Date: April 09, 2019 07:25 pm Title: You'll never beat but you'll never break
I love this story so damn much.
I don't love Pam's last trip to Philly. God, it's so painful. Poor Pam can't win with Jim or her parents and Jim is just trying his best and listen, it all just makes me want to crawl under the covers with Nellie's wine and Darryl's garlic knots and hide until it's all better.
Seriously, in that flashback, my favorite parts were the really subtle moments that showed more than told what they were going through - Pam's annoyance at Isaac needing to get clothes in the middle of her fight with Jim, her sucking it up and making dinner and cleaning and being the good supportive girlfriend while trying to talk herself into the idea that they were going to be okay, Jim's annoyance at her telling her parents what was going on, and that whole awkward goodbye brunch. You kill me with these moments and seriously, are there any more garlic knots?
I don't even want to talk about their break-up. I definitely don't want to talk about the fact that they had break up sex and it's fine, really, I'm not invested in this fake world At All.
Karen's little pep/warning talk and date makeover - you're pulling out all the stops here and I don't hate it. Or her. I just really love this supportive friendship you've created for them and ugh, I FELT Karen's biting her tongue at Pam's insistence that she's really good right now, and her resignation that she's going to be there to pick up the pieces if it all goes to hell like she thinks it will.
But she still puts her in a fuck me dress and make up for a Tuesday night date -- That's a Karen I can be friends with!
I'd say more about the fact that Pam rents an apartment from the Vances (this is genius) but you have Jim leaning against a black Porsche like Logan Echolls and how very fucking dare you, Duchess Cupcake. How. Dare. You.
(please don't stop. also, tell me more about the time they saw Snow Patrol.)
Whew. This date. I also could use a vodka tonic with how awkward it's going. First of all, I can't believe you almost killed off Gerry... thank god He's okay. That was a nice little moment in the car that fooled me into thinking everything was going to be okay with this two and that they were gonna skip dessert and go bang in the Vance's pool. Nah, they don't even make it through drinks!
Did I scream at Jim to put his phone away? Yes, 100% I did. God, they have so much history and there's so much tension and there isn't enough vodka and bourbon in this restaurant to get them through dinner and it's awful and I hate it but I have faith in you that It's Not a Mistake and they're going to get through this. Because even with all of the awfulness, there's still that pull between them, those long repressed feelings that are trying so hard to come back to the surface. Because they Have to end up together after all this. They have to.
And for what it's worth, out of the "get out of a bad date' options presented at the end here, I'm definitely a Penny.
I need the next chapter like, two days ago.
I love this review so damn much.
Yea! You managed to hit on Everything I wanted to convey with Karen. Also, that flashback was a rough one to write. I DID hide with wine and carbs after writing it.
Gah! That car moment. EVERY fiber of my being wants Pam, at some point in this story, to say to him, "You should only wear this, like ever." I won't, but there is another famous VM line that another character MIGHT use much later. You're welcome. ;)
Aw, don't think I didn't have different thoughts about how that date might end. Really. But where's the fun in that?? But really, you hit on everything here. I'm so glad that internal struggle is coming through. Hopefully the next chapter isn't so tumultuous for these two...
Date: April 09, 2019 01:01 pm Title: You'll never beat but you'll never break
OMG! What a powerful, draining chapter. Your writing always gets me into the scene and I can see places, colors, textures, while I get to feel what the characters are feeling. And, of course, because of that I'm a little heartbroken right now.
I am dying to read what comes next so, maaaybe you want to spare my life? And that of your other followers?
Anyway, amazing update!
(For a moment at the end of last chapter I thought they were going to figure it out quickly, you know? Date, drinks and getting back together sex. This is so much painfully beter!)
Author's Response: Oh, K3, thanks! Wow. Thanks for those specifics of how you get so immersed in a scene. I appreciate that. Hopefully a new chapter will be up somewhat soon! Don’t think that ending didn’t cross my mind. 😉
Date: April 08, 2019 12:54 am Title: You'll never beat but you'll never break
Lots of angst here, wow. Dialed it up to 11.
I’m curious to start getting Jim’s POV on some of this. Because I feel like there is a lot unsaid there. And I really want to know more about his rebound and marriage and this divorce (hooray divorce!)
