February 3, 2023

Save the Net Books

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I’m frustrated with Frances and Nick from Conversations with Friends

Frances and Nick from Conversations with Friends have the best lines compared to Marianne and Connell from Normal People and Eileen and Simon from Beautiful World, Where Are You.

And it frustrates me.

No, I don’t want Frances and Nick getting together to relieve my frustration. I wish Sally Rooney had written the best lines for two fictional characters who are single and could end up together.

Frances is…I don’t know. Melissa and Bobbi see Frances in a way that I can’t see. She is quiet and introverted to me, but others see her as condescending? I do not know. I have to read it again. All I know is that Frances is lost. Why would she enter into a relationship with a married man if she is not lost?

Nico is married. He’s not doing well mentally in front of Frances, but that doesn’t mean he’s okay with seeing other women. Of course, Melissa is diplomatic because she also “made mistakes” and how can she get angry when she sees Nick doing better and she wants Nick to be happy.

It’s very frustrating. I think Bobbi is the only character that isn’t frustrating.

Conversations between Frances and Nick that prove they have the best lines in the Rooney-verse (so far).

Nick: I’ll email you about it. Now if I compliment you, you’ll think I’m just saying it, but the email will be very flattering.
Frances: Oh, that’s nice. I like getting compliments that don’t require me to make eye contact with the person.

N: Are you dating anyone at the moment?
Q: Well I was for a while. But I’m afraid he ended it.
N: Did he? what was he thinking
Q: You know, I have no idea.
N: I am very happy that you are here. It’s nice to see you again.
N: And I’m sorry.
Q: Oh, for hurting my feelings?
N: Sure, if you have any.
Q: Have you ever said anything sincere in your life?
N: I said I’m sorry, that was sincere. I tried to tell you how nice it is to see you again. What do you want? I could cringe, but I don’t think you’re the type of person that would appeal.
Q: How well do you think you know me?
N: Well, I’d like to get to know you better.

N: I’ll come and get the flowers with you on our way out.
Q: You don’t have to.
N: Well, if we end up getting the wrong ones, I’d rather say it was my fault.
Q: You don’t have to be so chivalrous.
N: No, I just think the fight between you and Melissa might be more than I could handle today.
Q: At least we know whose side you’re on.
N: Who? The one who is no longer interested in me or the one who only uses me for sex?

Nick is absolutely hilarious. I don’t know if Sally Rooney wrote Nick on purpose to be dead funny here, but it made me laugh.

Q: I’m sorry. I just lost my temper.
N: Yes, I’m sorry I missed it. I didn’t know you could lose your temper.

Haha. Nick is dead funny.

N: I know I’m not a great guy. But I love you, you know. Of course I do. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before, but I didn’t know if you wanted to hear it. I’m sorry.
Q: Since when do you love me?
N: Ever since I met you I would think. If I wanted to be very philosophical about it, I’d say I’ve loved you before.
Q: Oh, you make me very happy.
N: am I? It’s good. I want to make you very happy.
Q: I love you too
N: Alright. Well, you’ve suffered enough. Let’s just be very happy from now on.

For me, this is the most romantic dialogue of all time. But I hate it because it’s Frances and Nick! Nick is married Frances!!

N: But this time I will compliment you more.
Q: What compliment?
N: I have one that’s not really a compliment, but I think you’ll like it.
Q: OK, tell me.
N: Do you remember the first time we kissed? At the party. And I said I don’t think the utility room was a good place to kiss, and we left. You know I went to my room and waited for you, right? I mean for hours. And at first I really thought you were coming. It was probably the most miserable thing I’ve ever felt in my life, that kind of ecstatic misery that I practically enjoyed. Because even if you got to the top, then what? The house was full of people, it’s not like anything was going to happen. But every time I thought about going back downstairs, I imagined hearing you on the stairs and I couldn’t walk, I mean physically I couldn’t. Anyway, how I felt at the time, knowing you were near and feeling completely paralyzed by it, is very similar to that call. If I told you where my car is right now I couldn’t go, I think I would have to stay here in case you change your mind about anything. You know I still have that impulse to be available for you. You will notice that I didn’t buy anything at the supermarket.

my other thoughts

In Chapter 27, Nick tells Frances that he and Melissa are sleeping together again.

Frances is obviously upset, but she tells Nick she isn’t.

You would think, “Nick is insensitive! How can he tell Frances he’s having sex with his wife.” And then after a split second you realize that Nick isn’t insensitive. Of course he will have sex with his wife. Melissa is his wife! Frances should see this coming. Your friend is a married man. What did Frances expect?

In Chapter 28, Frances admits to herself that she only wants Nick after Nick tells her he and Melissa had sex.

“I didn’t know what I wanted from him. What I seemed to want, although I didn’t like to believe it, was for him to renounce every other person and thing in his life and commit himself solely to me.”

Later, Nick asks again if Frances is upset. Again she says no. (Oh my god, Frances!) And then Frances tells Nick that he failed to make her jealous. I don’t think Nick is trying to make Frances jealous by telling her he and Melissa are sleeping together again. I think Nick is just being honest with Frances.

Also in Chapter 28, Nick asks Frances if she wants him to leave Melissa? Frances says, “No, she doesn’t want that.”

(Oh my god, Frances!) This could have been your chance to be honest with Nick! Again, I’m not for Frances. I want Frances to be honest with Nick and say what she really wants, and as a reader, I’m deeply curious as to what would have happened if Frances had said, “Yes, I want you to leave Melissa.” Nick really would to do??

Is Nick just a rebound for Frances? Frances and Bobbi seem to have a peaceful relationship before and after Nick. When Frances and Nick stopped seeing each other, Frances and Bobbi are peacefully together again. Was Nick just a distraction for Frances? I really do not know it.