May 3rd, 2008


Hidden envy: A Patterson tradition

You can't fail to notice how deeply the Pattersons envy those around them. Elly, for instance, spent the first years of the strip hanging off Connie's every word in hopes of hearing tales of vernal orgy. That's because, in her mind, an unattached woman would be having lots of sex with handsome men. She, on the other hand, had to deal with "No, Elly" from a homely shnook. Of course, if you were to ask her, she would not say that she envied her neighbor her supposed lifestyle. She told the world she was a shoulder to lean on. When Connie was feeling low after another prince turned out to be a toad, she had only the vaguest hints that her friend's sympathy was insincere. We can see the same process in work in the pointless feud between April and Becky. April wishes she could have the glamorous life she falsely believes Becky to have but cannot (mostly due to a desire to please parents who don't approve of professional musicians) say so. Instead, she pretends to look down on the person she wishes she was.