Date: December 26, 2020 05:04 am Title: Chapter 12 -“Do you want to come in?”
Wow I love this story. Great job!!
Thanks so much Hekea. Always nice to hear. This was the story that got me started writing here and I'm really glad you enjoyed it. There is more to come but I'm taking a little hiatus from it to focus on other stories in the series I spun off from it. But since I already started the next chapter I can say with confidence..."I'll be Back" (and that's a little hint as to who will be in the next chapter).
Date: December 04, 2020 12:51 pm Title: Chapter 12 -“Do you want to come in?”
I really liked the way you've structured this with the ping-ponging points of view - it's a fun experiment, and I think it worked well. In particular, I think it effectively painted them as both being on the same page at long last.
Some of Pam's lines in her first POV section in particular are really strong. The description of the ring as the glimmering noose and the exploration of the idea that she's spent a lot of time going over and over what she wishes she'd said on Casino Night without any sense that she'd get a chance to fix it both really struck me. As did Pam's feeling like a kid on Christmas morning, which just feels very apt.
I'm on Team "They Slept Together On Date #1" but if you're not going to have them go there, it does feel like the looming shadow of Jim having been with Karen literally that morning makes sense as the primary roadblock.
Honestly, it's just always a giddy feeling seeing them correct Casino Night, so thanks for that!
Wow -I cannot believe you are team jump into the sack! I get it - I probably would be too if it wasn't for the simple fact that he was not the type of guy to sleep with 2 women in a 24 hour period especially when one of them, the one he wants to make sure doesn't feel any doubts, is Pam. Glad I could make you at least understand where I'm writing from.
I liked the ping-ponging too. When I started writing in the first person it felt right and most of the time I like being deep in one person's headspace but sometimes it prevents you from telling the other side of the story. This was my way to being in 2 heads at once. I'll be doing this again I'm sure.
Thanks for pointing out what you felt was strong. I really got swept away writing this and was getting all kinds of feels and I'm glad that came out. The literal jumping, well let's just say I write from experience. When you finally get what you've wanted for so long, you become buoyant.
Glad you liked where this went - even if he didn't go inside. Thanks for being with me on this very very long first date. I think you'll be happy with what's coming up- (and that's not a TWSS reference, well maybe it is).
But really, I enjoy hearing from you with everything I write so a million thanks. If I could award jelly beans for reviews you'd get a ton.
Date: December 03, 2020 11:07 pm Title: Chapter 12 -“Do you want to come in?”
What a great song! And I loved this, so well written. I’m with you that they didn’t sleep together on their first date - would have just been too soon after Karen.
Isn't it? The Jillian Edwards version is actually my preferred version - I love her voice - but it came out after this would have taken place.
Still, Bright Eyes is an Indie Rock band similar to Travis so it made sense to me Jim would like them and share with Pam over earbuds to the point she would come to love the song too.
I'm glad you agree it was too soon after Karen. I keep coming back to the fact that that morning he woke up in a hotel room, in a bed with Karen and having him sleep with two different women in less than 24 hours, especially if one of those women was the love of his life, was just too tainted, too well just yuck.
Plenty of time for that later. Not sure when yet but let's see where this goes.
Thanks for your compliment about the writing. I was so swept away writing this chapter, I'm glad to know it didn't come off like a fever dream no one but me could understand when reading back.
Thanks for sticking with this story, with all the amazing writing on this site, it's nice to know my stories are being read among them. Thanks for the review and the jelly beans - they always are so lovely to receive.
Date: December 03, 2020 06:16 pm Title: Chapter 12 -“Do you want to come in?”
I liked the dual POV's here. Having the formatting the way you did was a really good way to make sure we knew who's head we were in.
Magnificent introspection on both of their parts. They've come to terms with the past year. All the ups and downs have finally let them to this point. It's lovely to envision them together like this.
I get why Jim would say no to coming inside. After everything that's gone on between them, not just the date, their emotions are clearly still a bit on the frazzled side. Rather than a blind rush or desperate plea, Jim want to protect this thing they're starting to build up. Their connection is still strong, no worries about that, but their relationship is new and such thing often require delicate handling. At least that's how I read it.
Lovely way to end their first date. Can't wait for more.
Before I even responded to you here I finally went back to finish Reset and Restart which I started a long time back but stopped reading as soon as I got to the note he wrote and this chapter was the reason why. I had known this was where they were going from my beginning but had a lot to do before I got there. I wanted to be uninfluenced and write what I envisioned. But I couldn't wait to get back to see how you saw the first date too
And I hope you see the similarity as I do, as a positive, we see things very alike but with enough differences in the story and style. I guess that's why I enjoy your stories so much, because they feel like my sensibilities only you write them better.
im happy you liked the dual PoV. I did too. After I started this whole thing in one PoV I found that while there are some merits to that style and I enjoy being deep in my characters' heads, it backs you into corners sometimes. This was my way out. You may see more of this going forward.
yes, there was more meaning in the conversations and the actions that there would be in having the physical relationship happen this night. Yes it was to protect what they were building but most of all the thing I always come back to is that that morning he woke up in Bed with Karen. For me there is no way to reconcile him being with Pam intimately within the same 24 hours as he was with Karen. To me that is not how to start the rest of your life together. The sex can wait but you only have the one chance to get off on the right start. Well in their case, two.
