All kinds of spoilers below, so if you haven’t read the comic through yet, you might want to do that first.
A major sub-theme of TMI has been relationships. The traditional “meet, fall in love, marry, and live happily ever after” isn’t for everybody. I recall a statistic saying roughly half of all marriages end in divorce, but that also means half of all marriages last a lifetime.
Grampy and Rosa are happily married and both have lost their spouse from a previous happy marriage. And they will probably get their happily ever after.
Larry was married to a woman that had no respect for him (or lost it over time). He may or may not have cheated on her, but he was clearly willing to. Yet divorce never occurred to them. Of course his wife did get them both killed in an argument over money.
Ace’s Uncle Gary and Aunt Charity also have had a rocky marriage. But they clearly love each other. Even so, they’re separated and hopefully going into counseling last we met them. It’s entirely possible they may end up divorcing after all.
Another solid marriage is Jaz’s parents, John and Lavi Stockam. I never made it clear, but they’re childhood sweethearts and there’s no doubt they’ll be together for the rest of their lives.
Ace says he wants a happy marriage, and he’s made some attempts in that direction, but if he was serious, he’d work on his delivery. Part of his curse is that he likes strong willed, independently minded women and is more than willing to give them their space. (A bit of personal history; when I was young and good looking I had five serious girlfriends all at one time. They were all older, strong willed, independently minded women. One was actually a grandmother, but she was seriously hot. And not one of them would marry me. So to those calling Ace’s harem a fantasy I say “HA!”; I’m drawing from experience.) Ace does love the women around him. In that way he is polyamorous. His attitudes toward sex have changed over time, but he’s maintained a more or less monogamous sex life. (He’s been sleeping next to Jaz for the last few weeks with nothing more than cuddling between them.) Maddie’s opened the door to changing that, but will he take it?
Carly and Rocky have clearly been close from the beginning. Even though they’ve become lovers, I think if asked they would still identify as gay. In some ways, they actually let their sexual orientation act as a barrier to their love. I think the message here is that True Love overcomes barriers. Many pitfalls await them, but is there a wedding dress in Carly’s future?
Pixie I might call a poly-opportunist. She was carrying on with Rocky, conveniently having a place to sleep, but at the same time visiting her “ex-boyfriend,” Steve, in jail. And while she’s become a more mature person with responsibilities, she’s still not above mooching the “extra doughnuts” from Rocky’s boss. She recognizes the mistakes she’s made and seems in no hurry to repeat them.
Ace’s mother, Gina, never married, and probably never will, without any regrets. She’s a strong willed, independently minded woman. (Sound familiar?) I think it’s pretty obvious she has always had an active love life though.
Ace’s spectral lover, Spooky, or rather Colleen Stewart in life, was killed by her previous lover in an argument. So much for “happily ever after.” Most of her woes came from her liberated and libidinous nature in a less liberal age. Of course it didn’t help that she was a sexual vampire (unknowingly) and probably sent more than one lover running for the priesthood.
Even I sometimes forget that the first flesh and blood woman to make a play for Ace was Officer Sharron Friendly. Her confidence issues got in the way, but she worked to overcome them. Once she finally connected with Ace, she realized she was worthy of love and was OK with him moving on to the next woman that needed him. We haven’t seen the last of her though.
Our resident good time girl, Jaz, will probably never marry, at least not unless poly marriages are legalized. In some ways she feels unworthy due to her inability to have children, and perhaps that being a “second-mom” is her only chance to ever raise any. Why adoption as an option keeps slipping her mind remains a mystery. She’s set her sights on being Ace’s Number Two, even if that means not sharing his bed.
Until she met Ace, Maddie hadn’t had the best experiences with men, partly due to her determination to maintain her viginity. She and Ace clicked because he was one of few people to see her as something other than a potential conquest or meal-ticket. But her first sexual contact (other than doing some heavy petting in her sleep with Ace and Jaz – and apparently Peg if she wasn’t joking) was with Jaz, and lets not forget that wine was involved. This caused her to question her sexuality, but beyond that she wasn’t particularly traumatized by it and remained close friends with Jaz. She eventually succumbed to Ace’s charms and even showed no small amount of possessiveness.
So, why is Maddie suddenly OK with sharing Ace with Jaz?
So far, Maddie’s sexual experience has been limited to Ace AND Jaz. She cares deeply for both of them. And in this time, Jaz has been playing by the rules, even calling Maddie over when things might have gotten out of hand. She’s made it clear to Ace that she’s still not yet open to a committed relationship, but that it could still happen for them. She hasn’t said it in words, but she may feel that it’s unfair to make Ace wait for her to change her mind. Or something else is going on in her mind. That is a big box of wine she brought.