Tags: liz the small

Snarky Candiru2

The great forgetting and Phil's wedding.

This particular post is in response to those who seem to see needless bullying and vitriol in my coverage of the Patterson saga. The subject matter is somewhat dear to my heart because it reminds me of something that I've never liked about the medium all that much: the studied refusal of comics creators to admit that it's not especially funny or nice or smart to respond to the fact that a six year old isn't going to understand the point of rituals he or she is just finding out about with mockery, disdain, embarrassment or (in Lynn Johnston's case) pants-soiling terror.

Never do we see an appropriate reaction to Lizzie's confusion and ignorance. When the idea of being flower girl terrifies a shy girl who feels intimidated by the looming presence of strange people, Georgia starts caterwauling about her wedding being ruined, I tell you, RUINED. When Lizzie gets tired and bored of posing for wedding photos and wants cake like the little kid she is, only two people smile ruefully while everyone else is either disgusted (again Georgia), confused (the other Richardses) or terrified out of her tiny mind (Elly.) When Lizzie reveals that she doesn't understand the point of wedding ceremonies by not connecting them to a marriage, Marian goes into safe mode before presumably either telling her grand-daughter the truth or (if Elly is anything like her) screeching about how the child wants his marriage to go zippa-dee-doo-dah so she can stuff her face with cake.

It is powerfully hard to sympathize with ostensible adults who can't be asked to remember how little their children know and assume that their ignorance of a world they just arrived in is inspired by a love of chaos and a need to destroy the mother they hate. It is equally difficult to not point this fact out so that people might know what they're in for.
Snarky Candiru2

Elizabeth the Small.

The interesting thing about Wednesday's strip is that kefkaownsall saw something that escaped most people. While most of us were focusing on the fact that it looked as if the children had never laid eyes on one another before, she noticed that Lizzie looks out of place. It seemed to her as if Lizzie were a preschooler who'd somehow wandered into a first grade classroom.

This, I think, is a problem that dogged Liz pretty much her whole childhood. Always and ever, it was commented on that while most of her peers looked their age, she still looks as if she's a bit younger than the rest of the group. I've told you about the innate conservatism that has John and Elly prefer her to dress to not impress because they think that there's safety in drab clothing. I've told you about how Elly mentally subtracts a couple of years from her age because she adds decades to her own. What I haven't told you is that the reason Elly justifies that in her mind is that Liz has always been a little bit shorter than most people her age are and always looked a little bit more baby-faced than Candace and Dawn. She thus simply looks as if she's younger than she really is. Add in a mother who hates peer pressure because she thinks letting her child decide for herself what she would wear means that said child hates her and a father who's trying his damnedest to be Canadian Content Tony Micelli and we end up with a lot of class photos that end up with the Weird Frenchy Girl getting screamed at because she correctly identifies Liz as looking as if she doesn't actually belong with the big kids.