) is not that important to 'growing up' (again so says the child-free long-term expat with a rented downtown apartment with a freelance career) and even so, nothing he says has been relevant to the storyline for ages. Hanna's a career woman now, albeit in a non-traditional career. Marigold's got a career and love. Eve is clearly able to support herself in the city, no small feat. She doesn't ride a fixed gear bike or have an ironic record collection or drink pourover coffee, and there ain't nothin' wrong with eating scones!

  36. Of course there's no real good/evil binary, here -the fact remains that they are just totally different people now, with different lifestyles. But Park knows full well he's hurt Eve's feelings and he is panicking and being a defensive asshole about it.

    The weird thing about this is he might not even believe all the things he's yelling at her, but because he's spent his adult life in this (probably really toxic) corporate environment he's probably very aware that this is what he's supposed to think. All the nice has been stomped out of him at this point, which is sad.

    Anyway, I'm glad we get to finally close the book on Park. Goodbye forever, etc.

    (*Also his speech reminds me a lot of a bit in Generation X by Douglas Coupland, a real mirror-image scene.)

  37. "I came back to find you doing the things you want rather than the things I want you to want! Who does that?"

  38. I agree that Park may have some points, but flying off the handle IN PUBLIC doesn't point to someone who is super happy and confident with their own lives.

    Eve definitely provoked him, but his reaction is explosive. He's not criticizing her from the place of someone who recognizes her potential and abilities and is concerned and curious about her seeming "lack of progress."

    He wants to punish her for acting outside of the script he set out for this evening, and immediately goes for the jugular. That's what puts him firmly in the wrong

    1. I dunno, if having your feelings hurt by the fact that someone who hasn't been part of your life for age has a life beyond you is enough to permit throwing a drink in their face, I think having a drink thrown in your face is enough to permit getting angry.

      I love Eve, have a general dislike of park, and I was genuinely hurting for her here. I still think people are equivocating a bit here on her behalf because we like her more and (as readers of the comic of her life) know more about her and how she feels.

      I don't see Park's behavior towards Eve as being malicious, just thoughtless. He's a jerk, but he's a jerk in the way that I'm sure all of us have been a thousand times to a thousand people (and most likely never even realized it.)

      However, I think throwing a drink in someones face is a dick move in a real aggressive malicious way, the same way that hitting someone would be. It's a violent offensive gesture. Hell, if a dude threw a drink at another dude, I wouldn't feel that bad if the first dude got punched.

      People hurt each other's feelings, and that fucking sucks, it's one of the worst things about us. But her response to someone hurting her feelings was to essentially attack that person. That isn't a through-line I can sympathize with, even if you had me by the heart right up to that moment. That isn't how adults react to things. As much as I hate to admit it, Park is sort of right about one thing, she acted like a big child.

  39. I love how quickly you can see Eve's face turn from fear and rejection to full-blown joy and delight as Park's shitty true colors bubble up to the surface xD Going from "Oh shit, what have I done?" to "Wait a minute, this guy's an ASSHOLE" in under 10 seconds. Our girl's FREE! I'm sure Hanna will be thrilled. I foresee clinking glasses, puffing/passing, and celebratory scones upon Eve's return to the flat.

    1. That's a positive view on it but I foresee that, after the euphoria and relief of "Thank god, he's a jerk! Finally I can let go of him," will come the crashing reality of "Oh god, he was a jerk and I've waisted my whole time thinking about him." A good cry is in order to mourn the loss of a relationship, even if it was an imaginary one that Eve had been nursing all these years.

      Either case, a glass of wine is still probably in order.

  40. Someone get that woman more drinks!

  41. Park may be an asshole in this situation but he is correct about Eve and Eve is responding to him like a child, validating his entire rant. Not sure why so many people are praising Eve here.

    1. I not only do not think he is correct (look at how her reaction to his same old 'they're entitled and lazy, I'm better than them' schtick has changed from meek acceptance to outright laughter) and while throwing a drink at someone is a bit immature, laughing at someone who is insulting you is absolutely not.

      What is she supposed to do, sit there and take it the way she used to? Fuck that. This is absolutely an adult reaction to Park's childishness.

      1. Noooo I meant to upvote this comment

    2. Channamasala pretty much said it, but I'd like to add this to what they said:

      Counselors are taught about the importance of detecting process, rather than simply content. This means paying attention to how someone is saying something, and why they're saying it, rather than getting stuck on what they're saying. Their content may be accurate or inaccurate, but their approach almost always says something accurate about them, particularly in relation to the content they choose to express.

