dreadedcandiru2: (Default)

As you might all remember, during the sixties, Archie Comics used to run a semi-regular feature called “Betty’s Diary” in which she would write down heroic tales of a glorious life where she was the apple of Arch’s eye only to have the artist throw her under the bus by showing us what actually happened. It thus became the mildly sinister tale of a deluded school-girl convincing herself that a boy who only dated her when his real girlfriend was being a jerk to him was her true love forever. The reason that I mention this is that how Connie Poirier describes herself is not what we actually see. The reason that this is important is that it puts an odd and unsettling spin on her eternal whining that she doesn’t rally have a grandchild of her own to be wonderful to.

After all, we have to remember things she’s at pains to avoid remembering. First off, she’s spent about twenty-five years not remembering that she’s pretty much disowned Lawrence for turning out gay and ruining her chance to be an actual grandmother. Second, she wants to avoid having to realize why it is that Gayle ran off to her birth mother as soon as it became an option because she doesn’t want to remember that she’s seen as more or less what would happen if Vicky The Babysitter were shtupping Timmy Turner’s dad. This tells me that she’s not going to have the self-awareness to look in the mirror and see that she’d be the same sort of entitled, short-sighted, short-tempered, immature, self-righteous and judgmental failure as a grandmother as she is everyting else in her life. The only substantive difference is that she’d also have someone to neglect and defame when Elly yaps about how haaaaard it is to pretend to be a grandparent.

dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The oddest thing about Connie is the proprietary interest she takes in children not related to her. As we see in the coda to her liography, she looks at Molly's oldest daughter, notices her plain-spoken ways and takes pride that her spirit will live on in one of her grandchildren. The fact that Molly isn't her child means very little to Connie because of an eagerness to take credit for things she didn't do. A reasonable person would be just as likely to ascribe any such tendency in Little Mercurochrome to Greg's first wife, Nonamegiven....which, of course, disqualifies Connie and Elly and Lynn.

Ah, well. She's probably just as likely to take credit for Lawrence's success in life despite more or less washing her hands of him because he will never present him with the flesh grandchild she can wave in the air above a hole in the ground filled with a dead Franco-Ontarian misogynist who really wanted a son and yell "How do you like me now, Dad?" She isn't part of his day to day life because she's too busy talking to Elly or watching Greg play golf ineptly to do anything else but damned if she doesn't tell the whole blasted world that his success is a tribute to her excellence as a parent.

What this, of course, means is that Molly had to do most of the adjusting to get to relate to this person on a non-confrontational level. Said adjustment means seeing her for the pitiable and ludicrous figure she is instead of the monster she was supposed to be.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The odd thing about the middle years is having to deal with one of the odder side effects of the stupid, soap operatic revenge fantasy in which Ted takes it between the uprights so as to serve as a stand-in for all the stinkaloos who ever stood Lynn up in her life; said side effect is the imbecilic nonsense that required Connie to play what we might call musical houses for a while.

We're going to see the process in motion all over again next January when Mrs Baird interrupts Elly lecturing Phil about how smoking is for clods and savages to announce that she's getting too old to rattle around her big old empty house and wants to move into the senior citizens complex. This, for some irritating reason, traumatizes Lizzie and Mike into trying to sabotage the process because unlike regular children who'd shrug when told this and ask when dinner is, they want her to live in her old house forever and ever.

This coincides neatly with Connie's oafish control freak husband throwing her under the bus by getting a transfer to Milboring so he can step on a relationship that scares him all to death, the poor baby. As Elly blinds herself to the fact that she's just flushed Annie down the commode, she makes the amazingly surprising and not at all ploddingly inevitable suggestion that Connie can move to the Baird place so they can drink coffee and snipe about ungrateful children forever and always.

This not only allows Elly to have her real best friend around so they can compare notes on how horrible children are, it also sets things up so that we can have her drop in on Mrs Baird every so often. This might have been something of a fixture save for the fact that Lynn didn't have the real Thelma in her life any longer so one fine day, John asked what amusing adventure she'd embarked upon only to be told "dying in her sleep of a massive stroke." More on that and what we can take away from her life tomorrow.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As we know, Elly might have apologized for making a horrible social blunder but she still really sort of sees Irene as being the other woman because she never quite bothered to learn who she actually was. We, thanks to Ted's Liography, know that he saw her as being the sort of undemanding, mousy home-body who wouldn't take his peregrinations personally because he didn't realize that what appeared to be calmness was actually an inability to care about anything too strongly. We also know that Connie thinks of Irene as being the other woman because it explained so much about the past; every time she and Ted were on the outs, there was Irene running interference for her boss and keeping a girlfriend who'd lost her shine out of the picture until she got over herself so it made sense to assume that Irene was THE competition.

