I’ve been writing a scene for an upcoming book where one of Jamie’s fellow librarians (Justin Como) tells him that he and another librarian (Isabel Gutierrez) “walk around here [the YRL library] like you own the place.” Jamie is totally baffled by this. “I do??” Liz and Kristen assure him that yes, indeed, he does.
It got me to thinking about character flaws – specifically, Jamie’s. It’s already come up that he’s an academic snob. Graduating from Berkeley and Oxford, being a Rhodes Scholar, will do that to a guy. He’s aware of that, and tries to corral it, but isn’t always successful.
None of us see ourselves as others do, and Jamie is no exception. Since the books are written from his POV, his blind spots may not be immediately evident. But they will show themselves over time.
As Kevin pointed out in Just Right, Jamie is the baby of the family. He is the closest to his dad of the three boys, and he’s been told by his grandfather (in Low Country) that Jamie was his favorite. He was never spoiled in a material sense – there wasn’t enough money for that – but he was emotionally spoiled, and probably got his own way more often than Kevin or Jeff did.
He certainly seems to get his own way with Pete. If Pete suggests something that Jamie is totally against doing, Jamie doesn’t compromise. He points out all the reasons that he thinks Pete’s idea is terrible, until Pete gives in. Example: Pete’s exploration of whether he and Jamie might have a child (in Encountered to Death). Jamie’s initial reaction is, Oh, hell no, and he never wavers from that. Another example: Pete and Jamie are in Oakland in Talked to Death. Pete agrees to help the police with their interviews without consulting Jamie first, thereby wrecking Jamie’s plans for a romantic day and evening in San Francisco. Jamie behaves like a total shit (I have to admit, I probably would too) until Pete is groveling with apologies.
Jamie tends toward being more hot-tempered than not. He gets mad, yells and cusses, then cools off. Pete, on the other hand, dwells on perceived wrongs over time until they burst out. If Jamie is in a bad mood, he grumbles out loud. Pete holds it inside.
What other flaws do you see in Jamie that he doesn’t see in himself?