dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

Elly Patterson and her fear of replacement.

Most strips that have someone else look after the children have Elly moaning that she can be replaced as mother; she might not use that phrase exactly every time but her moanings all take that general form. This meshes nicely with her fear that John will do more than simply have a "hormone attack" when looking at pretty girls and kick her to the curb so the kids can be raised properly. Since we know that that John can't imagine her not being around or doing anything more than leering at girls, there's something in Elly that ensures that the words "will" or "should" are what she really means when she says she can be replaced. That 'something' is a deep-seated and intermittently-acknowledged sense of inadequacy that makes it almost a relief to have someone tell her that she doesn't measure up to some insanely high standard that only exists inside her head. The fear of obliteration isn't (of course) the only symptom of her not-so-hidden self-loathing. As we've seen, the part of her that says that she's just not good enough prevents her from standing up for herself when it actually matters and makes her abnormally vulnerable to attempts by other people to make her feel guilty about things that don't actually matter all that much. It doesn't matter who the travel agent is; sooner or later, she'll take that guilt trip and like it. The end result is to add another meaning to the old saw she likes to spout about not confronting people directly; just as Elly hates to hear people complaining, she lives in fear of how people she might complain to will react. Therefore, she can only complain to people weaker than she is about things that don't actually matter.
Tags: elly: lynn's fantasy self, one big oblivious family

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