#784 – a challenge

44 thoughts on “#784 – a challenge

  1. That's some Epic Eyebrow Action in panel 5.

  2. Haha. Will's mad now because she's right.

  3. And to your left you'll see Will, learning that the truth really is bitter.

  4. Meredith, you are a master of facial expressions and having a look convey an entire panel's (or even strip's) worth of information without a single word.

  5. I've had 3 girlfriends like Will. They are extremely cuddly and touchy and compliment…y at first and then when they realize that behind my wall I'M actually the cuddly, touchy, complimenty one, not the soft spoken, lone wolf, tsundere they thought they were getting, they immediately lose interest. "Ah man, I don't have anything left to prove to this person. This is boring cus I have to constantly feel like I have to earn affection and prove myself to a person to feel validated."
    The 2nd woman was really fucked up, she wanted to break up when I was happy and doting on her but the moment she broke up with me and I started crying she said exactly, "When you started crying I wanted to be with you all over again." Hate doesn't even begin to describe my feelings towards people that treat relationship like Will does.

    1. No offense meant, but if you present one image and turn out to be something else entirely, it may not be entirely the women's fault that they're unsatisfied with the relationship. This exact thing happened with my husband and me; it's fortunate for us both that it happened at such a slow pace that I was already crazy in love with him before he underwent a personality change, and that I mostly like the personality change. But he presented to me as being cool as a cucumber and turned out to be soft, very attached to me, and a bit needy–that's quite a change.

      1. I think that it's a reasonable assumption that people will put on a face for people they have just met or have started dating, and then will slowly (or drastically) put on their own normal honest face as they get comfortable with the person they are with. In the same way that no one EVER farts on the first date, practically no one is completely upfront about who they are underneath for the first few months. There is a thin line, I suppose, between padding your faults and outright lying though.

        1. No, all those people are fundamentally boring. I act exactly the same in a relationship or out of one. Now, that makes it harder to get into a relationship, because I'm kind of aspie and that frustrates people talking to me, but it makes relationships quite nice.

    2. Yeah, I'm guessing the number of people, of any level of acquaintance, who, when asked to provide a description of you, would answer "soft spoken, lone wolf, tsundere" is somewhere between zero and two.

      1. Yeah you'd think that, and yet somehow those 3 women got that impression and were disappointed when I turned out the exact opposite of that. The way everyone else sees me seemed to go right over those 3 women's heads. Luckily the other women I've dated have been smarter than that heh.

  6. Everybody's acting like Will is irrefutably the one in the wrong here, but these last few comics have the feel of Aimee simply playing the victim. That second to last panel doesn't say "Ugh she's right," to me, it is the face of a man who is trying to put up with someone saying manipulative things, and he's had just about enough of it.
    Of course, I could be entirely wrong here, since this is just about what I'm getting from the comic. Everybody's different!

    1. You're not wrong tho. Ever since she first appeared in OP Aimee has been playing the victim, the kind that's always neutral even when people are actively trying to help her, and never really engaging in the issues of the people dear to her more than the bare minimum.

      She's right about a lot of things here, but she also kind brought it to herself in a way.

    2. I agree with you 120%. Aimee is upset and is using this moment to say painful personal things to get under his skin, and why would you even ask if there is someone else? They are breaking up, and she probably feels blindsided.

      I think it comes back to what Hanna said to him when he told her that he was quitting dealing. Will has realized he is stuck in a rut and is trying to fix that with lifestyle changes.This is extremely healthy behavior on his part, why is he the bad guy?

    3. I agree with this. If someone feels wronged and isn't trying to be manipulative, they don't act like Aimee is right now. She cool, collected, and acting like she doesn't care. She's fake apologizing "It's all my fault, really." when it's actually just passive-aggressive manipulation. She is right, but I believe you are right also. Will already knows this stuff about himself, and that face he's got on is the face of someone who is having to sit through not the bitter truth, but through a diatribe that isn't of any practical use to him.

      1. This is kinda offensive to us cool, collected introverts. Just because a person won't violently express her feelings, it doesn't means she doesn't care. Disappointment is a feeling. Disgust is a feeling.
        And have you considered that when a person says it's all her fault, she's actually blaming herself?
        Or that maybe what you call manipulation is actually a woman trying to downplay the possible aggressive reaction in a break up, because sometimes men are incredibly scary even if they are the ones doing the breaking?
        There's nothing fake about not wanting to make a scene. There's nothing fake about preserving your own peace.
        And break ups are always about sitting through something you already know, but you do it and you do it civilly, because that's the social contract for you.

        1. Thank you!

    4. Just taking a trip down memory lane, but I find it interesting that in the story arc where Aimee first appeared, she was literally a "damsel in distress". Sure, she wasn't really in any distress, but she also didn't care about being the "one fought for" until the breaking point where people got physically hurt.

      1. When *was* she introduced? Every time she has shown up, I've basically forgotten that she exists.

  7. What does it mean to want to date someone because they're a challenge? Like, a challenge that Will would actually be motivated by this person to commit or something?

