What Do You Think Of Tom?

Do you think of Tom as a nice ordinary guy who could offer Aydan a supportive and fulfilling relationship, or a pest who doesn’t know how to take ‘no’ for an answer?  Or somewhere in between? 

How much does Aydan’s reaction to Tom colour your opinion?

30 thoughts on “What Do You Think Of Tom?

  1. Tom…I like him, but he is not for Aydan. He is too undamaged to be able to understand someone like her. Also he sees things as black and white, good or bad. Aydan’s world has too many shades of these for Tom to really comprehend. Another thing about Tom (and this is going to sound weird) he is too much like John: Tom would want to change Aydan to fit his mold, he would say he is fine with friends with benefits but he is more a one woman/one man relationship type, he wants kids (his grandkids) in his life, and he just doesn’t understand no…all of these make him and John not right for Aydan.

    As for being a pest, he does exhibit some pesty-ness. Always showing up when it is worst for Aydan. Also, how many times does Aydan have to turn him down before he gets the “just friends” idea.
    Now Aydan…I am not happy with how she treats him. Shows a unlikable side to her in my opinion (just a small one). She groans when he shows up, dismisses him easily, but then is friendly to him other times. My head spins. Either she wants him around as a friend or not. When he was helping her with the door but then John showed up he leaves because the atmosphere was not welcoming to him…why treat him like that?
    I think it would be best if Tom just rides into the sunset and is not heard about from again. If he is to stay in the picture then he either needs to have a definite role in Aydan’s life, not irritating friendly neighbor.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. My opinion seems to shift a bit with each new interaction with Tom. Obviously, his life has been much less complicated than Aydan’s. Plus, he’s a guy. That’s two strikes right there. 🙂

    Has he had the lengthy list of agonizing experiences Aydan has had? Nope.

    Has his life been threatened repeatedly? Nope, or at least not from any glimpses we’ve gotten of his earlier life so far. Further, I see no evidence that it ever has. Otherwise, he’d have a clue of some sort.

    Back to the guy thing. He feels protective of Aydan, and that is due to three major things, I think. First, it’s that guy thing. Some guys have it, some don’t. But more guys of Tom’s generation do. Men protect women.

    Especially, and here’s the second thing, men protect single women. If Aydan were married, Tom would think, and correctly of course (I, too, am a guy, after all), that it was her husband’s job to protect her…

    Unless, and here’s the third thing, it was her husband that she needed to be protected from. Then that worthless, scummy bastard is fair game, and the sooner, the better. According to me…

    Equally obviously, I have strong feelings about such things. Not issues, mind you, just strong feelings. 🙂

    Mostly, I think Tom’s best contribution to Aydan’s life is the random insertion of uncomfortable situations into the stories. I love uncomfortable situations. In the lives of everyone else but me, of course. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ah, yes, the Me man, you woman thing…but don’t we just love guys like that, that is when we don’t want to bash their heads with a club, not to drag them to our cave but to just have them out of the way for a while.

      You are right on the uncomfortable situations. Makes you grit your teeth. I did feel sorry for him when his flowers got eaten by the horse though.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I’m not at all saying that the Guy Reaction is always the best solution to a particular problem. It’s frequently the cause of the problem to begin with. But it’s still there. Guys are just wired up that way. At least the best ones are. Just sayin’…

        Liked by 4 people

  3. I absolutely agree with Some Random Guy that ‘Tom’s best contribution to Aydan’s life is the random insertion of uncomfortable situations into the stories.’ And I agree with Laurelafter40 that he is like John, another alpha male who thinks he knows what’s best for Aydan and who dismisses her opinions about her own life choices. Personally I think Tom is a total pain-in-the-ass. Were I in her boots, I would have cut him off at the knees early on —but then I am not as nice and kind as she is.

    That being said, I feel that there are important changes in the dynamics of Aydan’s relationships that may well affect Tom’s role.

    First of all, how much is John going to be in the vicinity with his new son and all? Tom’s biggest problem seemed to be with him. Tom’s new habit of packing a shotgun seems to be in direct response to his antipathy towards Kane. The role of provider of uncomfortable situations soon could well be filled by Alicia.

    Secondly, there is the growing intimacy between Aydan and Hellhound. Before we know it, she’s going to have a cache stashed in a box in Hellhound’s closet with spare ammo clips, secure phones, a roll of glucose tablets, a change of clothes and a toothbrush. Already that relationship is affecting her interest in Tom as a ‘benefits’ candidate.

    Last, there is the changing dynamic between Aydan and Stemp. The secrets they share and the trust and respect that developed between them seem to be growing into a kind of friendship. Given their relative positions, a mentor relationship is probably the course it will take and dealing with Tom is probably something she would likely consult with him about.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Never thought about Alicia creating some uncomfortable things in the future, but I see it happening now. And Aydan stashing a few goodies at Hellhound’s…yep, it can see that totally happening and both of them sort of freaking over it when they notice.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Alicia and situations that are merely uncomfortable? Dunno about that. Tom gets by with it cuz he’s a clueless male. You know, a walking bag of testosterone mixed with a dash of nice guy, and all that.