I feel like this is also building to a huge explosion of pent up frustration and disappointment and rage from Pam too. Like she’s torturing herself for her decisions (influenced by her well meaning parents) and now twisting the knife more. Would be curious what it’s like on the other side too, and if she can actually heal and be complete with or without Jim.
Great update! Looking forward to more
Thanks, Bayjb! The next three chapters unpack a lot of that history; your "hooray divorce" comment made me laugh out loud thought. :D
I'm glad to hear you're interested in Jim's PoV cause that's coming up in the next chapter. Oh! Also good specifics on Pam's head space. I hope to address most of those throughout this story. Thanks for the feedback and kind words!
Date: April 07, 2019 10:30 am Title: You'll never beat but you'll never break
Wow, so yeah, that was a chapter that made up for the long delay. You're right, this is on the angsty side. The flashback scenes, showing how Jim and Pam were drifting apart was a slow kind of burn. Then the end of the date. Considering everything that happened, yeah it makes sense that Pam would be so hesitant about him.
Jim, come on man, put down the damn phone! Use all those people skills of yours, get over yourself, and pay attention to her.
Hope to see a new update soon.
Author's Response: Thanks for your review, Warrior! Yes, that slow drift apart was kind of painful. I think (*hope*) Jim redeems himself in the next chapter. Crossing fingers it doesn't take me as long between posting chapters. :) Thanks again!
Date: April 06, 2019 09:12 pm Title: You'll never beat but you'll never break
I was so excited to see this update! Looking forward to more.
Author's Response: Sprinkles! A little bird told me that you were asking about this fic on a chat and, honestly, that lit a fire for me to polish this chapter and get it posted. Thank you for being such a positive supporter of this story and I hope you enjoy the rest of it. (Here's hoping there won't be SO much time between chapters.)
Date: April 06, 2019 07:32 pm Title: You'll never beat but you'll never break
I mean, I enjoy your writing so I'm here for this, but they're both so broken. It's like you took the two worst versions of each character (as people, not as characters: late-season neglectful Jim and early-season passive Pam) and put them in a room. Not that that last scene doesn't show some strength for Pam, but she's doing what she did with Roy in the flashbacks--and not with Jim, with her parents. Because if she actually stood up for her relationship with her Dad (or just didn't engage, more realistically), she might have the emotional resilience left to actually talk to Jim and not assume and project. She's right about your present-day Jim, though, as far as I can tell: he doesn't seem like he's actually changed at all except in income, and so this is a mistake.
Oh, Comfect. I can't tell if you hate it or just dislike it a whole lot. ;)
Really, you hit on two Very Important Themes in this story. Can our Seemingly Best Choices break us? and What does it REALLY look when WE think someone has changed or stayed the same? (In other words, does that mean they really did change/stay the same or is that based on what we want to see.)
I did kind of have to bring out their worst, but I think (*hope) it's to get to their best.
I'm interested to hear more about your thoughts on Pam and her Dad. (Family is another semi-relevant theme to this story.) I don't see Pam as the "put her parents in their place" type of character when they disapprove. I also don't see her unwilling to engage with them either though (as her character has developed in this AU). I think she probably stands squarely in the deeply difficult and uncomfortable quagmire of the middleground, likely serving as the unofficial mediator. Difficult spot, especially when it's about her. Keep in mind, it's canon until Casino Night. As painful as S3 was, this Pam (HMOH Pam) didn't experience that same type of growth we had the chance to enjoy.
I hope they both redeem themselves a bit for you when we get to the next chapter. I ALWAYS appreciate your thoughtful insight.
Date: March 12, 2019 04:01 am Title: You know by now that we will meet again
Ok. Ouch. It killed me when Jim said "There she is". So... ouch. So, let's get real. What do you need to go on? Booze? Chocolate? Cookies? I love this sooo much!
Author's Response: Ha! Thanks K3! This one is definitely getting updates and I’m so glad you enjoy it. There’s going to be a bit more ouch before it gets better though! 😳
Date: March 12, 2019 03:32 am Title: Somebody That I Used to Know
Why am I reading this this just now? Oh right, because until last night I didn't know ot existed. My bad.