      Talking about Park's argument is talking about the content of what he said. It's not useless information (some of it may appear true to people who, like Park, weren't paying close attention), but the real point of the scene is looking at the larger context of why he's saying it. Panels 3-5 show Eve realizing the theme of Park's insults, realizing the process. He's completely out of touch with her life; contrary to what she said a few pages ago, he doesn't still know her. There's no reason to take his insults seriously, to treat them as an "argument" worthy of actual consideration.

      As for her response, if you look only at the content ("Ha ha, your insults are so old!"), then yeah, it can look like she's responding like a child. But look at her body language, see how her mindset's developed over the course of the day. It's not a comeback; it's a realization. She's achieving the freedom from Park's expectations that a more childish version of her would be faking.

      That is maturity.

    3. Well, it was not the greatest she threw the drink at him, but there were worse ways to handle that. The fact she is laughing instead of punching him, loudly telling him to fuck, off or storming off in tears actually shows more control and maturity than most people would have had while being on receiving end an ugly temper tantrum like that. Park comes off as a big fat baby throwing a fit while pretending to be an adult.

      People like that die alone or kill off their loved ones with their disgusting negativity if they never change. My stepdad pulled that kind of language/hate off all the time. He hasn't changed a bit since I was hearing it at 12.

      He no longer has any friends friends except one dude he knew since childhood and is penpals with (they don't even talk on the phone). His biological daughter doesn't even want to spend time with him, and he will probably put my mom into an early grave with his ugliness. Sadly, neither myself nor my husband have a relationship with either of them, but it's been the best thing for our sanity.

  42. I've spent the better part of 15 years reading webcomics of all sorts, and I have to say: this one is, without a doubt, the best-written material and character development. It really hits close to home, every time.

  43. In spite of everything, Park still paid before leaving. I think that should count for something.

    1. Not sure how much it counts for, seeing as money seems to be the only thing he isn't short of.

    2. i think he paid for his own benefit, so he could leave the situation feeling like the mature, morally superior one in the situation. i had a pretty shitty and condescending ex who used to pay for things for me all the time and in the context of everything else about his personality, it became apparent after a while that it wasn't a gesture of kindness so much as a gesture of look-at-how-much-of-a-grownup-i-am-and-also-don't-forget-that-i-make-more-money-than-you. given how insecure park is it doesn't surprise me at all that he'd act in a similar way to feel good about himself.

    3. The Frenchiest Fry

      It counts for exactly $50, which is what he laid on the table.

  44. It's a good thing Eve didn't feel the need to hash it out with him because I think she just lost that chance.

  45. God Park is SO insecure it's kind of sad. He has to spend every moment trying to prop up his ego, and as soon as it takes a hit he lashes out like an angry child. It's a shame he can't see that being massively self-centered is CAUSING his problems, not solving them.

  46. Some people step all over you and then judge you for not being ambitious. (Like them.) Park used Eve to get through a transitional stage of his life. Now just read the first three words of that last sentence.

    Park used Eve.

  47. I think part of the schism between pro- and anti-Parkers here has to do with where you'd classify "drink to the face" on the insult/injury spectrum

  48. TL;DR – Park doesn't respect Eve.

    Park doesn't respect Eve because she isn't driven to the same kind of "success" as he is. The two of them just don't hold the same values, but he thinks his values—having an upwardly mobile job with high pay—is what everyone should aspire to, which makes Eve a loser. And he's thought this way for a long time.

    Up until the moment Eve threw that drink in his face (bit of an overreaction—better to just say "I don't know you anymore," and walk away), Park might've still been in love with the idea of being with her because of their history together. I think back when he asked her to go to Chicago or whatever with him, it was because he needed that sense of security without even realize it. Now, though, it's different. He's comfortable enough in his new environment that he no longer needs Eve to be his emotional crutch, which is why he didn't seek her out earlier during this visit to NYC. Even if Park did really miss Eve, he still put off visiting her until getting everything else on his calendar out of the way… probably because he figured that she doesn't have much going on in her life.

    So of course Park never bothered to ask Eve about her life, which is what people usually do when they meet up again after a long time. Maybe he already knew she still works at Olly's, or just assumed so. Either way, he didn't think there was much to catch up on, on her end.