        I get more of a ‘psycho bloodthirsty vindictive cat fight’ vibe from Alicia. She bailed on John how many years ago and is still spewing venom?

        I just don’t see uncomfortable from Alicia. Manslaughter maybe, but not uncomfortable.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Hmmm….why do guys fall back on the ‘clueless male thing’ defense? After being married 28 yrs plus birthing 3 humans (*snort*) with the ‘Y’ chromosome I can tell you the male of the species has selective cluelessness. Of course this is said with tongue in cheek…because we all know how women gush over those poor clueless guys, so what does that say about the double X beings of the group?

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Some cluelessness is selective. I will grant you that, Laurel. But have you noticed how, with any particular guy, that it’s rarely ever the same type of cluelessness two times in a row? 😉

            Civilizations have crumbled under the weight of lesser mysteries. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

      2. Janet Hackung and Laurel after 40,
        You two are leaping too many books ahead to imagine either Aydan or Arnie are ready for a stash containing anything as personal as a change of clothes or a toothbrush. The phones and ammo make sense, but the rest, nope, not even in a forgetful moment. Not yet. Wishful thinking. 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

  4. Oh by i love the responses above, I have to say I’m not a Tom fan, I was at first but then I kinda started to really dislike his neediness towards Aydan, his want to not listen to her.
    He really does need to open his eyes and see she isn’t interested in him or a benefits relationship.

    I have found myself groaning when he appears. I have loved other incidental characters like Dave, who understood what was happening tried to help sometimes got in the way but ultimately helped our girl.

    I wouldn’t say write Tom entirely but find him a diff love interest, how about Lola hehehe

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Yeah. Weasel is kinda one of those horrid-fascination characters. The kind you don’t know whether to pop him like a pimple or sort of root for him a little. Weasel needs to stay, I think, if only in small doses. Gad, what a fine ‘character’ he makes! Good job with him, Diane!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. One of the things I like about Diane’s writing is that so many of the incidental characters are well fleshed out. No cardboard characters for Diane!

          Liked by 3 people

        1. Perhaps you like it when he is included in the story. “Is” is hard to scre…. Um, make into some rude double-entendre. Love the whole image of Weasle riding around Calgory in a pimped-out car with low and slow wheels and the stereo buzzing all the bolts loose in the car, setting off car alarms and vibrating windows in buildings in a half-mile radius laughing all the way while polishing his Rod. So vile!

          Liked by 2 people

  5. I think SRG has got it exactly right about Tom protecting the single gal next door. I thank you for explaining it, Lynn, because the men in my life never had that “Protect The Womenfolk” training or gene or whatever and I never experienced it. I had to protect myself ’cause no one else was going to do so. Of course guys I know/knew and love/d helped me from time to time, but never protected. I don’t think it’s a North/South thing either, since most of the women I know feel protected by the men in their lives. I’m just the rare one whose father, brothers, and boyfriends or male acquaintances weren’t protective. Maybe I’m putting off a vibe.

    Is there such a thing as a normal ordinary person? Perhaps Tom is pretty close to that- certainly in comparison to Aydan, Kane, Arnie and Stemp. Sure Tom wants to be supportive and offer a fulfilling relationship, but if he really knew what Aydan does for Syrius Dynamics he’d know she wasn’t in the cards for him. I think he still thinks she needs a normal level of male protection, doesn’t have a clue about her relationship claustrophobia, and thinks it is very handy to have an attractive single woman living on the other side of the creek from him, so he isn’t quite ready to listen to the NO Aydan has been saying. But I think his lack of listening to No is not because he’s a jerk.

    Although Aydan believes Tom SEEMS to be the relationship sort of guy, remember that he barely had a relationship with his girlfriend before getting her pregnant and before the ink dried on the marriage certificate, she died in childbirth. Tom raised his son without a woman’s help (or interference) and other than a few meaningless dalliances in the mean time, he has remained unattached. He is really a virgin where long-term relationships are concerned. I think part of him is just fine with the status quo but another part would enjoy growing old together with a nice woman. I think he enjoys his solitude and independence to a greater degree than he realizes. At this point in his life would he truly be willing to negotiate compromises and the disruptions to his routines it would take to intertwine his life with a woman as complicated and independent as Aydan is? I doubt it, and I think he is smart enough to understand at a gut level that they are very likely a bad idea as a married couple.

    He gives lip service (so to speak) to preferring an independent woman, but probably knows that’s not quite true. He may have misunderstood that what he really needs is a woman who passionately loves him yet is not clingy or needy and will not be too demanding and give him space when he needs it. (Dream on.). It’s a subtle difference between those traits and an independent woman. A claustrophobic, damaged woman who now does enjoy danger and excitement is clearly not what he’d ever be able to deal with, if he ever knew.