This is so cute, flows so nicely and... leaves me with about a million questions. And I want to hit Jim, although I'm not really sure why and I suspect Pam needs some hitting coming too.
Author's Response: Yea! I’m so glad you found it. And you are right, they both probably need a good hit (and maybe a hug) for being so dumb in their past. But all in good ways, I hope!
Date: December 01, 2018 02:17 pm Title: Somebody That I Used to Know
Author's Response: I promise there's another coming. Unfortunately, it's finals season and that is taking more time than I would like. BUT the next chapter is 2/3 written so hopefully I will have time soon to really work on it. Thank you for the encouragement, though. I'm glad to know you enjoy it. :)
Date: November 20, 2018 08:22 pm Title: Somebody That I Used to Know
Jim has a wedding ring???
jiM haS a wedDIng rinG??¿¿¿?
Again I say: I’m about to ignore this story until it’s finished because I just need all the answers now. thnx.
Author's Response: I think we should just have another chat so you and Coley can give me all your notes after I pitch all of my Thoughts. Then you won't have to ignore me and make me CRY! :)
Date: November 20, 2018 07:55 pm Title: You know by now that we will meet again
Hi it's me again. Just coming back because I forgot this in the other review but, like Pam, I too, am wondering WHERE IS YOUR WEDDING RING JIM? Except, I'm more concerned with WHY is there a wedding ring and I'm JUST NOW putting together the fact that you're using alllllll of these characters however you want and I have NO IDEA who Jim could have married if it's not Pam and it's not Karen and UGH, just quit your job and write this story full time until it's done, okay? Okay.
Author's Response: All I can say at this point is...In this chapter, Pam references an attorney who convinces him to get a haircut. You, of ALL people, know what it means when a man listens to a woman suggesting he get a haircut.
Date: November 20, 2018 07:40 pm Title: You know by now that we will meet again
Ugh. GIRL. This is so GOOD. I love the flashbacks, and how real their struggles were when Jim moved to Philly, how Pam is annoyed with everything but then Jim is “old Jim” and finally himself when she’s around. It’s like they were in their heads and not communicating in the right way.
Honestly, I’m tempted to like, wait until you publish the whole thing so that I don’t have to wait for it to be done, because I’m seriously sad that I have to wait for an update now.
Cool. Cool. Coolcoolcoolcool. I won't just fangirl over you giving me an all-cap GIRL and GOOD about this. Totally cool over here. But, yeah, they can be real losers who don't communicate. That won't serve them well...for a while.
What do you mean you might wait?! Like, how is THAT encouraging? This kind of feedback keeps me going. I'm counting on you to tell me what you think. You wound me, Agian...
Date: November 20, 2018 06:07 pm Title: You know by now that we will meet again
First of all, How is a lovely song and so fitting for this story!
Things I love: The contrasting care packages from Pam and Betsy and how perfect they both are. The sketchbook with the comics she drew (no for real, this might be my favorite little detail of the entire chapter. I want this comic to be real.) Jo as a receptionist. Amazing.
This part: Jo lowers herself into the desk chair, preparing for what she knows will be a good show. Karen breathes deeply and crosses her arms, leaning against the doorframe of her office. Andy, uncharacteristically aware that ‘something’ is happening, moves to perch on the far end of the desk as much to observe as he wants to relieve weight from his throbbing foot. I don't know why I love this so much, probably because it says so much about everyone in the room but also because I'd be casually leaning against the wall and pretending to send a text message while eavesdropping.
Things I loved a lot: That entire last scene when he comes back in. Its SO GOOD.
Karen continues to not annoy me, so well done there, too.
I love it. You know I love it. Already impatiently waiting for the next chapter.
First of all, I was listening to Begin to Hope because SOMEBODY on here brought it back to life for me, then this song came along, and here we are. I blame you for everything.
I mean, Jo as the receptionist who doesn't have to work because she has three rich ex-husbands makes so much sense. Like, I feel like she can be there, add commentary with her fantastic Southern sayings, and not give a single...fig about it. Karen and Pam need someone like that in their lives.
I'm glad that moment worked for you and you were practically there in the scene.
