As you know, I left off yesterday pointing out how Mike and April screwed up their lives taking themselves too damned seriously. April has the affirmative defense of being a sheltered child who really doesn’t understand the world, has poor impulse control and does tend to think that what’s happening to her right now is happening to someone for the first time ever. Mike has no such excuse to protect him from ridicule for assuming that some anonymous, flavour-of-the-month fashionista wants to destroy him for shits and giggles. Since he acts way too high school way too late in life, he joins the rest of his panicky, short-sighted, greedy, entitled and dimwitted family in being walking punch-lines. As I’ve said before, the Elly who sees the world as being populated by reproving figures who can’t wait to condemn her has no real idea that most people look at her and see another face in the crowd. If they look at her for more than a second, they might notice that said rather bland and forgettable face has a frown on it and is attached to a body slumped down in defeat but that would be it.
This leads us to the real reason that their screw-ball nightmare fantasy of being crushed to pieces is so ludicrous, so self-destructive and so sad. Said reason has a lot to do with the readiness Lynn’s fans have to assume that she has spy cameras in their houses. People (such as a Lynn J of Corbeil, Ontario) can talk until they’re blue in the mouth about the Pattersons being an every-family and how something that could happen to anyone is bound to show up sooner or later but the need to feel important gets in the way. The former stalwarts of Coffee Talk do not want to know that what they think is being special is actually being normal.
Thus it is with the Pattersons. Elly simply cannot seem to want to admit that she’s just another upper-middle class housewife whose sole lasting legacy is the children she raised. We see a woman whose passing will go unmarked by most of humankind and, since the same fate awaits most of us, don’t see what her problem is. She can wail about the unfairness of it, grouse about the children and husband she sees as an obstacle to being acknowledged and gripe about how much the system stinks all she wants but it doesn’t change a thing. Bellowing at people and jabbing her finger in the air in the here and now isn’t going to alter the fact that when 2113 rolls around, the person whose job it is to maintain the cemetery where her urn is interred isn’t going to know whose remains are underneath the grave marker “Elly Patterson: Devoted Wife And Mother. 26 August 1951 – 19 November 2025” or especially care. It also won’t change the fact that the worker’s apathy will extend to the names and histories of the other markers in the immediate vicinity. He or she isn’t going to have heard of any of the Pattersaints and their adventures would be so incredibly average as to not be worth mentioning.