What we know and the two of them do not know is that there is a very real possibility that Irene saw Connie as being the other woman. It seems to never have occurred to Elly that her panicky, angry comment about how if Ted and Connie had gotten married, he'd have fooled around on her with Irene could easily be rearranged in such a fashion as to make Irene the one being made a fool of. It's as if she's a character in a novel by Turtledove who simply can't think certain things. What Alternate History Guy seems to ignore is the fact that Elly doesn't want to see that someone she doesn't like might be the victim of someone she does like. It's akin to how she and Liz never really bothered themselves with the pointless and meaningless question "Why, since Liz doesn't intend to cause trouble and is as surprised as she is that they always seem to run into each other, is this Therese person always insanely jealous?" because they don't like the answer "Because Gordon is trying to repay his debt to the Pattersons by destroying their enemies."

In the prior case, Elly and Connie don't want to see that the latter looks a lot like 'the other woman' because considering the viewpoint of others might make Clingy, Needy, Man-hungry, Crazy Connie look bad. In the latter case, sympathy for the civic devil might make the Pattersons feel like entitled creeps.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As we know, Connie and Annie started out as plot devices Lynn ripped off from Cathy Guisewite who were designed to make Elly feel insecure about being a stay-at-home parent. Connie was supposed to represent Elly's insecurity about letting her identity dissolving in the acid bath of motherhood while Anne was supposed to represent her fear of not being a good parent. While Annie seems to have mutated into something of a cautionary example of the dangers of letting children and husbands have too much freedom, Connie is evolving from stereotype to person.

The person she's becoming is someone who seems to have a free-floating envy of the life of ease that Elly whines about. Elly doesn't realize it and chooses to gloss over it when she tells her but it annoys Connie somewhat that she had to go through all the trouble she did in order to finally find Greg and she feels that Elly should be more appreciative of being as lucky as she is. She's also somewhat annoyed that Elly seems to have such easy-going children who don't see her as some sort of tyrant and she's especially annoyed that Elly had a child late in life while either she or Greg are pretty much infertile.

The problem, of course, is that Elly doesn't understand that Connie is envious in the first place and wouldn't understand why even if she did admit to it. Doing so, you see, would mean that the people who tell her evil lies about how wonderful her life actually is are right and that would lead to her being wrong about things and that would lead to everyone from First Grade jetting on down to Milboring to tease her and call her names and would thus be terrible.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The interesting thing about this particular Christmas is that we're pretty much at the end of the horrible revenge fantasy soap opera thing. That's because we finally get the component needed to make it right: Connie revealing that she has traded up from Ted. While it's a while until we actually meet Greg (and get reminded that Elly sees him as a saviour because he keeps evil Ted at bay), what we do learn is that Connie is on her way to a happy new life while Ted gets to wallow in despair because he Let A Good Thing Slip Away.

This seems to be why it is that his attempt to do a sort of rebound thing fails. After all, it's one thing for him to actually marry his secretary because he has no option left. Making it work out and making him learn his lesson would be too much like not kicking him when he's doing and not getting all angry at the real men who didn't buy what Lynn's selling. This means that even though he does seem to have settled down, his yearning for a freedom that's a lie is always supposed to hamper his chances at real happiness.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As you all know, at some point Lynn decided for some reason that Connie's original back-story wasn't good enough. As we all know, the Connie who just sold her house was a woman who grew up in Milborough and made the mistake of entering into a starter marriage with some idiot she'd met in high school only to end up still reeling from catching him in the act and the ensuing ruinous divorce that left her with a child, a Siamese cat and crippling insecurity. If this sounds familiar, this is almost but not quite Anne's back story. This could, in fact, be why Lynn agreed to the change. You see, she'd needed Annie to have a good reason to not like Connie so that they didn't do anything like compare notes and realize what a crappy friend Elly is to both of them. As I've said before, the Annie of the new continuity dislikes Connie for implying that she's wasting her life being a man-servant to an unappreciative oaf who takes her for granted because of the very real need to not admit that she should pull her head out of her ass as well as defying the laws of nature by not treating her bastard son like filth or whatever.