    1. someone who makes you work for it, and doesnt really act like they are attached or in love. Eve for example, Will's latest challenging girl, doesnt really reply to his texts

    2. I don't necessarily interpret the meaning of challenge to be a negative thing in this strip. People can be a positive challenge. They can inspire you to be truer to yourself and your own desires (as Will has been so far in this story arc). Even if Will is making these changes in his life to be with Eve, the changes he is making seem to be for the better, regardless of whether he and Eve end up together.

      1. Though this is absolutely true in general, and this might be true for the Will / Eve relationship, I do interpret it as negative here in this strip. I think Aimee means it passive-aggressively. As in, "Oh, you're all about the chase, and as soon as you've caught her, you're out." I might be wrong though.

    3. I feel like it's alluding to the fact that lots of us love falling in love, but when a relationship gets comfortable or predictable, we take a hike because it isn't "interesting" to us, or we don't know how to handle security, or appreciate it. I don't think Will knows how to handle security. So in spite of any of Aimee's faults, I think she's dead-on here.

  8. The reason it's wrong to want a relationship that challenges you is that the other person in the relationship isn't a challenge, they're a person. They're not an inanimate thing whose purpose is to challenge you. If you want that go climb a wall.

    And this is why I think Aimee is not being manipulative or playing the victim but telling Will some home truths.

    1. Will is a bit of an "action hero" as we've seen, preferring to stay on the fringe (selling pot, even his most stable pursuit has been working with Hanna, basically as an independent contractor) and we often hear him described as sketchy or rough around the edges. One of the most distinctive "Will" moments in my mind is back when he was Marigold's boyfriend, when he shaved and his toughguy scruff grew back within 3 panels, underscoring how difficult it will be for Will to truly change.

      He is deeply unsatisfied and I imagine he feels that the only way he will ultimately BE satisfied is by fighting to carve out his own place in the world, as he has had to do since he dropped out of college. Not surprised he feels the same way about romance, especially since we're talking about Eve, the scrappiest girl in the book. In a vague sort of way Will has been fighting to gain Eve's approval since their falling out.

      It's easy to fall into the trap of desiring the "perfect" romantic partner, someone you've "earned," IMO a really unhealthy perception as you say… but one that people who struggle and fight through life like Will (and to some extent, Eve) adapt to naturally.

      Now, though, it seems like Eve is losing the edge that made her so attractive to Will…

      You know you love a comic when it makes you babble like a pseudointellectual idiot on the internet.

      1. Will's scruff as character-developing symbolism! I never caught that! This is my new favorite comment. Not pseudointellectual at all.

    2. But when people seek out a relationship they want someone who compliments them, not just someone random. I would like to think that a relationship has the ability to make someone a better person if handled correctly. I think wanting a partner who challenges you is a good thing.

  9. It's an indication of good writing when you can't decide which one is right during a break up. That's because, very often, no one person is 100% guilty in being the cause of the relationship's downturn. Will isn't exactly Mr. Innocent, he very likely took liberties with their arrangement (we're only told how open it is from his POV, but he was explaining it to Hannah and it seemed like he was doing it in a way that didn't make him look bad). In addition, he wanted to take the bluster out of breaking up with Aimee by just rushing through the 'I'm an asshole part', as if falling on your own sword makes its any easier for the person you're ending things with.

    On the other hand, Aimee is willing to paint Will as an intrinsically broken person who will never be satisfied with anyone and only sees women as a challenge, rather than accepting that maybe their relationship just didn't work out. This doesn't make her bad or even 100% wrong, but it does seem like it's coming from a place of hurt, a place that wants to hurt Will in the moment, so you can't say that she's laying down pure truth on him.

    I look forward to the next page.

    1. It's an indication of a good comic when the comment section is 90% astute, thoughtful, sometimes introspective analyses. 🙂

      I agree on both accounts.

  10. I don't necessarily disagree with you! My sympathies were almost entirely entirely with Will before today's strip, but dat expression tells me that Aimee hit a nerve of truth in there. Of course, Meredith has conveyed that expression masterfully. I don't see Aimee as manipulative here, just pissed and ready to cut him loose, but not before venting in detail.

  11. I’ve always needed a challenge in relationships, although I don’t think I’m defining it the same way Aimee is here. I need someone who will argue with me about things, tell me I’m wrong, challange my perception and question my privlage and bias. I also need to do the same with them. A good intellectual argument is the sexiest thing on the planet. How Aimee is describing it sounds abusive and sexist. Like Will is trying to “win” the women in his life. I don’t think he’s an awesome guy, but I don’t think he’s doing that.

    1. I don't think it's like this for Will either.

      I do think he flips out when he settles, and needs that "new and crazy" thing you get from new relationships. But it fades out as you build intimacy and a real bond and that's when it starts all over again with another girl…

    2. But from Aimee's perspective it is what he does. He fought for her, literally. Later on he told her how Marigold's efforts to build the relationship into something more led to him wanting out. So they try to keep it casual, and he goes back to chasing Eve, the girl who turned him down.