As always I love to get your reviews. Thanks again for always reaching out.
Date: November 25, 2020 07:05 pm Title: Chapter 11 - This documentary’s about to get even more interesting
This was a really fun POV to add to this piece, Beth! Hank presumably does witness enough of the Dunder Mifflin craziness to have some Strong Opinions on it – and I’m glad you’ve offered a reasonable case for why he’d be interested in observing them as opposed to plotting their deaths, in spite of his full awareness that he’s sort of wallpaper to them.
Some of the details you’re giving here are really good – like him noticing that Pam usually walks behind Roy as opposed to beside him, and the fact that Pam is one of the exceptions who notices him is very in character for her.
I like having an outside perspective on this rerun of Casino Night, especially from someone who saw it the first time – and the fact that he utterly lacks the context of Beach Games and knowing what’s happened since Jim and Pam left New York is a nice spin. Offers a lot of perspective on why so many people in The Office are so utterly confused by the status of Jim and Pam both before and after this.
That Hank is using them as inspiration for his music is amazing. I would very much like to hear both Lady And The Temp and Making Love in the Warehouse.
P.S. Unfortunately song selections are not my forte!
Wallpaper - couldn't have described it better.
I always had imagined a POV other than Pam and Jim to first get us into this scene- at first it was going to be a doc PA cleaning up after the day - but when I came to the Hank idea it really took off in my mind. So glad it resonated for you - he seems a bit of an underused character both in show and fics so I gave him a bit more to say.
Sorry I don't have any lyrics to go with the songs - but Lady and the Temp was my favorite title.
Happy Thanksgiving - (if you celebrate -seems like people are all across the globe in our little community)
Thanks for your uplifting reviews - they always make me smile.
Date: November 24, 2020 03:20 pm Title: Chapter 11 - This documentary’s about to get even more interesting
Nice to have another POV and from Hank. I think this may be the first time I've ever read a Hank POV chapter. Lots of fun details you put in there. Him watching over all the goings on like a soap opera seems very on point. Same with all his observations about all the relationships. Especially the Roy/Pam/Jim events. Nice way to get some perspective.
Looking forward to getting back to Jim and Pam. You write them well and it'll be nice to see what they're up to.
My first instinct when it came to this POV was to have someone from the doc crew but then I thought no - Hank is the perfect person to catch them -IMO he's like the fly on the wall through the whole series.
I'm blushing that you think I write Pam and Jim well, what a compliment. Thanks for saying that. It's especially encouraging when I have doubts and/or writer's block.
I do love writing Jam but I have a few other POV's up my sleeve. But they'll be back next chapter.
Date: November 24, 2020 07:07 am Title: Chapter 11 - This documentary’s about to get even more interesting
Hank was always one of my favourite supporting characters. Vale, Hugh Dane.
I always enjoyed when Hank was on the screen and so I gave him a little more limelight.
Another observation: commentary always talked about the height of Jim And Dwight but really it was Hank who was the tallest on the show.
I hope you enjoyed my characterization of Hank. Thanks for the read and the review.
Date: November 18, 2020 03:57 am Title: Chapter 10 - “Okay, you were right, it is a good song.”
One thing The Office did for me was to broaden my taste in music. It's all pretty emo, but did you know Big Band music from the 40's had their own version of emo? At least I have a name for it rather than just cheesy.
Since we are all reading different things at the same time (boy, this library is big), every single one of us will have a different playlist. Here's the link to my MTT playlist on Spotify. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5RtmPxlxMD8xplizpEvU7m?si=MUbmGgXARDCajS9z8JecEg
During mid lockdown when my modem died and I had no Internet, during one of my many runs through all seasons of The Office, I did a spreadsheet with every song I could identify that was used in the show then cross referenced it to a list I found on Dunderpedia. Once I got internet back, I virtually ran to Spotify to create my Office playlist. I indulged my own flights of fancy and included songs that weren't in the show but certain episodes brought to mind. Here's the link to my Office playlist. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1cxjtAjG8iT43o8MwnzxQf?si=FYlrYYoATy64CvM79ZnVHw
If you click on the name Tink Smith (another nic I use, but it's me, really), feel free to poke around my other playlists if you want. All I ask is that you don't mock my cheesy choices in music.
Many thanks Once -
Music is my Jam and my tastes are all over the map - from Broadway musicals, to Pop, dance, Country, big Band, Emo, Rock, - I'll try it all so I look forward to checking out your lists. In my biz I sometimes create montages (photos set to music for special events) so it's become a second nature to really listen for lyrics and apply to stages of life and situations. Sounds like you do same when it comes to The Office.
I'm sure I'll be expanding my list soon.
Date: November 14, 2020 10:40 pm Title: Chapter 10 - “Okay, you were right, it is a good song.”
Some interesting notes in this! I was struck as always by your attentiveness to the impact the cameras have had on them, and how in this case it helps them bond with Beth instead of finding her intrusive.
The lotto thing is a fun nod towards the future, as is Jim's mention of the Athlead of Seasons Yet to Come. It's interesting to see a version of this story in which Pam is a little more aware of what Jim might be dreaming of - definitely a different twist to bring into the universe you're creating here.