"Karen continues to not annoy me" is setting the bar waaaaaayyyyy too low for me. Like, I need to WANT Karen as a friend. What will it take, Coley, for you to Want Karen as your new BFF? Pedicures? Shopping Trips? A shared bottle of wine? What will it take? I need to know this before I can post the next chapter...
Date: November 20, 2018 05:49 pm Title: You know by now that we will meet again
So some questions are answered, other are hinted at. Pam's emotions are rolling in this one. I'm sure the rest of the journey will be just as up and down. However I did like the lines from "The Job" you put in there. Nice throwback.
Author's Response: Hey W4! Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, the whole story has a lot of rolling emotions and I'm a big fan of the ups and downs that end with ups. :D I'm glad that throwback worked for you! Thanks for that.
Date: November 20, 2018 04:54 pm Title: You know by now that we will meet again
This is so great and I really needed to read something great today. Thank you. Please keep writing!
Author's Response: Sprinkles, thank you so much! That is the sweetest! I will definitely keep this one going; I'm kind of attached to where I want these two to end up. I really appreciate your feedback. Thank you!
Date: November 12, 2018 04:42 am Title: Somebody That I Used to Know
Oh hell. Girl! I am SO on board for this! Tell me why Pam and Karen being BFFs is so easy for me to grab onto? And why I’m like, instantly mad at Jim and waiting for him to grovel? Oh man am I excited for this.
Author's Response: Dang! An endorsement like this from you AND Coley?! I better get to writing. Just keep in mind that Pam might have some groveling to do as well... And, yeah, every single AU fic in my head involves them being friends. And Karen never thinking of Jim in any way other than Pam's One True Love. :)
Date: November 10, 2018 10:34 pm Title: Somebody That I Used to Know
I really like this idea and the story!! I hope there is no cheating involved!! Keep going!
Author's Response: Hi Soupsnakes! (Great name!) Thank you for your kind words about this story! Cheating, hmmmmmm? I can't imagine them ever cheating on each other but I CAN imagine them having overactive and insecure imaginations... Hope you'll hang in there to see how it plays out.
Date: November 09, 2018 08:08 pm Title: Somebody That I Used to Know
Normally I don't go for the Jim and Pam broke up but then get back together kind of story. I'm kind of a traditionalist like that. That being said this was well written. Good story dynamics and vivid descriptions. Bearded Jim for example. Lots of questions remain. What happened in Philly that made them break up? In four years did Jim break up with Pam, get married, get divorced, and now also be ready to get back with Pam? Interesting play on Karen's character too. She's still got the attitude from canon. However now as Pam's friend rather than rival it could make for an interesting dynamic.
Hey Warrior! Hope all is well and everyone is getting sleep when they can!
Yeah, I get it. There are some plot devices/genres in fandoms that just don’t speak to me, no matter what OTP is featured. Thanks for taking the time to read it, especially since this isn’t a topic you usually dig.
I do have plans that answer all of your questions. But, yeah, Jim and Pam made some bad decisions in their four years apart that probably have a lot to do with each other more than they will ever admit.
And I’m a big karen fan. I’ve got too many thoughts about how she could have been a good friend to Pam so I wanted the chance to show her in that light here. But keep in mind this IS primarily AU so characterizations (even of Pam and Jim) will shift a bit to fit the world around without (hopefully) losing too much of themselves.
Date: November 09, 2018 07:18 pm Title: Somebody That I Used to Know
I can’t believe you’re going to make me root for Karen, of all people. I still can’t wrap my head around that, but I’m just going to go with it. Especially if she’s going to provide commentary such as “soldier coming home” and “Jim got jacked”
“Look, I’m not going to fall in love with him again.” Okay Pam. Of course not.
I am so damn excited to see what happens. Why did they break up? Why is Jim in Scranton? What is this devil talk of Jim and wedding ring?! Will there be more “nice” hugs?
What I’m saying again is yes. Yes keep going with this.
Aw, you! Thank you for that. I really do think Karen could have been great friends with Pam if it weren’t for that whole pesky Jim thing. And I’m now going to make it my life’s mission to sell you on all of my non-canon versions of Karen (and maybe a couple in canon)!
I guesssssss I’ll keep going. 😂