I noticed something very interesting when I read the strips immediately following Liz's attempt to break the ice with Melody: her friend Paula acted as if Liz had done something horrible and presented her with a ridiculous ultimatum: "You can be friends with her or you can be friends with me but you can't be friends with both of us so make up your mind." The reason I mentioned this is that a lot of characters have had to deal with the same artificial conflict as the following examples will attest:
- When Gordon Mayes first entered the picture, Lawrence sulked for weeks because, well, he said that since Mike hanging out with the kid with glasses, he was about to kick him to the curb. When Connie discussed this problem with Elly, the All-Knowing Flapandhonk told her needy friend that it was really because her son was anxious about all the time she was spending with Ted.
- The ironic thing about Liz's having to deal with Paula's wounded pride is that Elly had to swim through the same river of feces despite her daughter's belief that adults have transcended sick mindgames like that; that's because Annie got all mopey because Connie was moving back.
- Liz herself pulled the same crap when Dawn was buddying up to Candace; we again had to deal with a weepy numbskull thinking that she was being betrayed or something.
The reason for this annoying phenomenon is that we have to deal with a lot of insecure people in this strip; it's as if Milborough were a dumping ground for clods who think "Now that X is hanging out with this new person, they're not going to want to be MY friend anymore. All I can look forward to is to be ignored or laughed at." This seems to be because they're all a very shallow woman who doesn't have social skills, doesn't really like what she sees in the mirror and who lacks ties to friends and family. About the only thing that makes an attitude like that palatable is knowing how easy life gets when you're no longer a friend with a Patterson. This is because the same insecurity that makes people fear the 'betrayal' of wanting to expand one's social circle leads to the appalling tendency to treat said friends shabbily. The most annoying example of that is how April treated Becky; if you think that she went all pouty and jealous of Beckers because she 'knew' that she'd steal a hypothetical boyfriend, you'd be wrong. Way back in grade school, she went all sullen and stupid because Becky had taken to calling Mr B 'Furgus'; she flat out said that 'other people' were wrong to name 'her' rabbit something that happened to be more imaginative.