dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The way things 'should' be: why Elly fears change.

As we saw last Friday, Elly seems to have made a fetish of drying clothes out on a line like her mother did because, well, her mother did it that way and since Elly is all about getting a pat on a head, a cookie and praise and approval from the mother who raised her to believe that praising and encouraging children in any way would inevitably lead to their ruin, does so without understanding why Marian never used a dryer back in the fifties. To understand Marian's deal, we have to turn to an outside source: the parents from the comic strip Cathy. Every so often, they reminded us that they still use the handy little money saving tricks they picked up as children during the Great Depression; the underlying premise is "We know we look foolish but trust us....this'll all come in handy when the economy swirls down the crapper." Simply put, dozy little Elly didn't understand that when Marian responded to questions about just popping it into a dryer like on television with comments about getting the job done right that Marian really meant "clothes dryers cost a lot to buy and to run."

Ah, well. At least Marian was all about stretching a dollar because of her perfectly understandable fear that the post-war boom would go bust and leave her and the family to have to economize. Jim did a lot more damage instilling his fear of change in Elly because of the reason why. Let us start by his confessing that the prospect of women doing just fine without women terrified him half to death, factor in his resentment that television meant that he was no longer the sole arbiter of how his children were to see the world and end with his panicky shrieking about how any social arrangement that left women equal to him in the ability to break things off led to chaos, anarchy and one night and we end up looking at a man who feared the new technology because it meant that he, Jim Richards, could no longer parade around and act like he was the only person who could know things. Elly is thus not only the brainless imitator of a woman who would have gladly adopted new ways were she not convinced that the second after she did, the economy would collapse but also the panicky emulator of a vindictive jerkwad father who resents new things because he's obsolete.

Of course, even if Marian weren't a nervous cheapskate and Jim not a boorish, jealous dolt, Elly would still fear the new things because of that organic problem that I alluded to last month. As I said, the reason that she wishes that the stereo John bought her was a sort of music box that she could just turn on and off instead of the scary and bad thing with all those scary and bad controls evil, conflict-causing MEN stick on something that should be SIMPLE is to make life worse for busy mothers with no help is that her number-blind brain simply cannot handle complexity. Since there are too many knobs and buttons on her dryer, she prefers the line because the scary machine can't humiliate her by getting things wrong on purpose if she doesn't use it.
Tags: chinnuts, educating elly, grate grandmother marian

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