Today I decided to get back to my beloved John Irving and his book „The Water-Method Man“. I don‘t feel the urge to write (again) about Irving‘s style and features of his literature, because if you‘ve read at least three of his books you will be familiar with it. It‘s very reckognizable. So „The Water-Method Man“. Let me tell you one thing right here – not THE best of Irving‘s book, yet it has its charm and the idea of the book is quite interesting.
The main character Fred Trumper is an unusual man. In this book we see a constant sharing of his past moments, failures (he has a lot of those) with us. It seems like he‘s unable to work his life out. Maybe that‘s how the things just go, but for me it‘s like he‘s too infantile to make it work out, though he expresses that kind of wish.
As I understand correctly, for Fred to work all the things out is quite challenging because of his health problems. In particular his abnormally narrow urinary tract. Now this is a very intimate and unpleasant (not like other health problems are pleasant) diagnosis, which gets even more unpleasant, because it has a very weird treatment like drinking huge amounts of water before and after sex to get rid of all the bacteria that‘s hiding in his urinary tract. Now it‘s not something impossible to do, but it (as any other health problem) affects a person psychologically, it affects his social behaviour and that‘s when it starts to seem that he‘s unable to take care of his own life. I mean, sure it‘s not cancer, but think about being unable to pee normally, and every time you do it you experience pain and major discomfort.
However, health problem can‘t be a 100 per cent excuse for failing your relationship with women. Because if you‘re immature and unwilling to built up relationship per se, neither having a disease nor not having it will affect you THAT much. And Fred is a kind of character who has no will to built up a relationship, instead, relationship built upon him somehow (girlfriend gets pregnant, so logically this leads to marriage, the fact whether Fred was ready for it or wanted it isn‘t taken into account). I don‘t know, for me this type of men is acceptable only in fiction (though I know they exist in real life), but while you can change the fictional story for the better, you can‘t do it with real life story. And this imaturity in real life is just not mannish, and it is difficult to be in a relationship with this kind of man who has no will, no matturity, no respect or ambitions to work the relationship. It also seems to be sad how these kind of men have kids and they‘re not matture to raise their kids, as well. They on some level remain kids themselves, however, they are mature enough to cheat. Or cheating isn‘t a sign of someone being mature? Yeah, probably not. Why did I write the opposite?
Another thing that Fred faces constantly is the lack of money. He‘s not good at working and earning money which leads us again to being unable to support family and be a husband, father that your family can turn to. He himself seeks someone to turn to when problems drops down on him. And this constant lack of money worsens things even more.
Financial problems are very tough. And when people say that when there‘s love in family then they can go through anything they lie. 9 times out of ten when people face financial problems (really big financial problems) they aren‘t able to go through this due to constan anger, nervousness, feeling irritated, being insecure, not knowing how to solve the situation. Sadly it‘s true. But on the other hand, this is the kind of situation when you have a chance to see your partners real face. Fred also did. He was unreliable. Not because he was a bad person, no, he just couldnn’t solve the situation. He didn‘t even really try. He just abandons what he started: Ph.D. thesis (although he finishes it later), family…
I know that from this post it might seem that I hate Fred Trumper. I don‘t hate him, I feel sorry for him and for all the men who act like him in real life. They just don‘t understand how much they miss, refuse and are scared of in this life. Well, too bad for them.