And the little hints of them being on the same page with the potential horrors of a post-The Job Michael are great.
Very much looking forward to seeing precisely which moment of their past Jim wants to fix - as well as the Bat Mitzvah and the Beth-heavy spinoff! (Yeah, sorry about my disappearance! I had some America-related problems to take care of.)
Yes I'm a big believer that the way they saw and experienced things changed significantly when they became the subjects of the documentary. I even do see difference to how they react or non-react to the cameras as the seasons progress.
I also believe that while we never saw Jim and Pam talk about his aspirations on screen, I'm sure they had talked about it before. I'd like to think she wasn't completely blindsided that he had wanted to do it just in the way he went about it.
Im a little nervous myself about the post-The Job Michael centric chapter both in the writing of it and what he will do. But we have a few more chapters to think on it before we get there.
Glad to have you back around and for the insightful review.
Ps no song suggestion for me?
Date: November 14, 2020 11:32 am Title: Chapter 10 - “Okay, you were right, it is a good song.”
Very cute little filler type chapter. Loved the banter between them. Likewise the observations about the resturant. My wife and I have a few places like that around town. Just regular favorite places that make it easy to enjoy each other's company. Delightful. Really looking forward to seeing what Jim has up his sleeve.
Well, they can't all be earth-shattering chapters but I had to get them out of that restaurant already and I really wanted to work that song into the story - every time i hear it I'm amazed at how well it lines up with so much of their story (including the part I made up with the lottery tickets).
While only a little bit of set-up for the story we are in. A lot of set up for the next story I'm working on.
Oh and I think you know where he's going.
Thanks as always for the review.
Date: November 09, 2020 04:16 pm Title: Chapter 9 - Iyay ewknay ouyay evernay ouldway
I really like the idea that erasing their past just isn't feasible because so much of the negative stuff in their past is tied up with the positives. Very true to their experience - there are a lot of really fraught moments that take place in the midst of really good moments for them, and you can't lose one without the other - and it's a reminder that really, most of their history is really good and not something they'd want to lose.
The Mifflin Mitzvah story is a lot of fun. It sounds like an early season 3 lost episode, and one that I would love to see.
There are some GREAT episode references here, including Pam grabbing drinks off other people's tables - and I had completely forgotten that Pam said she told Jim about seeing the ghost on their first date!
I'm happy for Beth, too. She's gonna get her five first date points after all.
Glad you like the episode references - I'm always so torn if I put too many in - I know the fans love them but I always try to keep in mind the show - while recording tons of footage edits out so much of what happens not to mention what happens off-screen so if being real they would have so much more to talk about than the specifics from the show
which leads me to come up with things like the Mifflin Mitzvah - I revel in coming up with new scenarios and storylines we have not seen (which is why I'm such a fan of your stuff). Glad you liked the Mifflin Mitzvah - I've got a spin-off coming and while not the Mifflin Mitzvah (remember that got canceled) I think it is one you will enjoy.
As always - thanks for your great insights on my headier moments too. I often think back on my own life to think what I might have done different and always come to the same conclusion that I couldn't wipe out anything as it might change all the good stuff and would never want to risk changing that.
The reviews really are great to read so many thanks from the bottom of my heart.
Date: November 09, 2020 03:45 pm Title: Chapter 8 - "I want them."
Ha, did not expect that! I liked this one a lot! Interesting to see JAM through the eyes of a completely uninvolved and uninformed third party (too bad, Beth, you're missing out on five points there), and frankly to know that they're not in fact driving her as up the wall as I thought they might be.
I appreciated this one, though fair warning I am VERY predisposed to enjoying a look at JAM through someone else's point of view.
So great to hear from you - I though we were going to have to send out a search party. Hope all is okay and you were just busy. I do so look forward to your comments so happy to see you back.
I'm glad you liked this one because Beth will be back - I've already started the spin-off, still JAM-centric but with a lot of Beth. With your encouragement I went the direction of series this will be one of the stories in it.
I too like a little outside perspective and I like to tell stories so this was my way of mixing that both in.
And there will be other outside views here too. So it's good to know that they will have their appeal.
Thanks as always for reading and reviewing.
Date: November 05, 2020 10:39 pm Title: Chapter 9 - Iyay ewknay ouyay evernay ouldway
Nice way to transition from some of the heavy discussions into more lighter ones. I'm sure there will be more heavy conversations to come, but as seen here, they are ready and open to them now. Great to see.
The lighter conversations just show how right they are for each other. They still have the give and take banter that's one of their hallmarks.
Lots of fun with the recap on office activities as well as them sharing more of their past. The Man in Black and the Blue Angles making their appearance as well.
Should be a lot of fun to see how they get out of the jinx-ing. Lovely chapter.
Thanks Warrior - As always love to hear your take on things -
Weigh in on something for me -do you think I do too much pointing to actual show events. I know they are a hoot for the fans but I'd like to think that a lot more goes on than what we see so I try to add original events and story lines (like the Bar Mitzvah story). To me it makes for more interesting reading but I want to appeal to readers too. How does my balance seem to you? I really respect your opinion.
