This might be the closest we get to an obituary on Hanna and Marek. What went wrong? Well, nothing in particular... but if you saw them from the outside, they weren't really growing up together. Diane knows they would've grown to resent each other in time, as youth fades and the reality of aging and wasted time sets in. But she knows better than to verbalize this; criticism only reaffirms a need to double down. Better to watch her daughter come around to her own conclusions, to feel the sting of knowing, than try to force her view.
13 thoughts on “#945 – cute together”
Duck Farms! Woo-oo!
Man, you really tied those loose ends like a fucking seamstress and the end of this comic. The last 5 chapters are like one long, smooth, natural act of coming together and reaching a satisfying conclusion for the characters in this part of their lives.
I love Will's nervous laughter here, because how else are you going to react when your good friend's mom briefly treats you as a confidant? It's nice that she can talk to you, but on the other hand, hahahaha it's a little weird to be telling me this!
I never got this page, or Diane's shady comments. I still don't really "get" the Hannah and Marek breakup. With the amount of heartache it caused them, I never understood why they'd do it. The comic shows the reader that it was eventually the right path, but never seemed to explain the reasons they gave to *each other* for it (unless I missed it).
Marek wanted kids and Hannah didn't
I feel like I'm on the verge of experiencing/understanding this, but I want input. How do you define a couple "growing up together"? How do you know when a relationship feels like wasted time? Does it have to do with not challenging one another and being too comfortable? With not having a shared drive and purpose? Please help me break it down.
Really, really good questions…
Marek wanted a future with kids. Hannah (at the time) was adamant against having kids. They can never "compromise" on that because it's kids! So they put an expiry date on their relationship (Marek's graduation) and…tah.
Diane's comments are more that she always saw Hannah and Marek being very youthful but not actually solid enough for a future. Like that first relationship where you think "oh it'll be great, we'll do THIS and THAT and own a DUCK FARM" and the parents just watch from the sidelines, knowing that the relationship wouldn't work out.
It's implied they want different things from life, including on the question of having children. In this comic, for instance: http://www.octopuspie.com/2011-12-06/497-thats-a-…
One big reason, and the one that several of their friends default to, is that Marek wants to have children and Hanna never does. When they were younger it wasn't much of an issue because they were broke kids and it was so far off it seemed like it would resolve itself. But then he graduated and her career took off so they decided to make a clean break. It seemed like a mutually agreed upon decision long before Eve even met them, that when he finished school he would move out and they would be done. It's why it's such an contrasting break up compared to Eve and Park's- it was not a sudden decision.
However, her mother (on this page) and a few story arcs after the break up tell a more complicated story- that Hanna feels the need to be in total control of all her relationships and Marek had dreams and needs outside of that dynamic. Her mother is explaining to Will that they were "cute" because they were essentially playing house but not actually building a life together, kinda hinting that this was unavoidable. Compromises that they would have made to each other would have caused them to hate each other, so it was good they split when they did. It doesn't make it any less awful
It was pretty straightforward…. Hannah knew she never wanted kids. Marek knew he did. They were thus long-term incompatible. So they decided to break up.
Of course the truism here is the kids/no kids disagreement, and the comic does explicitly reference this.
But in her commentary, Meredith has repeatedly indicated that there was more to the breakup than this, some of which is out of view as it would be for any couple you might personally know.
So I think it's interesting to delve deeper. I think Julia's framing upthread shaped my reflection here, too.
There's a lot to argue for with Hanna and Marek. They laughed a lot together, and they were unfailingly kind to each other. That counts for a great deal.
But lack of growth was definitely a factor. I'd argue that Marek and Hanna's relationship was very escapist in many ways. They were playing together.
And playing together is wonderful and important! Many of us need a partner we can be silly with. It's just not enough to sustain a long-term relationship, on its own.
As mentioned, dorm beds and duck farms. But if you also look to how utterly split they were about Occupy, how they were near-perpetually totally in the moment together and did not seem to be building anything not-pretend for the future. . .
So much is out of the picture. Maybe Hanna was interested in Marek's thesis and we just never see her reading it or them discussing it, but that did happen. But if it didn't, that seems significant.
It might be relevant that Hanna spent almost all her time high, and Marek was fine with that.
I mean, all her friends were fine with it apparently, so maybe it wasn't an issue. She was certainly very productive and self-supporting and not self-destructive. But you could also make a case that she was not maturing or growing or changing, that she was even verging on stagnation, and that breaking up with Marek forced her to grow in ways he didn't challenge her to do.
Maybe that's the heart of it. Where they might have challenged each other, they chose to diverge instead. It's good for a relationship to be able to do that around some issues, of course–build in support for independent interests. But there's an argument to be made that this was their default and that they never allowed themselves to clash or collaboratively solve a problem.
A relationship where all the 'work' is kicked down the road can be a playful escape and a haven from the world. And playfulness keeps a relationship youthful and fun. But if that isn't also paired with challenging each other and/or facing challenges together–something Hanna and Marek didn't seem to do–it's not going to age well. It's not going to grow with you.
The hermit crab strikes me as a good metaphor here.
I do love how you can hear the (jerkoff motion) in her tone.