dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

Elly, Phil and the real injustice.

It seems to me that my earlier post about Elly holding a grudge against her parents for unfair treatment is hogwash. Given how it baffled her that Annie would reject her mother's teachings, it seems to me that Elly wouldn't be trying to turn herself into Marian if she thought she was a bad parent or especially unfair. Also, her constant bleating about how she got married instead of merely cohabiting and her incessant fretting that her children might emulate Phil and Georgia means that she respects the values her parents taught her. Most of her angst stems from the lesser fear of not measuring up to her mother and the greater fear of not being listened to. As we see in the strip, her non-stop hostility and martyrdom come from her realization that her husband and children tend to tune out her non-stop lecturing because they don't seem to take her seriously. Since she's as angry at Phil as she is at them, it seems to me his refusal to listen to her was the real source of all the bickering between them. Given her love of the idea of being in charge of people, I should think that she saw herself as a deputy mother, duty-bound to help her parents by giving Phil what she sees as gentle reminders to behave properly and which he (and, more than likely, their parents) saw as intrusive lectures about something that was neither really a problem or any of her business. As howtheduck reminds us below, the big project she had that wasn't trying to manage his love life for him was getting him to stop smoking. As we see from doing a keyword search on the catalog, neither he or Jim listened to their female relatives about kicking the habit and only did so on the orders of a male doctor. Of course, this is just an example of what really bothers Elly about her childhood. Based on Phil's snarling about Elly more than making up for whatever 'unfairness' she perceives herself as having suffered growing up and on seeing the long, boring, off-point and essentially futile tirades that Mike, Liz and April were subjected to as children, what I now think happened is that she had a habit of trying to help her parents (or what she thought was helping) by lecturing Phil about an issue about which she had imperfect and incomplete knowledge; not only would he angrily tell her to keep her opinion to herself, Marian or Jim would tell her to step off because he already had two parents, both of whom actually knew what they were doing. This, of course, means that all her ranting about dolls, curfews and bicycles are a smoke-screen to keep from doing something she hates doing: talking about what really bothers her. She doesn't have the guts and the honesty to simply confront Phil and ask him "Why is it that I did everything I was supposed to and all I get from Mom and Dad is 'Well, if your choices make you happy, we're happy for you BUT...' while all you ever did was rebel against every norm and they spend their lives boasting about you? How the Hell is that fair?" What she doesn't want to admit is that Jim and Marian might actually have a reason to be more proud of him; as we know, he worked his ass off to get his degree (while she sort of wimped out when John came into view) and he's still chugging along like a boogie-woogie choo-choo train. As for her being the model wife and mother she's supposed to be, that's a bit of a stretch. She shrieks at the incompetent dentist she landed because he can't even read her simple mind, she treats her children like they have the plague, her idea of fine cuisine is Cheapie Weenie Casserole and her idea of keeping a tidy house is moving the dirt around after doing all the laundry every day. They can't help but compare Phil having the good life to all of her chaos and martyrdom and thus finding her wanting. Not, of course, that she sees it that way; in her mind, all she has to do is to prove once and for all that she's more loyal to what she thinks their values are and she'll get all the praise she's so far been denied; the way to do that is to get Phil to settle down.

Tags: amazonian catfish tinfoil hat, elly: lynn's fantasy self, phil: bee and bop king

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