      I don't think Will is as bad as your interpretation of her views makes him sound, but I feel like she's pretty on the ball from what we've seen. Though you raise a good point about the ambiguity of the term "challenge" with regards to relationships. I would say that what you're talking about is a challenging partner (as in a partner who is willing and able to challenge you), vs Will's challenging relationship (where having a relationship with the other person is the challenge).

  12. Aimee is irrefutably in the right here. She was going to do something similar to her old boyfriend, sure but there's basically no excuse for what Will has done, cheating in a long distance deal. It's not okay just because he and Eve are principal characters.

    That said, I don't hate him or Eve or any of the characters for that matter. Just being right in the comments.

    1. If Will actually cheated then, yeah, this is a very valid point, but I really don't believe that they were in a closed long-distance relationship, as people have argued by pointing to http://www.octopuspie.com/2013-03-27/592-an-unwri… and http://www.octopuspie.com/2012-05-04/535-the-bigg… in proof/instances where they talk about it as if it were an open relationship.

      Don't get me wrong, there are cases where couples can still cheat even within an open relationship, and depending on how you define "cheating" then this here could seem like that, but to me? This seems like a relationship with not-so-great communication that just ended up not working out :/

      1. That's a valid point. If anything it highlights the troublesome nature of vague relationships. I'd say Aimee has a right to be upset and perhaps Will has a right to be frustrated.

  13. Wow.

    I know OC always seems to be so relatable to me but… this comic hit home. Like REAL hard.

    This is as close as you can get to my last breakup.
    Making me see Will as I see my most recent ex and it's super weird.

    And Eve and Park's breakup was very much like the previous breakup I had.

    Feels so trivial now.

    This comic comes right as I let it go and it feels just like a sign and I love you Meredith 🙂

    Who needs therapy when you've got OC?

  14. we took for granted that the other girl is Eve, but wHAT IF THERE'S YET ANOTHER GIRL? THIS COMIC IS SO CRYPTIC I CAN'T BE THAT SURE HE REALLY MEANS EVE (i ship them so hard [they're literally my otp. like it's the only one i have for real] and i have waited so long for them to be together that i lost hope that they eventually will lol)

    1. This. Of course naturally my brain wants it to be Eve but what if (PLOT TWIST) it's actually Hannah?

  15. Man I'm so torn! I feel like Will is really changing… Like he quit his weed selling job, I feel like he's taking steps to improve himself…not only for Eve but for himself. Which in turn means that when Eve does put those walls down he's going to be okay with that…because he's okay with himself now.

    I mean I don't know, I never thought his thing with Aimee was about challenge, I thought it was just like "we're both assholes, it's okay though, we're together bc we understand that about each other". But I feel like Will doesn't want to be an asshole anymore, really. I mean maybe I'm just confused and reading this wrong.

    Would love to get some input bc I'm confused by people saying that she's so right… since I really don't see any example of this behavior anywhere else in OP. Cuz like Marigold was never a challenge but I also don't know that he ever took Marigold too seriously…it seemed like one of those things he just fell into. Like I didn't see him ending it with Mar over her "not being a challenge", and I don't see how he's ending it with Aimee over that. It seems more like the terms of their relationship weren't working for him, and he wants to move on with his life.

  16. The thing about Aimee's response that strikes me isn't whether it's manipulative or not (it is) or whether she's right (kinda yes) but how it will sit with her in the months and years to come.

    Choosing to be disaffected, to deliver the crushing blow in an ice-cold tone, to not get mad and have an actual feelings-out fight, but instead to go for the jugular… that kind of stuff makes you into a person who keeps others at a distance, who sees a conversation as winnable.

    A very lonely way to be, in the end.

  17. The "once she lets that wall down" comment makes me think that Aimee told Will something big about her life/past, maybe something difficult, before he dumped her. And that the cheating (whether it was that or not in his mind) is just added insult to injury.

    Possibly wrong but I think maybe that's the parallel here; both Park and Will used a desire for character growth and to move on to the next stage of their life as an excuse to cut Eve & Aimee loose (like the opposite of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl -an Anti-Pixie Dream Girl?) when really both were just secretly involved with someone new. Like, Will basically had 'Dump Aimee' as an item on a mental checklist of Things I Need To Do To Become Who I Am. Which is kind of insensitive of him (and I guess what Hanna was sarcastically calling him out on).

    I think also when you're the one being dumped, for *any* reason, it is a weird human impulse that you will try and make the person doing the dumping feel as guilty as possible in that moment, even if it's slightly disproportionate. So I don't blame Aimee so much for taking on that role; she's obviously hurting.

  18. Isn't that exactly what Aimee did to Will, though? When he was most vulnerable, after that huge disaster with his last delivery, where was she? Will wasn't perfect or anything, but I think Aimee's being pretty unfair and maybe projecting a bit here.

  19. lmfao shes smoking an e cigarette. so upstate.

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