dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,
dreadedcandiru2
dreadedcandiru2

Elly Patterson: Not a short-order cook.......

The payoff of any Halloween arc is, of course, the hammering-home of the fact that Poor Put-Upon Elly has to deal with the cruel, horrible, unfair temptation to eat candy. After all, if she eats candy, she'll never lose those ten pounds that keep her from feeling good about herself. Given that she was brought up to have an unhealthy relationship with food owing to having a Depression kid mother who served pile-high helpings of food every single dinner because she never lost the fear of going without, insisted that Elly choke it all down because she couldn't bring herself to see food go to waste and hectored her about how men don't make passes at fat girls, it makes sense that Elly could no more allow herself to indulge than she could show flexibility as regards giving a child something to tide her over waiting hours on end for dinner. This, of course, is owing to her being akin to the more irritating citizens of Kool-Aid Nation in that since she survived it, her children can as well.

As I explained once before, this unhealthy relationship our hero has with food comes into play whenever she gets it into her head that she needs to go on yet another fad diet. Despite clear medical evidence to the contrary, the morose clod thinks that if she has to make a special meal for herself, everyone else should eat it too. No one on this Earth could possibly get it through Elly's thick skull that children shouldn't go on calorie-restricted diets unless advised to by a physician because she isn't a short-order cook put on this Earth to make a separate meal for herself and one for everyone else.

This, again, is a thoughtless repetition of the sort of behaviour that gave her the warped body image that she struggles with in the first place. She cannot bring herself to question her mother's methods no matter how badly they mess up her life because she's haunted by two self-defeating delusions. The first one is that she thinks that if she does what she thinks her parents expect of her, they'll admit that they should have treated her better. The second is her refusal to do anything that would make her life easier. She has a strong, unacknowledged need to make things as difficult as possible for herself because of the sad fact that the little voice that she believes is telling her to eat is actually telling her that she can't be allowed to enjoy life. It would be simpler, in a way, to make one meal for herself and one for her family; it would also be impossible because Mother wouldn't approve.
Tags: elly on her cross, elly versus her family
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