dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

Valentine's day gets massacred.

Another nice thing about the catalog is that it allows us to see how the Pattersons react to Valentine's day. Since we have a group of awkward people who have severe difficulty with the prospect of actually articulating their feelings even when they have a clear idea of what they are, it's sort of obvious that the fourteenth of February is a celebration that they feel somewhat uncomfortable with. Let's return to those blood-chilling days of yesteryear and see how they fail:

  • 1984: This is the earliest point in which Valentine's day became a plot point. What had happened was that Mike's friends were giving him a hard time about his age-appropriate crush on Deanna which, of course, caused him to say something rash and stupid.
  • 1985: We had more of the same on the Michael and Deanna front; as before, Mike humiliates himself because he's sort of stupid..
  • 1987: This year's sequence of events focus on Liz's reluctance to give a card to a one-off character named Melody Morrison; the reason for her hatred of this shy, inoffensive creature is that she commits the mortal sin of making a Patterson feel inadequate. We also had to contend with Paula"s introduction of a false conflict: "You can either be that other girl's friend or my friend but you can't be both."
  • 1988: As we start to enter the Middle Years, we get strips like this which show us what happens when Lynn tries really hard.
  • 1989: This year's Valentine's arc depicts Mike deliberately giving Martha a gross-out Valentine's card she hates because he's too God-damned dumb to realize that schmalz works. The stupid conclusion he drew from that reverse was that it isn't his fault that nobody gets his alleged sense of humor; then again, it never is.
  • 1990: The Valentine's Day dance takes up  the whole of the month. Not only did we have Gordo making a play for Allyson Creemore, we had to deal with the after-effects of Phase One of John and Elly's (successful) attempt to destroy his relationship with Martha because, well, she reminded Elly of the pretty, popular girls who got dates because they weren't frowny-faced, ignorant loudmouths who stood around screaming like banshees and revealing their colossal stupidity the instant someone said something they didn't feel like hearing.
  • 1991: Lynn sort of gave us a re-run; we see Mike and the gang at a dance envying the older kids.
  • 1993: We had only two strips this year: the first has Mike torment Liz about being a wall-flower and the second reminds us that he's a hypocrite.
  • 1994: The plot thins because Liz and Anthony start on their path to the Settlepocalypse.
  • 1996: We have to deal with the annoying after-effects of Dumb-ass Michael whining because of Rhetta's 'callous betrayal'. Never you mind that if it had happened to someone else, the Noble Scribe would tell him to get his head out of his ass because they were on break, it happened to him so it's different. Also, we remind ourselves that John is too freaking stupid to pay attention to his surroundings.
  • 1997: The closest we get is Deanna's visit to Mrs Dingle's house; what we learn there is that Mike is too stupid and self-absorbed to realize that a lonely widow who's lived a hard life filled with heartache and regrets isn't going to be all smiles and sunshine.
  • 1998: We get Moron Anthony telling us that Valentine's is a racket because it happens during Winter; since Lynn knows nothing about the Calendar of Saints, we can sort of let this slide.
  • 1999: We see one of the last palatable Valentine's Day strips. After this comes the Big Fat Fake Engagement and all the other horrors of the Declining Years.
  • 2000: This year's strips were a poorly-timed tribute to Lynn's mentor, Charles Schulz. While I'm sure his family appreciated the sentiment, it would have been more touching if he were alive to see them.
  • 2001: We get a gag strip about how John likes when Valentine's candy goes on sale.
  • 2002: Iris makes a bit of wordplay about the advantages of mobile phones.
  • 2003: John offers to buy Elly jewelry she falsely claims to not want; when it doesn't appear, he's going to get yelled at because she thinks that not saying what she means is somehow ladylike.
  • 2004: John takes Elly to a hotel for Valentine's only to get the cold shoulder; that's because he expressed an honest opinion about how stupid she was.
  • 2006: We have to endure Iris's passive-aggressive bitchery about what Jim eats.
  • 2007: Mike reminds us that he's as smart as a sack of hammers as he gets sweet-talked into buying more gifts than he wants or needs to.
  • 2009: Lynn tries to recreate the sort of sight gag she used to be good at and bombs.

What we can take away from all of this is that the Pattersons really have distinct trouble dealing with anything like a real emotion. Time and again, their stubborn defensiveness and imbecilic pride get in the way of being open and honest with those they have feelings for; as we've seen, Mike's love life would have gone a lot smoother had he got off his high horse and stopped acting like the world rotated around his needs. It should also be noted that Liz's need to wallow in self-pity is what screws things up for her; since she shares the Pattersonian need to evade personal responsibility, she blames it on love.
Tags: foob history

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