Monday, June 04, 2007

Jamie’s Existential Crisis, pt 2

This intense three-way dialogue continues for some time. In an attempt to find the common ground, Andrew and Aleisha both discuss their analysis of him:

Andrew: “When I see you look at me — there's only been a couple of times this has happened — but when you and Nick were chatting and I was in the pool I was just like —”  *does impression of thoughtful look*  “— and that's me analysing —”

Jamie: “You're analysing my looks.”

Andrew: “Exactly.”

Aleisha (later): “Everyone was like ‘Jamie knows something’, ‘Jamie knows this’, ‘Jamie knows that’, because [of] your fake expression, so we can read you just as well as you can read us...”

As this lengthy, intervention-style heart-to-heart-to-heart came to a natural conclusion, the best course of action would have been to give Jamie as much time as he needed to reflect on things. But he’s put under pressure to have his say, and, when he runs out of housemates to listen to as delaying tactics, Jamie finds himself addressing Aleisha, Andrew, Joel, Rebecca, Susannah and Thomas:

Jamie: “Yes, I am an analytical person.”

Aleisha (laughing): “Good start!”

Jamie: “Yes, I have a higher IQ than you guys. —”

This is a comment that really grates. And it’s a credit to the supportive nature of the group that, even with the alcohol flowing, no one breaks in to pull him up on it. Doubtless, Jamie would be excellent at spotting the odd one out in the sequence 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 30; that does not make him smarter than or superior to the next person, which is what he’s implying.

Feeling defensive, the walls are back up, and, without the comfort of a sympathetic one-on-one, he is taking solace in a familiar feeling of general intellectual superiority.

“— I will continue to read people — that's what I do. I hate the fact so much that the smart guy is the guy that's crying, the guy that's upset, the guy that lets things get to him! I understand that I am the fat guy in this house —”

At this point, Jamie’s been crying on and off for the best part of an hour, and is feeling embarrassed and angry. The ‘fat guy’ reference brings a passive-aggressive attack into play: make the group feel responsible for his current state.

Susannah: “What?”

Aleisha: “You said this to me about two weeks ago; that you're the nerd, that you're the fat guy, that you're the guy that's not fit, you're not the hot guy. You're being an idiot if you believe that you're in here because you're not as fit as these Romo people!”

Thomas: “I'll agree 100% with what Aleisha just said. You're not in here for your surface person.”

Again, hats off to the HMs for doing their best to be supportive. Unfortunately, Aleisha’s comment is ambiguous, Jamie taking it to mean that he is as hot as the others. He shoots it down, and Aleisha runs off to the Diary Room, upset.

Jamie came very close to understanding what was making him so upset — the isolating walls he’s built up around himself — and so begin a process of change and growth. But instead, he remained defiant about his analysis of others (which many of the other HMs do just as much), insulted six of his fellow HMs, and left Aleisha feeling like crap:

“It makes me really angry to...pour my heart out to them [Jamie] because I think that will generally change how they look at life, and for them to shut me down and make me feel like a small country bumpkin that has no idea!”

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