In the first half of the fifth chapter of Wizard’s Holiday, Dairine meets her new (temporary) housemates. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
I simply cannot get enough of this.
I know a lot of my logistical questions are mostly likely going to be answered in the remainder of this chapter, so I’ll save them for later. (They might not be answered.) This is going to be me freaking out because Duane has committed to this, it’s real, and I CAN’T BELIEVE IT.
And look, I appreciate that. After spending so much time in the Star Trek universe, I expected a similar attempt from Young Wizards: lots of bipedal, humanoid aliens. However, Duane has managed to branch out for alien life, and the result of that is breathtaking. Centipede-like creatures. AN ALIEN THAT LOOKS LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE. And… Roshaun. Oh, Roshaun, you are so easy to dislike! Even in that, Duane demonstrates a willingness to go places that the reader does not expect. Up to this point, every wizard we’ve met has been, in a general sense, really nice. They don’t automatically agree with one another, and I wouldn’t say that it’s all one big happy family either. But the nature of the Speech means that, on a very basic level, everyone respects one another. The whole honesty thing plays a huge part in that!
So while I didn’t go into this scene expecting Sker’ret or Filif in any literal sense, I did assume that things would be awkward and weird once all of the exchange wizards showed up. They’re all about to visit Earth for the first time, and it’s a planet where they can’t walk around openly. (Oh god, I said I was gonna save this for later, but I can’t. HOW WILL THEY EVER LEAVE THE HOUSE.) As expected, this was the case, though it was adorable to see how these characters adjusted to such a radical change.
AND THEN THERE’S ROSHAUN. While Sker’ret and Filif ask a ton of necessary and innocent questions, Roshaun makes the worst first impression imaginable. He’s haughty. Rude. Pretentious. He doesn’t even introduce himself in a friendly way! Worse, he insults Dairine repeatedly within the first few minutes of their acquaintance. GOOD JOB, ASSHOLE.
But I wanted to talk about one specific thing that comes of this:
Dairine flushed as hot as if someone had insulted her, or her dad, or Nita, to her face. There was something insufferably superior about Roshaun’s delivery. I have to be imagining this, Dairine thought. I’ve known this guy exactly two minutes. It’s much too soon to believe that he’s a complete asshole.
THIS IS PEAK RELATABLE. I know I’m a sensitive person, and I don’t feel compelled to go into the reasons why that’s the case. But I understood this reaction! Deeply so! Dairine’s instinct is kicking in and telling her that this dude sucks. However, she’s conflicted because… well, how could she make a judgement call so quickly? What if this is just a cultural difference and he doesn’t intend to be mean? What if Dairine has misjudged this situation? Here’s the thing: it’s not impossible that she has misinterpreted this. I don’t believe she has, especially given the word that Roshaun used for “people” in the Speech. He’s a jerk, most assuredly. But I recognized that kneejerk reaction, too, that voice that says, “You’re too sensitive, you misread everything,” and it’s because that voice has been in my head for a long time.
I theorized in the video that maybe Dairine feels subconsciously betrayed because she had an instant attraction to his photo, and he turned out to be a megaturd. I HAVE ALSO DEALT WITH THIS. This is speculation, too, but I know that I second-guess myself because so often in this world, I’ve been shamed and conditioned to accept this awful default state of humanity, and therefore, my feelings aren’t valid because I deviate from the norm. So I wonder if there’s not some other dynamic at play here because Roshaun is, in simplistic terms, a rude guy. Aren’t men supposed to be like this?
It’s just an idea, you know. I personally believe Dairine’s instinct is spot-on. Her mind is telling her that this behavior is not okay. So, how long until she tells him so? Dairine isn’t exactly a shy person. IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME OH MY GOD. I can’t wait.
I am thrilled to confirm that I will be a Guest at CrossingsCon 2017! Badges are now available, so COME HANG OUT WITH ME THIS SUMMER.
Mark Links Stuff
– I am now on Patreon! There are various levels of support, from $1 up to whatever you want! You’ll get to read a private blog, extra reviews, and other such rewards. I POST A LOT OF CUTE PHOTOS, OKAY. Think of it like a private Tumblr blog that only SPECIAL PEOPLE get to read.
– I have updated my list of conventions and events for the remainder of the year and much of next year. Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches have been announced here.
– Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!