I must admit I’m probably in the minority of Alina Pete’s Weregeeks readership who actually likes Mark’s girlfriend, Jessica. While I understand many readers feel Sarah is a better fit for Mark insomuch that she shares interests with him, in many ways I’m old-fashioned and feel that if a relationship has grown to the point that a couple are close, maybe even considering marriage (I could have sworn they were engaged, but my memory’s never been the best) then they should do their best to work through their differences. It is these differences that can make relationships interesting when you get down to it.
Thus I’ve watched the current fight between Jessica and Mark with tremendous trepidation. I’m not exactly fond of emotionally-charged situations like this (I always have that little voice in the back of my head blaming me for what’s happening, no doubt because as a writer I have caused my share of pain for my own characters). But what’s worse is that I felt this entire situation could have been avoided with a little bit of honesty and taking time to communicate. At least, I felt that up until today’s strip, when Jessica promptly fell off the sympathy wagon and got mud all over her outfit.
First, I should state for the record that Jessica was wrong to snoop in Mark’s e-mail. It wasn’t even so much that she opened the browser page to find the e-mail from Sarah as part of the Vampire Live Action Role Playing game they’re in which led her to thinking her boyfriend was cheating on her. But it was the final panel of todays’ strip that fully stripped any sympathy I felt for Jessica away, especially because it’s true! We’re talking about a guy who helped her out with her church, despite not being a member from what I can tell. He respected her interests and her beliefs. And yet she falls right into the trap he accidently set by making fun of his hobbies… right after claiming she didn’t.
One of the things I believe (and no doubt it’s foolish to think this) is that a healthy relationship isn’t comprised of attraction, but instead of loyalty, communication, and respect. Yes, Mark and Jessica are attracted to one another. Mark’s a decent man, and from what we’ve seen of Jessica, she’s usually a nice person. But she doesn’t respect him. She snubs his hobbies and ridicules him for it; it may not be the level of disdain that some people in the Weregeeks world hold for geeks, but she doesn’t make an effort to understand his interests and doesn’t understand why her interests aren’t good enough for him.
Honestly? At this point I can’t help but think this relationship is going to fall apart. Nor do I think Mark will end up with Sarah, seeing that she made an effort to befriend Jessica and does share interests with Jessica. Indeed, I could even see Sarah working to patch things up between Mark and Jessica, rather than pursue him for herself. I mean, that’s just not done. But given the greater world of Weregeeks and some of the truly insane elements within it (including a group of people who murder or brainwash geeks and get away with it), I doubt very much this will be the last we see of Jessica. The only question is what role she’ll play in the future.