dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,
dreadedcandiru2
dreadedcandiru2

John Patterson: very little man on campus.

The interesting thing about looking ahead to where I think thatthe reprints are supposed to be is not that we should be hip deep in the kids engaging in possibly age-inappropriate angsting about Mrs Baird's moving away or Elly and John's divergent reasons for fearing Lizzie getting earrings (he thinks they'll attract unwanted attention, she thinks they herald in a world where she's ooooooooold and useless) or even Phil getting cold feet about his upcoming marriage in which he's sure to be a horrible husband because he's kind of down on himself deep down. The interesting thing is that we get to see a glimpse of the John Patterson of the late sixties.

This is because he gets talked into taking a ballroom dance class that he really doesn't want to attend. Elly is all for it and doesn't understand his standoffish reluctance and feelings of self-consciousness until she bears witness to his having a flashback to when some girl he liked dumped him for a dude with a guitar or a better car or something; he then goes on explain that when he was in high school, he felt like an outsider no one really liked. It's strips like that which go a long way towards making my arch comment about how John and Elly's real reason for marrying when they did is that each is the first person two lonely outcasts dated more than once.

Of course, where sympathy turns to mild contempt is that John never seemed to, well, you know, try to share his experiences with his son in order to, shall we say, get to know the real Michael instead of the super-crazy, no way media monster Mike he needed to believe in because otherwise, he'd actually be a panicky nitwit leaning on a sitting duck because he's stupid enough to believe in monsters. Simply put, John's dimwitted need to believe in whatever mush unworthy authority figures told him to believe and servile obedience to their command to ignore the evidence of his own senses got in the way of his ever realizing that Mike was an okay kid with the same problems he had.
Tags: john - grinning weirdo, john and elly fail parenting forever
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