    I think he had already decided beforehand that he'd be bored by anything she had to say, so the only good thing they had left was sex. The rest, getting food/drinks/whatever, was perfunctory so he doesn't have to admit to himself that this was really just a booty call. (This is a person for whom it's always more important to do what's "right" than to consider how his actions could affect another person's feelings.) Unfortunately, Eve still held a torch for him and gurrrrl that smoke must've blinded her because she did not see the subtext.

    So. Park thinks Eve hasn't grown as a person based on the fact that she hasn't moved on, career-wise. He doesn't even consider the fact that: a) being successful doesn't have to mean making lots of money; b) making lots of money doesn't necessarily make you grow as a person; c) it's easier to see things from other people's perspectives if you take your head out of your ass first. (Okay that last one might have been uncalled for but he was so busy with his phone he didn't notice Eve was starting to cry. At best, that's just rude.) But whether she's grown as a person is beside the point (she's… well, we're ALL growing, aren't we?). And his being an inconsiderate, oblivious dickwad is also beside the point. The thing I'm focused on is the consequences of Eve ignoring strict instructions to not have sex after her colposcopy. What if she gets an infection and thinks Park gave her something? Then we'll have to keep hearing from this guy! I'm sick of Park! He's so boring!

    BTW, I'm not saying having a good, high-paying job that'll make your immigrant parents proud is a bad thing. But it doesn't have to define who you are as a person! And people shouldn't make value judgments on old friends for not having successful careers.

  49. okay, that's both hilarious and inappropriate- i agree that eve's reaction of throwing the drink on park wasn't really the best way to go, but man, this world isn't so serious that it should matter; go for it.

  50. Park's rant came to me in the voice of Ren Hoek.

  51. WiEve makes me happy.

    I hope now she can let go of the this Park-shaped obstruction, and Give Will a real try.

    and I hope his Therapy helps him do the same

  52. He couldn't think of anything to say to her in the cab, but goes on and on about his own life. He didn't even ask why she did it (probably because it happens to him a lot).

  53. "God, these fucking contacts." Is he talking about his contact lenses or his contacts with prior girlfriends?

  54. Not only is Park not "right", he's not even in touch with surrounding reality. When someone interrupts your monologue with a drink to the face, the mature, sensible, even sane thing to do is to at least ask "what the fuck?", and then shut up for a moment. Not to continue the monologue with your "standard insults for this person", especially when those insults are years old. And to then top that with "[you did] NOTHING to defy my expectations" (presumably including the fucking)… OK, time to put him back in the toolbox.

    1. When anything is interrupted by a drink to the face, "Mature" and "Sensible" already stopped being options.

    2. Yeah that is soooo fucking weird!

    3. Yeah, because in the real world, one's instant response to having a drink thrown into one's face is to sit back and think, 'hmm, I wonder what huge transgression I just committed to deserve this physical violence against my person? I'd better keep my mouth shut and see if they condescend to inform me!' rather than lose one's temper and shout at the attacker. I don't really think it works that way most of the time… Park is definitely wrong for Eve though; pity she lacked enough awareness of that to just ignore his call. They both created this scenario; each of them has to bear the after-effects.

  55. The kekekekeke's are sublime

  56. He should stick with glasses, they compliment his myopic world view

  57. Unfortunately, Park walks away having absolutely no idea why he had the drink thrown in his face. Hopefully Eve learned something from this experience but Park certainly doesn't.

  58. That's right, squelch right out of the bar.

  59. I'm in my 30s, living Eve's lifestyle, and sympathetic to her perspective – particularly the choice to drop out of the rat race and accept a more free-form way of approaching the future, love, housing, art, social life, etc. Eve has obviously come to terms with – and even started to embrace – her choices in the world, and that shift has been one of the great pleasures of reading OP over the last few years. But everyone who's criticizing Park seems to have very little empathy for a guy who grew up with a lot of responsibility, followed a path that IS difficult (if not imaginative), and tried to "make good," even if the process left him emotionally crippled and perhaps a little judgmental. It bothers me that much of this comments thread is more or less criticizing him for not being perfectly attuned to some Millennial zeitgeist where 9-to-5 jobs and "basic/normy" expectations are verboten.