    I think the reason he doesn’t want to give up hope for a relationship with Aydan is that as things are, there’s plenty of acreage between their two properties and he holds a romantic, unrealistic notion that they could have all the emotional blessings of passionate lovemaking and cozy snuggles without getting in each other’s way. He imagines that her emotional life is uncomplicated and she would be far easier to live with than the hints he should be paying attention to, but isn’t.

    Tom probably prefers to believe that his own life is as complicated as it gets and that women don’t get too complicated. Because he doesn’t seem to know what he wants or needs and hasn’t had to work at a relationship yet, he enjoys the distorted idea of a simple relationship with Aydan, is confused by her mixed signals and prefers not to notice the hints of truth that come his way.

    Aydan needs to brain up and give him only “nice neighbor, nothing more” signals. But a good story needs hiccups now and then, and Tom can provide that without raising the blood pressure too high.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Good point about how Tom sees his life. All we see is just the edges, so to speak. But he lives with every uncertainty that everyone else does whose livelihood is tied directly to agriculture. Weather every minute of the year, the prices of all the things he has to buy to make it all go, the prices of everything he sells as his product, and trying to get by on the difference…if there actually is some positive difference between the two.

    That, all his own personal history, and having an attractive and single woman who happens to live right next door, rural geography notwithstanding.

    To get Tom to leave her completely alone, Aydan will need to get graphic, loud, and rude–we’re talking meltdown here–to make him go away. And I really hope that doesn’t happen. Tom’s worthy of better treatment than that. Further, Aydan knows it. So the get-lost meltdown won’t happen. (I sincerely hope.)

    So I’m predicting some more uncomfortable situations here and there. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Oh poor Tom. I think Tom is a great guy, and would be a great date, even for Aydan, IF he had all the information. I feel bad for Tom because he’s operating with half the information. I think he would be more than capable of allowing Aydan to be more “herself” if he knew she was as capable as she is.
    Tom’s reactions to John and Arnie are always in response to Aydan’s stress while he’s around. Let’s face it, Tom’s a first responder. He can read the signals that Aydan and Arnie and John are giving off….most of which are secretive.
    Don’t get me wrong, I think if Tom ever knew what the full picture was, he’d be pissed that John and Arnie “allowed” Aydan to put herself in danger, and that right there wouldn’t earn him any points with Aydan.
    Personally, I’d love to have someone written into the book for Tom, but with some twist…like she’s a secretary in the “civilian side” of the company. Only craziness could ensue!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s been great fun seeing how everybody feels about Tom! I even had someone check in on my Facebook author page to say they suspected him of being either a higher-up in Stemp’s chain of command and even more of a social misfit than Stemp, or else a bad guy of Fuzzy Bunny’s calibre.

    I won’t give out any spoilers as to Tom’s ultimate purpose, but I will comment on the way I write Aydan’s reaction to him: As with everything else, it’s complicated.

    A couple of people have wondered why Aydan doesn’t just get rude and tell him to shove off for good, and there are a couple of reasons for that.

    First, if you’ve ever lived in a small town, you know how badly it can backfire if you antagonize one of the longtime residents. Aydan grew up in that kind of environment, so she realizes the pitfalls. Plus, she has to live right beside him so any unpleasantness would be magnified. As long as she maintains a cordial relationship and hires him to bale her hay and clear her driveway, the small-town norms are being observed.

    But I think there’s more to it than that: Tom, to some extent, represents Aydan’s ultimate dream. Not necessarily as a husband or lover, but as the personification of the quiet, normal country life she dreamed of living when she moved to Silverside. Permanently rejecting Tom would be like completely giving up on her dream. She’s still clinging to the hope that someday she might be able to live the kind of life where she could be romantically involved with a handsome cowboy neighbour, even though she may not actually want it to be Tom.

    So her feelings are very conflicted: She wants to hold on, not necessarily to Tom personally, but to the concept of “a” Tom, and she’s frustrated that in order to protect him (and by proxy, her ideal life) she has to push him (and it) away.

    And as @SRG pointed out, we only see Tom interacting with Aydan at the worst possible times. As neighbours they would have other interactions that aren’t so fraught with tension; we just don’t see them. So Tom sees a woman who’s pleasant and fun to be around most of the time, and Aydan sees a nice helpful guy with whom she has a lot in common… until she’s trying to hide a dead body or deal with some other equally unpleasant reality.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Wait, what? Was there skinny dipping and after multiple readings I still missed it?! The only body of water large enough to swim in that I remember being mentioned was in book 2 when the team were staking out Harchman’s property and Kane found a piece of electronic gear thought to be a tracing device on his neck and everyone rushed off in separate undisclosed directions and Aydan took a nap dressed in her leathers at a beach at a man-made lake south of Calgary. Tom had not yet come to anyone’s notice. Tom hasn’t been naked in Aydan’s line of sight as far as I can recall, and not even a mention of skinny dipping has come up in reference to any character in any of the eleven books I’ve read and re-read repeatedly. Wishful thinking and a good fantasy life might be playing tricks with your memory. 😊

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