When I caught your Blue Angels reference (I think in your most recent story) I had just seen the episode and had already decided to address it in this chapter since Pam says I told you about it on our first date and this is a first date story after all - but I was excited at the very least YOU would know the reference here. (as you might have noted I've completely dropped the breadcrumbs)
Not sure I know how they'll get out of the jinx - I skip ahead - we will have to assume Beth brings them both cokes without them saying a word.
Thanks again for the always insightful and helpful reviews.
Date: November 05, 2020 09:38 pm Title: Chapter 8 - "I want them."
I really love this bit of restaurant background. Love Beth the Server; she seems unflappable yet really competitive.
Thanks for reading and reviewing, Once. I love to hear from everyone.
You should have seen her at Chili's - not unflappable then. Funny how to me this character is as real and with as much back story as any of the Dundler Mifflinites - maybe more.
I never worked at a restaurant but I've worked in retail and other customer service oriented jobs where we've discussed our clientele so this seemed a fun way to show how the date looked to an outsider - but one that might be a bit more interested in it.
There will be more with Beth - in the works now. Thanks again for the review.
Date: November 03, 2020 04:49 pm Title: Chapter 8 - "I want them."
I kind of liked this little one off. The fun thing about fanfiction is you can add more OC's than what we saw in the show. It was kind of fun to have an outsiders perspective on Jim and Pam's date. Especially the backstory you put in there. I wonder if Beth was there the night of the Dundies? Would that get her an extra point. Previous customers or some such.
So yes, filler, but still fun.
I decided up front I wanted to break up being in Pam's Head and Jim's head with some other 'talking heads" and this was one place I decided to do it
So even though it was filler - I had fun writing this one and while at the time I had no intention on anything more than the one off, I am now building a whole spinoff fic from this one. So this will not be the last time you will see Beth.
Glad to hear you enjoyed -thanks as always for weighing in. Always great to hear from you.
Oh and Thanks for pushing me towards series - it does open up a lot more opportunities to expand the world and jump around in time as well as allow me to practice stretching and connecting plot points
Date: October 26, 2020 03:57 pm Title: Chapter 7 - “I’ll do the...”
You've written a striking take on Jim's relationship with Karen in this chapter. The ways in which Karen is an anti-Pam get more focus, but it is worth noting that Jim starts showing affection for Karen when she starts demonstrating that she's *game* - willing to tease him, willing to screw with Andy and blow off work to find chips, all things that Pam would've done.
I like the note about Pam fundamentally doubting Jim's sense that they were always going to end up here, and that it was just a matter of when things lined up right. It's an easy thing to say now that they're there, and definitely feels like the sort of thing Jim would believe at this moment in time, but for a Pam who literally that morning was reconciling herself to losing him that feels like a lot to swallow. The idea of just how fragile that relationship was seems right, but makes me feel even worse than usual for Ms. Filippelli.
The parallels you're drawing out here with Pam as Jim's friend when he was with Karen and Jim as Pam's friend when he was with Roy are definitely worth exploring, because I think that's a really important part of their S3 dynamic - that Pam is at times working against her own interest in a way that Jim never really had to.
I definitely appreciate Jim taking responsibility for the fact that he put something huge on her and expected her to make a gigantic change in her life and left when she couldn't do it immediately - certainly something Pam is owed an apology for.
Not going to lie, I do feel pretty bad for Beth.
I tend to say I'll have... and I do think I might notice if someone ordered and said I'll do.
Like I said before, sometimes you make me see things I wasn't even sure I knew when I wrote them. Thanks for always providing your insights and commentary.
Yes, I do feel like there would be a fragility for both of them right now, as happy as they are to finally be together they still have their fears given the history. And don't forget poor Karen hasn't even come back to Scranton, yet.
To me the the parallels were huge -and like I say in chapter it was in experiencing them for Jim that helped him realize how wrong it was for him to bolt. But he also needed the time to figure that out and to walk in her shoes.
Glad you felt sorry for Beth but I'm sure she's had to deal with this before.
NO wonder my husband calls me out on it. I guess I do order weird.
Once again, glad to always see your reviews here.
Date: October 25, 2020 09:09 pm Title: Chapter 7 - “I’ll do the...”
Sorry to say I generally say, "I'll have..." when I order.
Lots of good introspection here, as well as their waitress finally getting their drink and food orders in. I do like that it's Jim that realizes what he put Pam through on and after Casino Night with little prompting from her. Shows that they do understand each other really well. Likewise Pam is being honest and forthright with him regarding her feelings. Yes these first conversations may be tough, but they have a lot of emotional baggage to unpack and deal with. Very much feeling like clearing away a lot of debris from an old foundation in order to build new and lasting walls that will stand the test of time.
Even with all that I also apprciate some of the lighter moments in this chapter. Jim teasing Pam about how she orders food and the ordering of a grilled cheese. Nice way to make sure there is a bit of levity between them still.
Nice to see an update here. Looking forward to more as always.
I know I know, I order weird, I guess that's why my husband calls me out on it.
I'll admit the deep parts are starting to weigh on me but just like Pam and Jim have to discuss them, I feel I have to write them so they can move on to happier times. I did feel like the parallel of the friendships was worth noting and seeing things from the other's point of view does make you think.