This would be replaced by a new reason to hate Connie when you realize that both women followed down the same path in life for the same reasons; given that Connie at least had the intellect, decency and self-respect to make a clean break of things instead of being cowed into submission in the name of respectability, Annie would hate Connie for having enough guts to do what she's too spineless, stupid and selfish to do. Instead of being a pompous ass viewing the world through the distorting prism of customs meant to keep her apathetic, she'd be a shrew consumed with envy.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The interesting thing about Connie's departure is that it looks to all the world as if it's meant to be a temporary obstacle to Elly's having someone with whom she can agree that children are ungrateful parasites who steal time and attention because CHAOS and that their malicious, self-absorbed neglect and solipsism is actually the best way to raise their ill-used offsprings and small ones. It might have looked as if we were dealing with a real-world situation in which life was a fluid thing in which people's lives take different trajectories but Lynn made it obvious that Connie's destiny is to be Elly's sidekick and fellow failure as a mother, wife and human being. The question that faces us is wondering why it is that she had to leave and why it was that it took her so long to return.

The answer seems to be that it was impressed upon Lynn that she couldn't have the soap operatic love triangle between Phil, Georgia and Connie that her day-time television obsessed brain makes her see as being the most desirable means in which to have people interact. Since she couldn't have the drama, it made sense to put Connie on a bus until such time as Alan stopped telling his crazy lie about how Joan was the one dragging her feet about marriage and got married already. Simply put, we have to endure cheap theatrics about how Lawrence has to adjust to living in a whirlwind so that his idiot creator can pout about people having no sense of reality.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As I once said long ago, the reason Lynn wants old flames to not flicker out and die is because she is mildly envious of relationships that last. This yearning for a world in which the flame doesn't gutter out and die is, as I said, why even unto the last days, Connie still played "what if" when thinking about Doctor Ted.

The reason that I mention this is that Lynn needs to assume that some sort of lingering attraction to an old flame is why Alan wouldn't hurry up and marry Joan already. We are, as we all know, dealing with someone who assumes that because she wanted to rush down the aisle with the first thing with a pulse, the same thing must be true of all women everywhere. This means that any sort of reality that involved Joan being the one slowing down the wedding machine could not be real to her. Since Joan 'clearly' wanted to get married as soon as possible, Alan must be to blame for the delay. Thus do we have Phil singing about his love for a woman he barely had time for in the real world.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Now that we're pretty much at the point where Georgia first becomes aware of the fact that Elly and the others have been aware of a scrawny, flat-chested woman with eyeglasses and chianti-red hair that comes out of a bottle for quite some time, I think it behooves us all to compare this to a certain slow-speed atrocity that consumed the first decade of this century: the Settlepocalypse. The commonality that sticks out like a sore thumb is stupid and useless John stupidly assuming that Phil is simply dating Georgia while he and Connie walk down the aisle like Elly wants them to. It doesn't matter that neither Connie nor Elly want that any longer; what matters is that John is too stupid to understand that flames can die out and that Phil was simply someone Connie had "fun" with while waiting on Ted. Once it got to be too clear that Ted would always chicken out when it came to talk weddings, Phil also became a non-starter and thus given Milborough's shallow dating pool, a change of venue was needed. When you contrast Connie's willingness to cut her losses with Lizardbreath's sheer stupidity, the older equivocating nitwit with the daddy issues comes out a clear winner.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The very odd thing about when Connie packs up and leaves is something that I've mentioned before: Elly's need to take every little thing that goes on around her and make it about herself. As I mentioned the last time I talked about this, she's far less focused on the disruption in the lives of those around her and far more on the fact that she can't walk down the road and have coffee with Connie any longer because she sees the woman as a sister. Annie and Carol Enjo might be willing participants in a kaffeeklatsch but to Elly, no one could really take the place of her college chum. This is why she's willing to overlook any number of inconvenient truths about the "wonderful" man who brings Connie back to her. Is he a manipulative twit and a seething homophobe? Doesn't matter because, hey, Connie is back.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The interesting thing about this particular summer is that as we know and the Pattersons don't, Connie is about to pull up stakes for a very silly and weak reason. It bothers me a lot that most of why she left was not the reason she gave Elly about needing a fresh new start but in order to avoid pity and scorn that were never forthcoming. While she and Lawrence do eventually return, it's clear that the time apart means that there are simply certain parts of Mike's life that will never have him in it. This means that what Mike thought was going to be the annual thing of his opening up a lemonade stand with his BFF is going to take on a somewhat poignant coloration.

