Jarred McGinnis, an American living in London, is the co-founder of the literary variety night, The Special
Relationship. He is wickedtomocktheafflicted.com. In addition to writing fiction, he holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence.
Since the seminal paper “The Girl with the Unfortunate Nose” by Miller, et al., most Janine Nilsson research
assumes the well-documented difficulties with her father as the explanation for the fraught relationship with her current partner, Adam Litz. We believe that the “father effect” has been overstated. Instead, we argue that the brief encounter with Man #2 has more influence on why she is still engaged to Mr. Litz despite numerous incidents to suggest the relationship has exceeded healthy parameters.
Subheading: The Nose
It is impossible in any analysis of Janine Nilsson to ignore her facial physiognomy. Janine Nilsson is twenty-seven and, by most standard measurements, an attractive woman: 53 kgs, black hair cut shoulder length, her ratio of inflection points (chest, hips, and waist) are well within an acceptable range, her labia have been described as resembling a “shy koala.” A comment largely interpreted as complimentary. However upon this canvas, genetics has painted a nose better suited to a Greek fisherman. Descriptions range from Postlethwaitian to a spoiled parsnip (see figures 1 and 2). Studies have shown that of the forty-three standard nose types for women, thirty-seven would have scored as comely on Janine’s face.
Subheading: The Father
Keeler Nilsson is statistically typical of his Boomer generation. Research identifies three contributing behaviors of Keeler as factors to Janine’s fraught relationships with men:
1. Keeler’s use of pornography. An early memory of Janine’s is finding a Playboy, issue #494, which featured Robin Givens and an article on bisexuality. Janine remembers afterwards commenting to her mother that she wanted to be pretty like them.
2. Keeler’s numerous ill-concealed affairs, none of which caused the dissolution of the marriage to Pamela, Janine’s mother.
3. The several occasions throughout her life that Keeler made a passing but negatively-construed comment about her nose. Especially, incident #18b, during Janine’s thirteenth year, where he, after drinking the majority of a bottle of red wine—his wife wanted white—referred to Janine as “Miss Snozz” in front of the teenage waiter.
The authors of this paper agree that Janine’s poor self-esteem from the societal response to the “unfortunate nose” and the precedent set by her mother’s inaction in light of her father’s numerous affairs can explain why Janine has maintained a relationship with Adam Litz. However, given the current state of the Litz relationship, we believe this is no longer a sufficient explanation.
Subheading: The Boyfriend
According to the most comprehensive models, Janine’s relationship to Adam Litz has passed the point of collapse. In the past month, there have been several incidents under normal circumstances that would have precipitated the termination of the relationship given its ebb state. For example:
1. Adam borrowed nearly $4000 by taking a blank check from her checkbook to start his real estate consultancy business. To date he has paid back $1200. He still hasn’t registered for a real estate license.
2. At a dinner with her parents, a piece of septum, tiny and naked, fell onto his half-finished plate of entrecote and fries. Janine’s mother was the only person who believed Adam’s explanation of a head cold. Out of embarrassment, he excused himself from the restaurant only to wake up Janine late that night banging on her window. His GAP comfort fit khakis were torn, exposing two bloodied knees. He was heard to shout “open up you bitch” while waving his wallet.
More examples can be found (Tanger and Smith, 2011), but these two incidents alone underline the question: why does Janine persist in this relationship with an insensitive, coke addict with a fear of commitment? It is our belief that the encounter with Man #2 lies at the heart of the explanation.
Subheading: The Encounter with Man #2
It was a standard issue date, straight out of the box, dinner and a movie, neither party showing much enthusiasm for the proceedings. This date occurred during the well-documented “break” period initiated by Adam the day before his trip to “Boy’s Town” in Nuevo Laredo (see figure 3). As Man #2 drove her back to her car, he suggested a walk along the river. The evening had been so procedural that she did not consider saying no.
The night was wet, but clear. The river flowed past them reflecting the moon and streetlights. They stood, feeling the chill alone together. He looked at her intently. It was her first signal to be on guard. Previously, there had been no reason for her to believe that Man #2 had desired any physical contact such as a hug or kiss. She thought the disinterest mutual. At the restaurant, they had split the bill evenly. As she prepared her polite smile and apologies, his hand seized her neck. Her eyes watered. Her throat burned as the air in her lungs fought to escape. She clawed ineffectually at the fingers locked against her trachea until she went limp. His forearm was tensed with the effort, but his face remained passive during the act. She resigned to her murder with a readiness for which she unfairly rebuked herself the next day. The world darkened by shades of green. The next moment, she was on the ground coughing. The night’s linguine with clam sauce, Pinot Grigio and the chocolate and pear torte splashed onto the ground. She stood, shaking and exhausted. Her only desire was to sleep. He said calmly, I’ll drive you back. She followed and climbed into the passenger seat. No other words were exchanged. It was not until he dropped her off and she was alone in her car that she cried. She cried for a week. She never left her house, rarely leaving her bed. She slept a lot until the bruises under her chin had faded.
Adam Litz is profligate and is emotionally unable to have an adult relationship despite his clear but poorly communicated affection for Janine. In this he fits the classic boyfriend for a girl with low self-esteem and “Daddy Issues.” But what has not been explored is that Adam’s emotional simplicity is his attraction. Figure 4 demonstrates the correlation of Adam’s emotional state with Janine’s perception of it. His actions and intentions are clear and obvious, if consistently disappointing. After her encounter with the inexplicable and dangerous Man #2, Janine craves the certainty that comes with dating Adam Litz. He is a failure but predictably so and in that he is safe.