I do like to add the lighter moments otherwise this would not be a very fun first date at all so I try and balance. I do have to give my husband the credit for the grilled cheese - he was the one to suggest it when he read my first draft. I added some dimension to the idea - more on that to come.
Thanks as always for the insights and your reviews.
To elaborate on a mention from another review - I wasn't ever really a hockey fan - more of a parade fan, during the Islanders reign I was very young. Thanks for the further insight on the Twitter war makes it even better of a story.
Date: October 11, 2020 08:51 am Title: Chapter 6 - I knew we'd get here eventually
I really like that you've acknowledged the tension here between the idea that this is their first date and the reality that they're in many ways well along in their romantic relationship - and how that relates to the historic tension between them as two people who are a lot more connected than they should be when one of them is in a romantic relationship.
The bit about Pam wanting to start in the middle - and by that, specifically meaning the results of some of Jim's remote pranks - is both sweet and fun. It's a good way to illustrate these two are on the same wavelength, even after all this time, and I think really useful for them psychologically to allow them to re-establish their friendly banter before they dig into the heavier stuff.
I also liked Jim's take on Connecticut and the Stamford office - I think it's worth acknowledging that just like the problem with Roy wasn't just that she was in love with Jim, that the problem with Stamford wasn't just that he was broken-hearted. (And that's a fun explanation of the shot of Midori joke.)
Just in general, as you may have guessed I really enjoy when people try to bring in some humor along with the pathos, so I was tickled by the image of Michael bringing in Goldschlager.
I liked the choice to have them sort of back into the heavy stuff - the progress of their conversation feels very natural.
Excited to hear more from Pam in the next chapter! Also: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Hey thanks for birthday wishes. It actually was 2 weeks ago - I write my chapters complete with the notes, then let them marinate before I go back in to make edits. After 2 rounds of this I'm usually ready to post. So figure I'm always about 2 weeks behind the times. You'll see I'll be posting something shortly that will illustrate this.
But enough about that, thanks again for the detailed review.
In my head, I saw that first date as a jumble of so many emotions and experiences - they have a history but never had a "real" date. As of that morning he was still in a serious relationship with someone else. There is so much for them to talk about and yet if they tackle it all right away and all at once it would not be a very fun date at all. I tried take all of that into account as I wrote. Plus, I wanted to show they would be sharing more of themselves than they ever had before - thus the story about her childhood and Ping Pong.
The Midori thing I struggled to come up with- I knew I wanted to bring the joke to light but it took me a long time to figure out how - but once I did the Goldschalger came to me too (I had a taste of that stuff in my 20's and I'll never forget it). Glad to hear the humor is appreciated as much as the romance and the angst - and that you do find it humorous. I, like Jim, am not there to if my jokes land. I appreciate the confirmation.
Heaps of thanks again and hope to hear from you again after Pam.
Date: October 10, 2020 10:55 am Title: Chapter 6 - I knew we'd get here eventually
So a lot to unpack here. First off I really like that you didn't just gloss over the catching up on each other's lives portion of the conversation. Many times in a First Date fic, that just a sentence of Pam explaining Schrute Bucks and Jim saying how the interview went. However you went a step beyond that which was really great. Things like what happened right after the poisoned coffee prank added a lot of depth to that little scene.
Starting in the middle seems to have worked out well. Likewise with starting with less serious topics. Get them comfortable talking to each other first, then it's easier to dive into heavier issues. Good tactic.
Jim's explination of things is really well thought out. Granted he's had a lot of time to think. Probably really starting after Beach Day and going on through his drive back from New York.
And of course they're finding it easy to be back to being them. Teasing each other, trading banter, just being happy. Lovely touches and a lot of fun callbacks through this delightful chapter. Can't wait to read Pam's side of things.
Thanks again for another great review. It's always great to read them.
I did want to come at this date with a sense of everything that had happened and that will take them from friends to "more than that" so that meant a little bit of catching up on the fun stuff they missed, a little bit of talking through the hard stuff and a little bit of getting to know more about each other's life outside of work their childhoods and the deeper stuff.
But it won't end here with this date, there will be a lot to come between now and my planned ending and I hope you continue to read and review as they take the journey.
Thanks also for the birthday wishes - 2 weeks ago now. I write my chapter notes when I first write my chapters. After passing them to my personal betas, I let them marinate before I reread, edit , reread again sometime edit again and finally post. (and still I catch typos and issues after they go up).
I also got caught up in another story that has preoccupied me and made the process even longer this time (I'll be posting that one soon, maybe even as soon as tomorrow.
Anyway thanks again.
Date: October 03, 2020 04:48 am Title: Chapter 5 - "How did you know?"
I like the idea of Pam’s mother only getting to see the good side of Roy for the most part. I could picture something like that happening. It seemed like it came to Roy in the show, Pam could be quite defensive of him - she could criticize him, but no one (Jim) else could. It fits that she would be a little bit the same way about her parents relationship with Roy.
I’m such a sucker for anytime Jim sincerely calls Pam pretty.
It’s very sweet (& fitting) that Jim remembers a place Pam has mentioned in passing and then uses it as the setting for their date.
