dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,
dreadedcandiru2
dreadedcandiru2

The nasty family: life with the Pattersons.

Here's another thing I've mentioned before that today's and yesterday's strips are excellent examples of: the Pattersons are rarely all that nice to one another. howtheduck mentioned John and Elly's pathetic gratitude that Mike had actually done chores he was supposed to do instead of what they'd expected: slacking off and whining about the time he'd lost. The small kindnesses, the random acts of thoughtful behavior that other families take for granted are a nine-days wonder in the Patterson households. Even when they do make an effort to be nice, the result is usually a disappointment. Not only is Elly's last-minute arrival in yesterday's strip a reminder of this, there's also an interesting one from the early nineties when John was recovering from throwing his back out. Each child had come to his room with a get-well gift only to have Elly turn them away on the grounds that he needed rest more than he did company. He, on the other hand, was moaning about what kind of awful father the kids thought he was because they didn't come to wish him well. This is because these people are all terrible at anticipating what other people want of them. Iris is not the only character in the strip who will let a person have what he wants only when it happens to coincides with what she wants for him, after all. She's just another person to whom the hopes and dreams of others are a baffling and irritating mystery. Since, sooner or later, all of them end up asking what the other person wants, we can safely assume that Lynn herself has distinct trouble anticipating the reactions of others to her behavior. She lives and dies by their good opinions but rarely realizes how what she does affects how they see her. She seems to think that everyone has her understanding of events and is angrily baffled to find out they do not.
Tags: foob imitates life....., lynn versus the real world, pattersons vs the world
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