February 14th, 2020

Snarky Candiru2

The vanishing father syndrome.

As we know, this year's Valentine Dance arc is mostly about how Aaron needed to smarten up and stop strutting around like he owned the place. We get that hammered home when John gets all morose about how it's hard to keep up with a boy that can run faster than he can. This leads us to John's reason for agreeing with Elly's plan to drive a wedge between Mike and Name Escapes Me: his need to compensate for anaemic and inconsistent underparenting by going to a somewhat overweening extreme: packing the boy off to a far-away place to establish dominance.

This is because of a defect in John's character that he sees as a strength: his refusal to actually learn who the people around him are and what they want out of life. He's already decided who they are and why they behave the way they do so their being different people is clearly a slam against him. Learning that Mike sees him as a dour and unsympathetic presence who lives a life of pointless boredom and also as Elly's enforcer would lead to something perilous: his realizing that his own self-assessment is as off-base as his opinion of everyone else. Better to fulminate about attitudes and give the boy the vacation he'd like for himself.