The Ultimate Showdown: Pam v. Karen

"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

You don't need me to know that we live in chaotic times.

So much information and misinformation. So many people pulling us in different directions. It can be daunting.

And yet, it's so important to take a stand. Not knowing who we are can lead us down the wrong path, make us lose precious time, bring us sadness, or worse.

That's why we can't let this go on any longer. It's too important. We need to decide once and for all who's best: Karen or Pam?

There may be some people out there thinking that having a debate about fictional characters from The Office is not a worthwhile thing to do with our time. To those people I have two things to say:

  1. I will fight you.
  2. Don't ever say that to me again. 

For too long we have celebrated the couple that is Jim-and-Pam. We've all heard what a perfect combination they are and we're all very happy they ended up together. But should we be? Have we blindly followed the crowd and missed key points? Have we inadvertently made our entire lives an ignorant farce?

That debate ends today. Today we figure out once and for all whether Jim made a wonderful choice or a terrible mistake. 

To settle this, we'll divide the important issues into the most important categories. Then we'll grade the winner in each category. At the end we'll have a clear winner.

Category 1 - Personal Style

While style is subjective and not the most important thing to look for in a soulmate, it is revealing nonetheless. And as Mark Twain once said, "Clothes make the man (or woman). Naked people have little or no influence on society." Style matters.

That being said, you do remember the time Pam brought our her glasses, right? Although she quickly got rid of them, it was a major blunder, especially with the nerdy image constantly hanging over her head. She needed to do it better and cleaner than the next person, and she absolutely came up snake eyes. Karen never committed such a tragic stylistic flaw.

Edge: Karen

Category 2 - Basic Human Kindness

No one can accuse Pam of being mean. Or can we? Remember on the office retreat when Pam stood up in front of everyone and made her speech to Jim about wanting him back in her life even though he was with Karen--and Karen was right there?!? Cold! And remember what happened when they got back to the office? Pam was blatantly unapologetic. Colder!

Karen meanwhile never did anything to Pam except desire her friendship. Karen showed nothing but a kind disposition. Always.

Edge: Karen

Category 3 - How They Treat Jim

Who should Jim end up with? The one's that's nicest to him! And who was that?

These are the facts. Pam befriended Jim and led Jim on from the beginning--even though she was engaged. She hung out with him, flirted with him, rested her head on his shoulder, and then turned him away when he appropriately fell for her. And then she tried to sabotage his happiness when he found someone else! Make no mistake: Pam was the devil in nerd's clothing.

On the other hand, Karen never did anything to Jim but care about him. She played video games with him, took care of him when he drank too much, and followed him to Scranton when the branch shut down. The evidence doesn't lie.

BIG Edge: Karen

Category 4 - Corniness

A lot of things are forgivable. Most things are forgivable. But one thing isn't forgivable: being corny. Being too corny is a vile pox of a trait. It's just not something you can come back from. 

Do yourself a favor. Go back and watch The Office again from beginning like I have (at least four times). Go back and watch the volleyball scene from The Company Picnic. Corny. And watch the wedding in Niagara Falls with Pam taking "mental pictures." Not cute, corny. There are other examples as well. It's a damning list.

Karen has no such transgressions. She's just nice and fun. Period. No corniness. 

Edge: Karen by a landslide.

VERDICT: Karen, without a doubt.

Listen, we all love Pam. By any measure, she's a nice lady. She's got a lot of things going for her and definitely deserves a warehouse worker that's completely devoted to her.

But is she the best one for Jim? Absolutely not. And it's time for all of us to come to grips with that once and for all.