Monday, December 18, 2017

Reader's Diary #1689- Kristen Roupenian: Cat Person

Normally once December rolls around, my Short Story Monday posts are all Christmas related, but as Kristen Roupenian's "Cat Person" was trending on Twitter recently, I broke down and followed the crowd. I mean, how often does a short story get read and discussed these days?

For all the discussion, however, I avoided as best I could what people were saying so as to form my own opinions first.

It is a great story. On the surface it seems like a pretty easy, straightforward story but there were so many different things rattling around in my brain after. It's got a lot of details, which may be mere set-pieces, but they do make the situation feel authentic and dare I say it, even something many could relate to.

It's told from the perspective of a 20 year old who gets involved with a 34 year old and much of it is in the narrator's head. This, perhaps unfortunately, is the truth for many in the dating world. They see it as a bit of a game and rather than communicate with one another, they form opinions and fantasies and negotiate without ever consulting the other. Man, I don't miss those days.

I think it's worst these days because texting and social networking could lead people to believe that they are communicating when they're not, sometimes putting an even faker version forward than we did way back when. Man, I wouldn't want to be dating now.

Then there's a whole theme of, for lack of a better word, owing. What do we owe our dating partners? And isn't it scary that many feel that sex is owed before honesty?

Of course that leads to other issues, especially in male/female relationships and the balance of power. Without giving too much away, while the story is somewhat uncomfortable the whole way through, it takes an especially unpleasant turn right at the end.

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