Thanks Jenna for your review. It's fun and helpful to get a sense what you like and what you see working. I picked up from the show that Roy was good at putting on a show for the parents and used some of Jenna Fischer's back story that they met through the parents so to me this made sense. But I also imagined there must have been some nice stuff he did for her at the start of their relationship even if he had to act macho in front of his jock friends and was different with her in public versus private. School was public so we see how that was. Years of defending that in her mind just transposed to everywhere and everyone else.
Me too, and I find it so Jim to use the word pretty. I've heard him call her beautiful but there is something about him saying pretty that seems so right.
I also imagine he's got an arsenal of things he's learned about Pam over 4 years to bring out. Some from the show and some, like this a combo of my personal thoughts and the show.
There's a book I think I read as a child that I always think back to but I still haven't figured out what it is and I often think are the memories from somewhere else so I went with that to alter what was canon in the Boys and Girls episode. Of course I had to find a way to make Jim know about it so I added the bit with Phyllis.
I hope you are enjoying the read and I thank you for the feedback.
Date: October 02, 2020 06:40 pm Title: Chapter 5 - "How did you know?"
Some stuff I liked a lot about this chapter: the choice to not make Mama Beesly a hardcore Jam shipper I think is smart, and consistent with what we've seen of her onscreen. We know she's one of the few people Pam references being close to - if she was really a Roy skeptic, that feels like something that might have cast a real shadow over that relationship. Plus you've managed to explain exactly why - Roy puts on a show for them, and Pam is not quite prepared to be honest with even her mother and close confidante about what her relationship is really like. That paints a really clear image of Pam in the Roy years, both in terms of her character and in answering the question of how the hell did it go on so long.
Much as I usually like to see Pam and Roy with a slightly better relationship when they're younger, I also liked the choice a lot to have them living sufficiently separate lives in high school that Pam's not sure they made it into the yearbook together. You've established a pattern of Roy not being invested in her life and her interests that clearly carried through to their adult lives, and one that she never managed to break with him. And "I'm not sure we would have been in my yearbook together" is a great show-not-tell way to illustrate it. (In much the same way, "Roy emotionally manipulating her into oral sex when she's upset" really stands on its own without any further description as a portrait of Roy's awfulness in their adult relationship, as does Roy being unwilling to be around her when she's hangover and gross.)
I enjoyed the use of their history here - I think it makes sense emotionally, especially coming off of a year where they really haven't been that close, that they would be thinking a lot about some of the brighter moments on their journey. Plus I'm just a sucker for callbacks like that and the Niagara call-forward for that matter. (I also appreciated Jim's use of the driving lessons as metaphor for their relationship, and Pam missing it. They're not quite on the same page yet. Bet you he would've come clean if she had understood what he was trying to say there.) And the new history you've created seems very them, as does the fact that Jim remembers this random conversation about what Pam thinks is a good date spot in Scranton from years ago. That's the guy who gives a teapot with a time capsule of your relationship.
Pam making her final call on the outfit based on the fact that Angela would probably disapprove seems very in character and made me laugh.
I again appreciated that Jim is being clever about keeping them out of sight of the cameras. I agree with what you said in your last response - the fact that they're constantly being followed around on cameras should and almost certainly does have a real (and, yeah, probably negative) impact on their relationship that it's worth accounting for/exploring in fic. I'm really happy to see you leaning into that.
You are not the first person to recommend The Last Five Years, I definitely need to add it to the list. And I agree the idea of exploring the parallels of those journeys could make for great fic - worth kicking around!
Wow, wow, wow. I love your reviews.
It's so great to see that what I'm trying to say is coming across. Watching Pam with Roy in the early seasons, I always felt she was never honest with anyone including herself about her relationship. The episode where Roy charmed Mama Beesly wasn't lost in me. In my view she almost doesn't want to disappoint her mother by saying that the relationship is anything less than it should be - and as we learn from later seasons she probably gets that from her mother. Glad it came through for you here.
I feel like I share a lot of my personal life here and in my stories but a lot of my ideas come from things I've experienced and or I'm watching my kids experience. With the yearbook, my son is a senior and I keep insisting he and his girlfriend submit their photos to all the yearbook photo requests. To me it's an important time capsule and at the time we may not think we'll ever forget these days I try to convince them they'll want to look back one day and see the memories (but who knows with the Internet and Facebook and Instagram and whatever else is out there maybe the yearbook is not the same importance it once was).
I had to defend my choice to put the post Dundies oral sex reference in with my betas (hubby and good friends)- I thought it was a real painting of both Roy's attitude and Pam's own self-respect when she's with him. I wanted to juxtapose Pam's self-worth when with Roy against what it is when by herself and then with Jim. More to come on all this as we move forward.
I nearly jumped for joy when you mentioned the driving lessons as metaphor for the relationship - not only did Pam miss it but it was lost on others but it was exactly what I was getting at. If it paid off for even one reader it was worth it.
The cameras threw me for a loop when it clicked upon one of my many research re-watches that they would have been caught very early on. I had to go back and do a lot of rewriting to rectify that but once I caught on to it I had to make that an element in the story. But they can't hide for all that long -season 4 is right around the corner although I've got a lot of summer plans for our fine couple. And a lot more callbacks and some new ones never seen on TV - even in deleted scenes. I'm a big fan of yours and hope I can do justice with mine.