    I'm borrowing from a Jennifer Silva paper here, but: the inconsistency of the post-industrial economy has forced many of us to view "becoming an adult" as a moment of emotional/spiritual overcoming, not achievement of a series of traditional markers (college, good job, marriage, house, kids, etc.). This is probably a reasonable and healthy response to a world where middle class opportunities have been dwindling for decades. But that doesn't mean that Park is a bad person for valuing those opportunities or trying to achieve said markers – for believing that one's 20s and 30s aren't an endless liminal state, but ideally a clear evolution in terms of circumstances and responsibilities. Success, security, and financial freedom are still desirable (and even admirable) pursuits for a good chunk of the population. The need to "find yourself" is a luxury, a privilege, and it's not always the province of someone who grew up in an immigrant family. People act like Park is an asshole, but he might just be driven by anxieties and expectations you can't relate to.

    To my mind, they both sounded like reasonable idiots in this strip, which (I think?) is the point: they've both settled into incompatible world views. Getting offended because someone isn't who you want them to be, throwing a drink in his face, and telling he's old because he's moved into a different phase of his life and has different priorities isn't exactly heroic, whatever you may think of Park. By the same token, having the emotional intelligence of a plank of wood, babbling about your career, and calling someone a pretentious hipster because you can't relate to a different way of being is, yes, shortsighted and lame. Neither party looks *good* here, y'know? But they both seem like they've decided how they want to live their lives for the time being without constantly questioning/feeling bad about their decisions, and that is something. In fact, it feels like Eve leveled up here by confronting her own delusions and getting to that place – Park was just, at the end of the day, a prop.

    P.S. I'm pretty sure Park is crying at the end of this thing – thus the contacts comment.

    1. This is a really excellent analysis.

      I also think that Park needed Eve more than she needs him. He was the one that was assuming that their relationship was long term, assumed that she would follow him as he followed his career, probably with the noble fantasy that he would support her to live out her (highschool) dreams of being a writer.
      That was the narrative he had painted of her in his mind, that was his dream on the beach.

      I think he was sincere when he said that he missed her, and you don't just call an ex after all that time for a casual booty call. He most certainly wanted to rekindle something.

      And it fits that he would shoot back with the thing that made him most insecure about their last relationship, which was that he had no place with her friends and interests and no way of relating to them.

      They needed this definite end to the relationship so that they both could move on in their own directions.

      This arc and the character history between these two is very rich. I'm really looking forward to how Eve moves forward now and with what happens next.

  60. You know who I haven't seen in a long time? Manuel. What ever happened to that cat?

  61. Anyone else want to see Park visit Something Positive? It would be glorious if he was hit by a bus or eaten by a trap door alligator…or visited by a hungry Choo Choo Bear.

  62. for some reason, i can't shake off the idea that eve wasn't that amused at the insults so much as having an actual emotional break down. everything started piling up from the scene in the hotel room to the cab, until everything exploded horribly on both of their faces at the pub. i honestly, sincerely feel bad for park -though i really Really Dislike Him and would never trust him- because he's so… insecure. all of those "old insults" are somewhat similar to stuff i've heard before from people much older than me trying to tell me how to Fit In with THEM. i feel like can't blame park for succumbing to that appearances-obsessed, success-oriented narcissistic attitude that some people get at their workplaces. it's honestly something that can happen to people who want to Be The Very Best Whatever.

    all this, of course, doesn't excuse him from being a huge asshole. even during his first college days, he was already a rotten piece of shit, and probably was way before that. it has already been mentioned in lots of comments: cheating on eve and then breaking up at the last possible minute, criticizing her entire life and then springing a life-changing decision -again- at the very last minute during their second time around, and now…? he's not a Bad Person, but he really should work towards being less of a self-centered turd and learning to be much more considerate of other people's feelings.

    on the other hand, eve is due for some growing up. everyone around her has changed, they've grown in their own ways. everyone is different, but eve tries to stay exactly the same (please look back to that beach scene and her break down on the wheel). that can't be good for anyone. i can understand her decision of not quitting olly's organix, everyone has at some point gotten attached to a shitty workplace (there's something about putting out absurd metaphorical fires)… but it's going to be a lot better somewhere else, should she get the chance to get a new job. she needs to do some growing up, be it as a person, as a professional, or both. the one thing park is right about is that eve's current world is leaving her behind.

  63. Its also possible Park became MORE of an asshole since he and Eve were last together. The signs were there in the beginning, but Eve was probably justified in still longing for him the way she did. Yes there's rose colored glasses and yes she was idealizing him when the ball was also in his court for not contacting her in years. I wonder if Park was also Eve's first ever relationship? That sets up a faulty frame of reference.

