Tags: the patter-outing

Royally Peeved Candiru

The Patter-Outing Proper.

Now that I've hinted broadly at what I think might happen in the little thought experiment, I'd like to remind you all that Greg's actual reaction to Lawrence's having outed himself was to grudgingly admit that he doesn't have all that much of a right to publicly judge someone he doesn't actually know that well at all. Out of earshot, of course, he probably still wonders what he did to deserve having a gay step-kid. I've also allowed as for how Phil's likely reaction had he been stupid enough to chain himself in monogamous misery to the bundle of entitlement and hysteria that is Connie would be to either hole up in bar wondering why the wifey was such a square or to sit in Tim's with Lawrence waiting for Connie to calm the Hell down. The interesting part of that scenario is that Phil might do something Greg never did: turn things around and hint that the Pattersons wouldn't handle it nearly as well as he did. He would be evil, cruel and unfair to do so because he'd be right to say so.

Before we get to what they'd do, let's remind ourselves why they'd be bitterly disappointed. First off, Elly's default reaction to anything she doesn't like or understand is to assume that it's part of some screwball conspiracy her paranoid brain cooked up to explain away the fact that she sucks at every damned thing she ever tried to do. It's not that she's a lazy, inattentive, short-tempered boob without any sort of stamina, courage or brains, it's that people are out to get her. Second, we have to remember that dickless, spineless, heartless, gutless, brainless failure John is a craven, loutish weakling who craves obedience because he thinks that the give and take of normal human interaction must be wrong because it required him to give as well as take. Third, we have to remember that they have managed to convince themselves that having to feed, clothe and house defenseless children who could not survive without them makes them the victims of a band of extortionists; this is why they need to own horses so anything that stands in the way of "justice" is automatically bad.

What this tells me is that the poor fool who dared out him- or herself would be subjected to a long, loud, incoherently belligerent lecture by two assholes making that idiotic palms-out pleading gesture that makes me want to punch their stupid heads off about the horrible, selfish ingratitude of an evil deviant who wants to break their hearts and evilly and selfishly not get their money back. Said un-Patterson would thus be like Dead Lisa from Funky Winkerbean. As you may or may not know, her asshole dad's reaction to her having been date-raped was to spurn her like a radioactive leper with Tourettes because she somehow brought shame on him. Worse still, the pathetic zombie managed to convince his worthless self that he'd made things right by apologizing to her cadaver. Thus it would also surely be with John and Elly; we'd be told that they were okay people after all when they whined piteously about the tragedy of it all when they were interring their dead child's ashes.

It's either that or a death by a thousand cuts owing to having to endure passive-aggressive suggestions that just possibly, the person could be mistaken as to what he or she really is and simply needs to explore avenues that would allow Elly and John to have grandbabies produced normally. We'd also have to endure nonsense about how they don't actually hate the person's partner sight unseen merely because they stand in the way of making parenthood finally pay off as much as they think that all children date someone who isn't actually right for them because that's what children do. Said comments would be as insincere as John's attempt to bullshit April into believing that the Housening hadn't already been decided. Given John and Elly's chronic self-awareness deficit, the two of them would be baffled and angered when domineering apes were given their right names.

The reason I feel confident about assuming this has to do with how Lynn slammed Liz with the Mighty Fist Of Ham because she didn't keep herself pure for Anthony. Instead of marrying the sunken-chested drone right out of University, she had to Learn To Love Again after having her heart broken by false heroes. What's more, her running away forced Anthony to settle for Thérèse and have to endure the endless torment of having a child who isn't related to the Sainted Elly. What this means is that unless the gay kid gets magically cured by one of the idiots from 9 Chickweed Lane, his or her destiny would be to either die in the same gutter as Becky or envy her her release from a world of judgmental, self-serving assholes.
Snarky Candiru2

Negative Parental Unity: Preamble the Third to the Patter-Outing.

Before I get to the reaction proper to one of the Patterson children revealing that he or she is gay, I'd like to remind you of why John and Elly parented as if they never had any control over their children. First off, we have John being a firm believer in the logical fallacy called the false dichotomy. His particular brand of either/or thinking has him transfixed by the self-serving delusion that if his children show the slightest bit of resistance to his insane demands, they're trying to mutiny against him and need their attitude adjusted. Nowhere in his mental landscape is the idea that his children aren't monsters who want to overthrow him because that, I should think, would mean that his habit of relying on stereotypes to save him from the scary, scary phenomenon of having to think about what he's doing is wasteful, counterproductive and wrong. I mean, if he were to start learning things about the people around him, he might actually have to apologize and mean it and that would be just terrible. No one respects someone who admits mistakes, you see.

Secondly, we have Elly's self-serving habit of thinking that she's the victim of a world-wide conspiracy consisting of every carbon based life form that ever has lived or ever will live to make her miserable lest her awesomeness make them all lose their will to live. This means that the slightest bit of resistance to doing what she wants isn't actually a child having a different opinion because he or she is an autonomous life form. It, as I've said, is because the child hates her and wants her to suffer and is cruel, mean and unfair.

This combination of rigid, stereotypical thinking by a vain, entitled dumb-ass who needs to feel like a man and petulant over-reacting by a vain, entitled dumb-ass who thinks that the voice announcing "At the tone, the time will be one p.m., Eastern Daylight Time" has it in for her leads to a rather predictable result. As we saw when Elly quit motherhood, Mommy lost her shit because she didn't get the answer she wanted and because she exaggerated how 'defiant' April had been, a man who needs to see his children as being stereotypes rather than as individuals and who fears nuance because he'd have to pay attention to the world and thus be defeated by it committed an atrocity because their infantile and repulsive vanity made them think that they were the ones being wronged.