DO check out The Last Five Years - the format is magnificent - love to see a challenge to do a fic this way -who wants to take that one on.
Thanks again for your insightful and confidence-boosting reviews. I so appreciate them and hope you are enjoying the read!
Date: October 02, 2020 04:04 pm Title: Chapter 5 - "How did you know?"
Great way to get into Pam's mindset with everything here. I love that while she wants advice on her outfit, Fancy New Beesly comes through on her own with a dress that makes Jim's heart skip a beat. Also that she's made certain that her place is in order for any post-dinner activities. I mean best to be prepared for any eventuality right?
I'll admit I was a little confused as to why Jim wanted to take Pam's car or why he insisted on driving. I'm sure Pam has griped to him that Roy never let her drive. When Jim explains himself it's not because of any macho power trip it's because he's already trying to guard their new relationship while still keeping the magic of the surprise alive. I must say that's also a good catch on your part that there would still be a camera in Jim's car. Had the doc crew had that footage I'm sure they would have used it. That there is no footage means something like this must have happened. I don't think I've ever seen that in a fic before so bravo. Excellent way to pin down that detail.
Pam's memories of Roy are just uugh. I can easily see that Roy would clean up his act for Pam's family. He did seem to do that when he picked Pam and her Mom up for dinner that one time. That Pam didn't really speak up about his foibles though also says something about her during that relationship. That she was more willing to let things get swept under the rug or let Roy get away with things, case in point what happened after the Dundies. However they way you right it seems that Pam, while not happy about those memories, has also learned from them. She's walked through the fire to burn away the weaknesses that would allow that behavior to continue and thus has bloomed into a wonderful partner for Jim.
The farmhouse restaurant seems just lovely. Even moreso since there are only two men in Pam's life who have ever brought her there. I may have to start up a tradition like that with my daughter. Just lovely. Can't wait to see how the rest of the date goes.
Great writing again. Also thank you for the compliments on my reviews. That's very kind of you. Hopefully I can continue to give you worthwhile feedback.
Author's Response: Once again, thank you for the insightful review and for appreciating the little things I try to sprinkle in. For me, the cameras and their awareness of them is a huge thing so it had to be part of my story. We know Jim is ever so conscious of them - but glad I can surprise readers with that angle. I will say it was my aha moment when I watched and re-watched and re-watched again in my research for this story. I had to go back and do some heavy edits to adjust for how I was going to reconcile the car camera.
Yes, I had a little back and forth with my beta readers (my husband and good friends) regarding the post Dundies element but I defended my choice not only because it seemed a very Roy thing but more so because I think it said a lot about who Pam was when she was with him and how he affected her own self-worth. More to come on this in future chapters. Jim is so much better to her and for her.
I would be honored to think I might have had a small part in a future tradition with your own daughter. As a father you have the first opportunity to instill that sense of self-worth and what she should look for in a partner and it's little things like this that I feel shape one's outcome and search for the right partner later in life. I was lucky enough to have a father who instilled that in me and chose an amazing husband as a result. It's too bad that while Pam's early role model seems to have been on the right track, she got sidetracked by Roy early on. Lucky for her Jim came into her life.
I truly do look forward to seeing what you think as I roll along with my story. I hope that you are enjoying the read.
Date: September 26, 2020 10:34 pm Title: Chapter 4 - It was time to go back.
I’m always delighted to see another take filling in the blanks and the aftermath of the job. In particular, I really liked your Karen chapter. I think Karen had so much more potential than we really saw in the show. Your characterization of her felt very believable - the break up was definitely sympathy inducing, although completely inevitable also.
I think you did a great job coming up with the prank ideas! I could totally imagine Jim giving those a go and causing Dwight all sorts of angst. Your phone call between Pam and Jim, with the Dwight twist earlier on was also a nice touch.
“I’m not much of a lottery player, I prefer to waste my money on unnecessary overnight trips to NY and expensive, non-refundable plane tickets I don’t use.” This line had me laughing.
I’m curious to see your take on what’s to come!
Don't know how I missed this review earlier but thanks so much for your review.
I never did feel sympathy for Karen until I wrote her and then my heart was breaking for her even though I am 100% Team Jam. She had to have seen the writing on the wall - look closely at Women's Appreciation -she was in heavy denial.
I got into this for the Jam fluff and the missing 3 months of new love but I'm enjoying coming up with the more comedic stuff too (although a little more taxing on the brain) and have lots more coming up.
There's something so satisfying hearing from others who can appreciate the little nuggets from the show and share in the love for it. Thanks for that.
I hope I am doing justice to your views on how their first date and beyond goes. Thanks again for joining me on the journey and for sharing your thoughts.
Date: September 24, 2020 09:22 pm Title: Chapter 4 - It was time to go back.
I appreciate the attempt to put Jim leaving Karen in New York in further context. Honestly, I'm not sure there's a way around that scuffing his white suit of armor - he's just not a great boyfriend to women not named Pam Beesly. But I think having him acknowledge that he's made a hash of this and left them without good options is helpful.
I liked the touch about him sending the camera crew off on a fool's errand, and I thought the prank about making Dwight accidentally dial Kelly was darn funny - the sort of thing you could really imagine Jim doing on the show.
