As I told josephusrex in a previous entry, I will allow as how that Elly’s conscience does trouble her when it comes to her children. My guess is that after boasting to Connie about how the two of them were firm, fair, loving and kind parents and reminding us that neither of them come close to being any of those things, she was kept awake by a voice telling her “Damn it, Stupid….why do you always got a pick a fight with your kids? Now April’s in trouble with that moron John again ‘cause your feelings are hurt. Hope you’re happy!” John, on the other hand, sleeps like a log because he doesn’t seem to have a conscience troubling him. As far as he knows, April was quite vulgar, defiant and cruel in her dismissal of her mother and that’s probably where the matter ends. Oh, I don’t doubt that somewhere along the way, Elly told him that she lied her fat ass off because her fragile ego got bruised but it would never occur to the douche playing (“operating”, my eye, Fathead”) with trains that he should maybe owe April an apology for treating her like crap. Hell, even when Elly finally managed to get it through his thick skull that his transparent lies about who was going to end up living in his dream firetrap and arrogant refusal to take her feelings into consideration was why she spent most of the Spring of 2007 feeling like she was the afterthought she was, his response was to make a promise to treat her a bit better that still presumed that she was the one causing all the problems. I remember that most of us pointed out that if Johnny Boy would get the Hell out of his stupid workshop and be a part of the family, he’d have a better idea of what was going on around him.
The problem, of course, is that John simply does not see it that way. In his mind, being a man involves holing himself away in an alcove so that he might avoid having to be an active presence in his children’s lives. All he is supposed to be is a dispenser of money and a bludgeon that his maidservant-nanny-wife can wield when the children that are solely her responsibility prove too defiant. This, as I’ve said, means that he doesn’t have a clue as to why Elly’s children do what they do and can only stir himself to care if it looks as if they’re being defiant and ungrateful. By his standards, he’s a wonderful father and has nothing to lose sleep over. What he can’t take into consideration because it would force him to confront and admit that he’s a heartless, selfish and cruel human being who never met an arbitrary and self-serving thought he didn’t like is that a human being’s first affirmative duty to himself and those around him is to know what’s going on in his own house. Living in a fog the way he does doesn’t make him the lord of all he surveys the way he thinks it does. It makes him a pathetic dolt who’s the helpless, hapless captive of a hysterical old biddy with a persecution complex.