Now, imagine a drama queen like Elly and a loutish moron who's obsessed with how grateful his children are like John being told "Mom. Dad. I'm gay." I almost don't even have to write what would happen. I will, though, just to make things complete.
Snarky Candiru2

The Pancake Perplex: Preamble the Second to the Patter-Outing.

So far, I’ve covered how Phil and Elly might react in an outing scenario. Phil would probably be holed up in a bar somewhere wondering why doing the right thing hurts so damned much because he’d either wonder why he let Elly talk him into marrying a square like Connie or why being a meat-eating straight guy made him the weirdo. I’ve also explained that Elly is the sort of person whose reaction to the discovery that a child is left-handed would be to assume that the child’s thought processes could be summed up by the statement “Hmmm…..how shall I blight the life of the mother I hate sooooooo much? I know! I shall become a left-hander!! (Diabolical laughter!!)”

Now that I’ve got them pegged as a wishy-washy imbecile who’s baffled by life’s reverses and a nutbag who believes that she’s the victim of a conspiracy consisting of everyone else in the world to destroy her brain and make her miserable, let’s speculate as to how John would make a bog of things. We can start in by looking at the strip wherein he pouts like a sulky toddler because no one wants to eat his pancakes of death at eight in the morning. Taken as an isolated incident, it looks as if the family is crapping all over the man’s generous impulses. The problem is that it cannot be taken as an isolated incident; it is, as a matter of fact, part of a wider pattern of behaviour that would tend to explain how he might react in a given situation.

First off, we have to remember that John loves to make sweeping decisions that affect the people around them without really bothering himself with a question he considers to be irrelevant. After all, he is the father and husband so when he says “Jump”, the wifey and kiddies are supposed to do so without question (lest he not have a hooooooooooome) so they’re not supposed to have opinions that conflict with his own. This, to him, displays a horrible lack of gratitude.

Next, we have to remember that John really, really hates to have to ask himself the question “Who are these people that surround me and what do they want?” Having to remember that Mike likes to sleep in or that Lizzie can’t wolf down a stack of pancakes without getting sick or even that Elly’s appetite doesn’t kick in until nine or ten would mean that he’d have to adapt to their needs and that would be just terrible. Why, that’s almost as terrible as their not being who they’re supposed to be.

Yes, I went there. I also brought something back with me. John has yet another habit of mind that would tend to make life more difficult for a child who outed him- or herself: the fool notion that a person is supposed to be a certain thing. As we’ve seen, John is constantly confused and angered that Elly doesn’t find the life of a housewife appealing like she’s supposed to. The reason he’s perturbed by this is that if people aren’t what he thinks they’re supposed to be, he might just be wrong about something and perhaps even apologize to them and that would be simply terrible. I mean, that would contradict everything his childhood taught him.

This brings us to the root of John’s being a dick to everyone around him: his need to retreat to a childhood wherein he was ‘right’ all the time and never had to ‘surrender’ to people by having to lie and say that he regretted being an antisocial little knob whose overly-indulgent mother let him run hog-wild because she got a cheap thrill out of his knavish stupidity. A grown man would realize that maybe he should have cooked a pancake brunch for ten instead of trying to force everyone to live his childhood. John is not a grown man, though. John is a spoiled brat with seniority and were someone to betray him by outing him- or herself, the results would be as ugly as everything else the greasy pile of sludge has done. 

Snarky Candiru2

Twisting logic into pretzels for fun and profit: Preamble the first to a Patter-outing.

You know, now that I've mentioned how I think that if Phil had married Connie, he would have been a far worse sport about Lawrence's outing himself than Greg "Cement-head" Thomas, I find myself wondering what the holy hell would have happened if Mike, Liz or April had outed themselves. My guess is that we'd have to contend with an unholy mess. Granted, it's not the same sort of unholy mess Phil would have created because neither of them would have holed themselves up in a bar waiting for the dust to settle but as you'll see later in the week, a god-awful mess would be made.

To start things off on the right sour note, I'd like to remind you all of why it is that I think that Elly would be completely freaking useless in this situation. The reason why is that most of why she doesn't learn the right lesson from the past is her tendency to regard her own experience as the measure of all things. Take, as a for instance, her insane over-reaction to her children tracking leaves into her clean, tidy home. The thought-process that explains her baffled anger seems to me to go like this:

1) The only reason I used to track dirt into my parents house is because I resented my mother for daring to behave as if she knew what was best for me and loved watching her squirm.
2) My children have tracked dirt into my house.
3) This is because they hate me and get a cheap thrill out of seeing me in pain.

Since it simply isn't in her to realize that her default assumption that everyone is the same sort of defiant monster she used to be growing up, she tends to distort everything her children do into an attempt to get back at her for being a parent because that's what she would have done in their position. This sort of appeal to anecdotal evidence is coupled with a heaping helping of confirmation bias. Let's, as a for instance, explain why she thinks that Mike has a different sleep cycle than she does. A person who doesn't see an ulterior motive in a time signal would have realized that he's simply wired differently. Elly behaves as if he chose to do so to make her life worse, as if he decided one day to say "I know what will ruin Mom's life! I'll train myself to have a different sleep-wake cycle than she does! (Diabolical laughter!!)"

We also have to remember that since she took her sweet time feeling grateful for what her parents did for her, she assumes sight unseen that she's surrounded by clods who don't have it in them to be grateful. On the rare occasions that she sees that this isn't quite the case, her tendency towards ignoring things that tend to make her admit that she's in the wrong cause her to assume that they're either lying or trying to get something out of her.

Now imagine how someone like that would react to the "disappointment" of not having to own horses because the awful child is sooooooo ungrateful that he or she turned out to be gay. Furthermore, imagine that she's the lesser of two evils.