  64. For those who think Park is really just savaging Eve with what he thinks are easy scoring points, it's telling that when she says 'your insults are so old' his response is 'my what?' rather than '[they're] what?' or '[my insults are] what?'- it's the fact that she calls what he's saying 'insults' that seems to wrong-foot him. So at least in his conscious mind (or at least he's convincing himself so as to be able to construct a narrative within which he's the 'nice guy' and in the right), perhaps what he's saying is less born of pure vindictiveness than of a mixture of anger at her lobbing a drink in his face (notwithstanding the magnitude of his prior transgression) and sadness over what he (however questionably justifiably) considers her lack of 'growth', as well as, yes, a degree of resentment over the fact she chose not to move on with him all those years ago. I think Park is massively flawed- focusing on his success at the cost of relationships, looking down on people who don't have his work ethic/ motivation- BUT Eve didn't handle this 100% perfectly, and as others have said I think it's more to do with the fact that the clash of their two personalities generates this kind of friction because they're so different than the fact that either one of them is a total shithead.

  65. Ehhhhhh, I have to disagree with the people saying that throwing a drink in his face is an "overreaction." Once someone you've known and loved for this many years casually disrespects you in this fashion it's just time to lay it down. This is years of pent-up emotion coming out. I think it was (while "violent," sure) an ultimately justified action.

  66. Of course, snarking about how "so last year" Park's insults are does more to validate them than anything else she could have said or done.

    1. It's not really snarky like "Those insults and that t-shirt are SO last year." like she's trying to brush off what he's saying. To her it's genuinely funny in the fact that those insults don't really apply to her and her lifestyle anymore. It's like criticizing someone for smoking who hasn't picked up a cigarette in 10 years.

    2. It's because he always said them. Whe they got back together park would smile at Eve's life style as well as Hanna's. Even when Eve was doing some cool things wife Olly's organix. Also, demeaning someone else's livelihood because it is not traditional or on his eyes, worthy of praise is something that he did often.
      Eve gree on a lot of ways, and yes, there are many hints she was holding onto, but what park failed to realize is what made Eve upset. He just presumes she is crazy. There is no "what the hell was that for?" He just attacks her.(mind, Eve did not say anything before she attacked him.). So all in all they both have a lot of growing to do.

    3. I think from his point of view it definitely does. But I don't think Eve necessarily (or exclusively) means Parks sounds like an angry boomer with his insults. Instead I read it as "these insults are so out-of-touch with my life" or "these are the same insults you would have/did rail at me years ago."

      So much of what he throws at her (especially before the snrk) refer to old storylines that haven't been relevant to the over-arching story for some time now. Even the way he talks about Hanna emphasizes he has no idea how successful she is, not to mention that Hanna doesn't even get high anymore.

      This whole arc so far has been, to me, the story of two people who are interacting with ideas of each other instead of the people who are actually in front of them. I think that snrk is Eve realizing that. Realizing (finally) that Park doesn't really know her. He doesn't get her and, arguably, has shown no interest in actually trying to understand her.

      The irony, as you point out, is that because they might as well be having two different conversations, Eve's comment only solidifies Park's view of her.

  67. oh boy…. i havent read far back enough to know the full context of their relationship, but this got me remembering an old and abusive relationship i went through. id broken it off months before (after i realized i was aro/ace) and he came back and he started trying to insult me and make me feel bad – talking about how he hated me and didnt care about me and how i wasnt his problem anymore (as if i ever was??? you emotionally and sexually abused ME, pal) because he stopped having breakdowns over what he did to me (his words not mine??) and as it went on his insults became so pretentious and so… fake. i just busted out laughing. i laughed me god damn ass off and all at once all the trauma and fear left me. i just laughed until he got tired of me and walked away for good. i havent had a nightmare since.

    again, i dont know much about what happened with park and eve, but i sure hope she has the same release now that i did then.

  68. Eve should sit up, take a cleansing breath, wipe her face, then get out her phone and permanently delete Park's number. She's done with him.

  69. I wonder what expression Eve is hiding down there in the last panel. Still laughter or a change maybe to sadness?

  70. I keep coming back to see if there is something new.

    And then going back…a nd these are gold:

    Last 3 panels:

    and the diffrence between Park and Eve laid out

  71. This went well! Eve got a nice double at a hotel PLUS some real cathartic closure. I'm so happy for her.

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