dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The Legion of Substitute Parents: An Introduction.

One of the more interesting things about the Mature and Declining Years of the strip is that while nominally independent, Mike and Liz were clearly not ready to stand on their own. The given reason is, of course, that since they tuned out the Wise Advice of Sainted, Self-Sacrificing Elly, they just plain didn't know how to live on their own without being propped up by a kindly stand-in for the poor mother whose firm, fair, loving kindness they rejected because they loved chaos and squalor. The reason we actually saw was that they were the victims of parenting so criminally incompetent as to make one wish that being a stupid, passive-aggressive bitch was a capital offense so that Elly could be hanged by the neck until she cheered up. While I'll get to the really horrible part of this later on after I sum things up, I think that the real reason is fairly obvious; despite initially thinking that having her adult children moving back in would be a horror without end, Elly would eventually come to the conclusion that when she was finally ready to be a parent, she needed to make sure that her children needed to be parented. To that end, she subconsciously sabotaged any attempt they might have made to frustrate her need to be needed. While that might indeed be a happy ending for her, it's a fairly disgusting and antisocial experiment in self-aggrandizing manipulation to anyone not besotted with the sick need for constant flattery Elly has. While she is sort of horrified that they had to turn to strangers to protect them, the fact that said strangers didn't do anything to make the children self-reliant more than made up for the terror of their dealing with people she couldn't bear to trust.
Tags: legion of substitute parents

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