Tags: in sickness and in foob

Snarky Candiru2

The Sham Wedding Ten Years On....

As we all know, it's been about ten years since Deanna and most of the Pattersons perpetrated a rather repulsive fraud by scamming Mira into footing the bill for a sham wedding. Since the woman was meant to be Pure Evil wrapped up in kielbasa for wanting to "dictate" to the Pattersons, it's clear that we're meant to not want the truth to ever come out because she'll want to inflict some sort of cruel, over-the-top and insane punishment on Deanna for lying to her and not at all simply stand around crying her eyes out because her child thought so little of her that she couldn't tell her the truth.

The reason why the Pattersons have talked themselves into thinking that the end result of Mira's discovery that Mike and Deanna would be her declaring Deanna persona non grata and never speaking to her again instead of the heart-rending weeping that's more true to the character is not just that Deanna is sore at her mother because she had a brain of her own and didn't meekly fall in line with whatever stupid thing her husband said or did; one must also bear in mind that they project their own desire to dominate others onto the blank canvas of cardboard villains.

This is why I think that Elizabeth still has yet to be told that she was a participant in a fraud; as far as I've been able to determine, no one saw fit to share with her the 'joke' they were playing on the Sobinskis and, since she has no personal initiative or curiosity, has yet to figure it out for herself. The reason is, of course, because they don't trust her to keep a secret for very long when there's a chance she can somehow jam it to her ugly brother.

What makes that all the stupider, of course, is because the same nasty impulse that makes me think that Liz will never know why Christmas holidays are extra-special for her older brother has me thinking that Mira and Wilf figured out what was to be hidden from them years ago. Heck, for all the Pattersons know, the Sobinskis knew before they did and simply decided to let the baby have her bottle.
Indignant Candiru

Elly the defective nursemaid: a re-examination...

I know that I've covered this topic before but it seems to me that Elly is not exactly who you'd want in your corner if you were feeling poorly. This, of course, is owing to her inability to quite see how others think making her life more complicated than it has to be; the Lynnsights clearly imply that Lynn herself was not only a bully who doesn't know how to behave in a civil fashion, she was also probably a world-class malingerer. Both she and Elly thus go into a health crisis with the default assumption that she's being played for a sap by someone faking sick to make her life worse. This, of course, is why we have so many strips that have Elly get blindsided because someone who she thought wanted to take up her precious time because they hate the idea of her having her own life turns out to be actually sick; Lynn likes writing about how Elly feels guilty about being herself almost as much as she likes writing strips that show us that the rest of the family shows her none of the consideration she shows them when she's ailing. Both are manifestations of Lynn's addiction to self-pity and martyrdom.
Snarky Candiru2

Lizzie and illness.

It occurs to me that a lot of Lizzie's clinginess comes from her being a somewhat sickly child growing up; unlike Michael who actively verbalized his discomfort, her timid nature meant that it took something really bad to make her break her silence and not, as is her predilection, sit in the corner and whimper to herself. The two occasions in which the Pattersons actually managed to notice she wasn't feeling well had much the same pattern and can be broken down as follows:
  1. Inconvenience: We start out with John and Elly regarding the "sudden" onset of her illness as both a shock and, well, an inconvenient disruption to their routine.
  2. Concern: Once they get over their initial frustration, they realize that the day-to-day annoyances that they live and love to whine about as if they were crimes against nature are, after all, trivialities. The only problem is that the realization doesn't last past her getting better.
  3. Resolution: Lizzie's illness is diagnosed and successfully treated. The Pattersons are relieved that things can get back to normal and they can stop being grateful for the people in their lives.
  4. Restoration: The Pattersons forget the resolve they make to be better people as Elly gets into a pointless argument with Annie Nichols about parenting methods. In 1981, Annie was hectoring Elly about the need to feed the kids better while in 1984, she was maligining working mothers.  

What we can take away from this is that the Pattersons are always slow to respond to a crisis but, when their default inertia, apathy, idiocy and self-absorption are overcome, they too can do what is expected of them in an emergency. Once the crisis is passed, however, they go back to sleep and revert to being the idiots we know and loathe. There are, sadly, too many people who don't learn lessons from disasters and slide back into destructive patterns of behavior because it's easier. She might not admit that this is what the Pattersons are but Lynn has managed to relate their story well enough so that their failings are obvious.  Since she was able to faithfully reproduce the oh-so-commonplace nasty behavior that took place in front of her in the course of her life, she's praised by millions for her keen insight into humanity. I wonder how many people out there don't realize that instead of having a camera in their house, Lynn is a camera.