dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The Not Actually Fred Arc: what Elly didn't learn...

As we know, we're currently trudging through a rather irritating arc in which Elly spoils what could have been a rather pleasant evening out with John by jumping to a rather typical conclusion. What happens is that she sees a man who bears a superficial resemblance to a man she and John know having dinner with a young woman who isn't the wife of the man she's thinking of. A normal person would give this man the benefit of the doubt but, as we're going to see, she and John ruin their evening assuming that Fred is stepping out with a woman Elly swears has to be loose because she doesn't dress in a manner that ultra-dowdy (and ultra-self-loathing) Elly would never dare to. After giving us a heads-up about the rather horrid way she'll abandon Annie in her hour of need (the logic being that a wife who 'lets' herself get cheated on is someone to spurn like a rabid dog), Elly initially decides to flee the scene of June's disgrace before deciding to berate "Fred" for treating June so cavalierly. The 'joke' is that she only thought that it was Fred; while we never know who he and his companion are, we do know that Elly is once again defeated and made to look stupid. The interesting thing is that this is never spoken of again; this is all kinds of too bad because if Elly hadn't decided to forget the whole thing, she might have learned something.

First off, she might have learned to ask the question that would have prevented a mildly-awkward scene in the first place: "Is that actually Fred Willis or someone who looks like him?" It seems to me that a normal people's reaction to his dinner companion not being Mrs Willis would be to speculate that the stranger bears a certain resemblence to someone she knows. Since Elly has convinced herself that all men must cheat given the opportunity, she can't help but assume the worst of the men she knows. In her mind, the possibility that that could be Fred committing adultery means that no other option can be reasonably entertained.

Another option that cannot be allowed to be considered is the concept that just maybe, attractive women aren't all conspiring to seduce husbands so that they can laugh at the housewives that their good looks force them to want to make miserable. Simply put, the unknown woman was tried and convicted because Elly never outgrew the middle school assumption that the pretty girls wanted to steal away all the boys she was interested in because they hate homely girls and want them to suffer.

Not, of course, that Elly would be much use to June in such a situation. As we'll see, Elly has little desire to be in the presence of women who "allow" their husbands to cheat; the same impulse that led her to want to shun June like a leper kept her from associating with her 'weak' friend Anne for years on end. She's even less use as a scold because the instant her unshakable assumption was proven wrong, she just sauntered away without doing anything.

The most annoying thing of all is that Elly doesn't want to admit that she expects better of her friends than herself. She simply will not admit that her refusal to make it clear that John's nauseating habit of being visibly aroused when in the presence of the pretty is a problem is seen as licence to keep on having hormone attacks.

The interesting thing is that the man and his companion probably don't remember this little incident at all; Elly, on the other hand, probably still burns from the embarrassing time when some man and his floozy decided to trip her up and make her look like a fool.
Tags: elly versus the real world

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