December 1st, 2015

Snarky Candiru2

'Honestly' was not the best policy.

To lead off my look at Elly's looking back at her life and more than likely learning all the wrong lessons, she's probably going to spend her sixty-fifth birthday drinking coffee with Connie and talking about how little initiative the children seemed to have growing up. For reasons that still escape her, they used to just drop things on the floor as if they expected her to pick them up and they seemed to be deliberately helpless and passive. Even today, she finds that Anthony and Deanna still have to fight a tendency towards shambling, blank-eyed inertia. She'll probably end her rant by saying "Honestly! It's as if some force came along and sapped their ability to think and act for themselves!!"

This, I should think, is because Elly is not aware that she IS that force. What she does not seem to realize is what message her over-use of the intensifier "honestly" sends to the children she's angrily berating for doing things that anger her. Said message is "I honestly find you to be an incompetent disappointment that I have to pick up after because you're not good enough or smart enough to think and act for yourself. Sit down, don't try to help or make up and let me wallow in misery and anger, you horrible child." If a kid is told he or she is too dumb and bad and lazy to help often enough, the desire to help fades away because someone who supposedly knows better told them that their lot in life was to be helpless. Instead, Elly lives in a dream world where her children knew she had faith in them only to have them somehow act as if they didn't have to try because she'd just get upset and do their work for them...despite her always getting upset and doing their work for them because they were doing it incorrectly and that would mean that just as it was when she was their age, Marian would materialize out of nowhere and stand around being the jeweler's crazy-ass wife and bark insane bullshit about chaos and one night because chores were done in a different way.