dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,
dreadedcandiru2
dreadedcandiru2

"Gee, it must be nice!!": the Pattersons' catchphrase.

One of the more aggravating things about the Patterson family is that for a bunch of people who stand around smugly stating that people would have to be crazy and evil not to live the way they do, they do seem to spend an inordinate amount of time complaining about how bad they have it and how nice it would be to another family member.

For example, one of the stock sources of humor of the first few years was that John and Elly spent a lot of time complaining about their own lives while trying to convince the other that they had a pretty sweet deal and thus shouldn't bellyache nearly so much. This was because John would not admit to himself that Elly might find domestic bliss especially blissful because it would force him to admit that the stereotypes his brain is littered with are not universally applicable; similarly, Elly would not admit to herself that John felt like a cog in a machine because she'd have to deal with the real world and she hates that.

Similarly, most of the anger and need to suppress the 'defiant attitude' that animates John's parenting as if he never even had control of his kids seems to have emerged from his foolish notion that his children hadn't a care in the world and, since they were getting a free ride, how ungrateful they were for his hard work. It would never occur to him or Elly that the children spent most of their lives as pointlessly miserable as their parents because, well, that would force them to have to remember that other people hurt too. One can forgive the young Mike for thinking that parents can do whatever they want because he's a child; one cannot forgive the man he became for being as blind as his parents willed themselves to become.

One cannot also not forgive him for envying Lizzie her helplessness and feeling that she simply didn't fit in anywhere in this world; not only does his self-absorption blind him to the fact that he's the son shining in everyone's eyes, he also cannot see that his need for attention hurts her far more that any amount of tattling hurt him.

Liz herself seems tainted with envy of family members who aren't worth envying; she envies Mike's fictitious ability to get away with things because of his gender, John his supposed peace of mind and Elly her imaginary ability to know what she wants out of life.

About the only person who doesn't envy her immediate family is the one who is always wrong: April. She looks at her family and sees a group of people she loves who are suffering as the result of making horrible choices. Since she lives in the real world instead of a fantasy capsule, she's radioactive.
Tags: one big oblivious family
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