Adding his vision of the future at the Fairview rest stop was creative, and does at least explain why he makes Pam drive more than halfway to get proposed to. I mean... it is worth noting that the drive he's making in Weight Loss is the reverse of the drive he's making in The Job, and that there are fun things to do with that from a writing perspective.
Yes, Jim's had a few bad break-ups where he has not come off smelling like roses. But who does in a break-up? Someone always gets hurt right. Coughlin's Law: All things end badly, or else they wouldn't end. (If this is new go watch Cocktail for further reference - and did I just give away my age?)
But yeah, I tried to justify the coldness of the breakups for him. Jim, being so hurt himself when it happened to him, must have had some regrets about his actions when he was the one doing the rejecting. But I also wondered how Karen got home. Amtrack, I suppose.
In some of the fan fiction I've read there is not a lot of mention of the cameras but I think those cameras are such a big influence on all their actions and reactions I feel it's important to include it in my narrative. Can you imagine having your life recorded - It has it's payoffs but a lot of the time, it's gotten in the way. In many ways I think it's at fault for the false stops and starts and missed opportunities for JAM so just as in the show, it is a character in my story. You get it- I've read your stuff, you play to the idea of the cameras, too. And it's so good.
Thanks for pointing out what you like. There's nothing better than the pay-off when someone else takes note of something you loved to write in. And when I hear you could imagine it on the show, well that's music.
LOVE the idea about the Job and Weight Loss being a study of a tale that can be told from the reverse. Ok, here I go with another recco...if you haven't already seen it. The Last 5 Years (the play but the movie ok, too) story of a love affair told from 2 directions -her from the end to the beginning, him from the beginning to end and they meet in the middle. But you should put your idea up as a challenge or write on it yourself. I'd love your take on it.
I appreciate all your feedback - THANK YOU again for your continued reviews. I enjoy reading every bit.
Date: September 24, 2020 06:38 pm Title: Chapter 4 - It was time to go back.
I like the breadcrumbs in the end notes a lot better. If someone wants to look them up, they're there, but now they're not distracting from the narrative.
Speaking of that, let's dive in shall we? Great introspection on Jim's part. I really like that his mind hearkens back to the Booze Cruise here. How hard breakups are for him. How different the emotions are this time around. It's almost as if all this thinking is a warm up for the conversations that will come with Pam. There's some serious emotional baggage to unpack there as well, so all this thinking seems like a great way for him to start getting in that headspace.
Jim singing along with the radio and not knowing some of the lyrics was just good fun that made me laugh out loud. Comfect, if you're reading this review, you still hold the title of getting those around me to look at me crazy-like due to sudden insane-type laughter. My ambulance partner had headphones in so she didn't even flinch this time around. Sorry Maxine, maybe next time. Not that that bit wasn't funny, it was, just bad circumstance that I didn't get a crazy eye directed at me due to your great line.
I also love that Protective Jim is already starting to show up. He knows the first steps of this relationship with Pam are going to be important and thus need protecting. His commentary about the various pranks fits that bill great. I hear you when it comes to writing new pranks. There's already so many great ones in canon, how do you come up with something new? Though that perfume under the chair one is a real treat. Likewise the pre-planning for the Christmas wrapping paper fall apart desk. Nicely done.
Also lovely use of foreshadowing there with the rest stop. I was kind of expecting his soda to explode all over him while watching the family from Texas. A fun story to tell Pam. But this was also really sweet. A glimpse of things to come and I love every bit of it. Get going Jim. Your future is ready and waiting for you in beautiful pink cardigan and a pair of kind green eyes.
What an amazing reviewer you are. I now look forward to posting day to get your take on the chapter. The smile on my face when I read your thoughts is as big as Pam's when Jim busts through the conference room. You pick up on and comment on the little nuances I sprinkle in and the way you speak to the moods and voices in the chapter is a treat for this author to read. It does help me shape things to come and in the case where I've already made headway into writing the next chapter, and you comment on things you haven't even read yet, it makes me know I'm on the right path. Especially knowing what a good writer you are and how in tune you are with the characters.
I also appreciate your honesty and hope you will call me out when something is not quite right, like with the breadcrumbs.
I can't tell you how many times I've had a narrative going only to re-watch a scene to get the dialogue or descriptions right to find that something I forgot that makes it implausible or incorrect in the canon. This gas station scene was no exception. It looks like they will have to make another stop there before season 5. And you can't believe how much I studied google maps for the route from NY to Scranton. I'm a NYC expat so I've even driven those roads myself and have been frustrated driving in Jersey but always stopped for gas before hitting the GW Bridge toll...now where I live, I always have to pump my own.
I'm going to have to look up Comfect and read his stories when I have time. I always appreciate a good laugh. But now you've given me a challenge and I have a few ideas.
I love Jim pranks...and I felt I could not just borrow from show. Coming up with the new ones took the most time but once I had a few I couldn't decide which one was best so I used them all. I'm thinking each will appeal to different readers. I did keep one in my pocket that may take some doing to work in somehow but we will see if it ever has a place as the story takes shape.
Anyway, all this to say THANK YOU for being a great reviewer and great fan.