dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

On why praise is not forthcoming.

One thing I've noticed is that John and Elly are fairly stingy when it comes to praising their children. None of us can remember a situation in which anything like an expression of gratitude didn't have some sort of ironic comment accompanying it which leaves us wondering what's wrong with them. What's wrong with Elly is sort of obvious given her need to make everything into a catastrophe that dooms her to doomy doomness. What seems to be happening with her is that she's telling herself "They say that if I praise the children too much, they'll come to expect it for everything and be spoiled monsters I can't love. Best to err on the side of caution and never let them ever know that they're making me proud....which they already should know anyway because everyone sees the world exactly the way I do!!" Any hint that no, the children have no idea that anything that they do pleases her is not going to be received well because it exposes her to the horrible possibility that people shouldn't be expected to read her mind. This would be as intolerable as the suggestion that her life isn't a catastrophe in which she's the victim of all victims exceeding all others.

Were that not bad enough, she's married to an oafish clod who plays a nasty game I've mentioned in the past. The website Tvtropes.org calls it 'moving the goalposts'; I call it being a filthy sadist who's too damned petty to let people win. What's going on with John can be best summarized by the following self-serving non-thought process:

  1. I've told Michael to do something or other because I think he needs to learn how to work.
  2. Michael has done the task I've set for him.
  3. Despite doing exactly what I said to do and doing it how I wanted it done, I'm still not happy.
  4. Therefore, what he's done is obviously not good enough and he must work even harder!!!

This is because John cannot and will not entertain the possibility that the problem is on his end. At no point does it ever occur to our boy that "I am a peevish, petty imbecile who won't let himself be happy with what I have because I can't let anyone else win" because that would mean that the only reason the kids have never done anything worthy of praise is because he's an ungrateful rat bastard idiot son-of-a-bitch who wants to be the only person who can do anything right.
Tags: elly lives in a world of magic, john and elly fail parenting forever, john patterson: complete monster

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