Continuing our series on the characters of Love in Los Angeles and how they do family, holidays, and tradition, next up is Paul Marion Keane.
Paul’s a TV writer, and he’s been in L.A. since he finished college. And while he goes home to his mom’s house in South Carolina from time to time, he doesn’t really like going back for the holidays.
It’s not even Christmas itself that’s the issue. Paul likes the holiday just fine. It’s fun, and even cheerful with the right application of multicolored lights and spiked eggnog. It’s just that everything else Paul has to put up with during the holiday season, drives him up a wall.
For one thing, his family is kind of a mess. When his dad was still living at home, Paul preferred to spend as little time in the house as possible. Once his parents separated and his dad moved out, Paul just did not want to deal with any pressure from his friends and grandparents to be the dutiful son who made nice to his father during the holiday season. He doesn’t really feel guilty about his parents splitting up, except that sometimes he kind of does. It’s family. It’s complicated.
He also doesn’t want to have to deal with church. His mom, Beth, goes regularly. Mostly, Paul suspects, because it’s the done thing and she’s already treading the edge of local social scandal enough by being separated from her husband.
Whatever Beth’s actual religious beliefs are, she and Paul don’t talk much about them. For his part, Paul’s pretty agnotistc, and would be atheist if he were more confident about anything. The hours-long church services he’s expected to sit through whenever he goes back to South Carolina are kind of a misery. The neighbors asking nosey questions about whether he has a girlfriend don’t make it any easier, even when he’s dating Carly.
Which is why he’s thrilled whenever he can stay in LA for the holidays, especially once Alex is in the picture. Their house, their cat, their tree, and whichever of their relatives wander through the city to visit, works pretty well for Paul.
Except for the thing where being a TV writer means writing Christmas episodes, which somehow manage to all universally suck. But at least hating Christmas because of bad TV is a step up from having anxiety about Christmas. And at the end of the day, at least he still has Alex.