What I mean by this is that while there will be other summers with Lawrence and other stands but they aren't going to mean the same as they would have if Connie were less inclined to behave as if she were still in high school. After all, it IS his moving away that heralds in a transition from the Early to Middle years. The Mike of the middle years has to deal with a different set of problems, one of which is a Lawrence who's done things he hasn't been a part of.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
Of course, the interesting thing about all of this talking about whether Elly can go right on angrily shoving her children's stuff into garbage bags and packing them away to farms to be lectured to about being entitled by their bearded hippie idiot uncle and snotty imbecile cousin because she's too fragile to cope with them as long as she whines that it makes her feel bad is that we should have been doing all of it last year. This is because Lynn should have followed up the Strip of Destiny with the one from 1 September 1980 and just gone on from there so that the dates would line up better.

The effect that this would have is that if she'd done that, we'd be talking about Connie's moving to Thunder Bay right now. As we all know, the proximate cause of all of this is that when Connie had dared to want to have some sort of stability in her life, gutless arsebucket Ted had yet again started to feel 'stifled' and 'tied down' when asked to stop behaving as if he were fifteen and a bit. What seemed to make things worse is that Phil "Plan B" Richards was engaged to Georgia Nolastnamegiven which left Connie feeling as if she had no alternative but to leave a town that she saw as little more than a box full of bad memories.

The interesting thing is not that Connie was depicted as someone who felt so humiliated by not finding any sort of good man in a town that was filled with places where all her hopes seemed to gutter out and die. It wasn't that Lawrence had been kept in the dark as long as possible lest he whine his way into forcing Connie to stay in Milborough and be constantly defeated by Ted and Phil. It also wasn't about how Lawrence had to be yanked out of the only home he'd ever known because his mother wanted to go somewhere where nobody knew her name (and thus wouldn't laugh behind her back) or even how Mike had to just up and accept the loss of his best friend for no reason he could fathom.

The interesting thing about Connie pulling up stakes because she's stupid enough to think people actually give two shits about her love life so that she can wind up being a deluded idiot so happy to have stability to realize that she's married a monstrous jackass is that the real victim, the one suffering more than anyone else, the person who we must pity to the exclusion of all others, the one whose pain eclipses that of those around her and thus makes said pain irrelevant is, of course, Elly herself. It's not about Connie making yet another hasty, stupid decision or Lawrence being uprooted or Mike being bereaved of a sidekick; all of those things are shadowy nothings compared to the fact that Elly only has one person to gossip with and said person is stupid old Annie. Oh, Annie is someone Elly doesn't mind exploiting when she needs a sitter but since she has no higher ambition in life than to pop out kids, do laundry and cater to a lying, philandering ass who treats her like his slave, she's just not good enough to be a real friend. Since evil, selfish, conflict-causing men like Phil and Ted have left Elly alone in the world and deprived her of someone who can agree with her that it's hard to be a career woman because husbands and children want to hold you back, she's the only real casualty here and don't you forget it!!
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
Of course, Annie isn't the only idiot who storms around thinking that she knows everything only to collapse into a heap of melodrama and despair when she's knocked for a loop. Just as how Leah's extra fingers and Steve's extracurricular activities turned Annie into a panicky basketcase instead of the rock colossus of smug self-righteousness she normally is, I can think of another person who freaked out because she thought that an innate property of a child was indicative of a moral failing on her part as well as being blindsided by the obvious fact that Doctor Da Silva would rather not spend his life being a shrill, entitled imbecile's chocolate fantasy. I'm talking, of course, about the other know-nothing know-it-all that Elly hangs out with so she can at least feel superior to someone: Connie. Elly, it would seem, needs to associate with idiots who can't run their own lives but make pompous, ill-informed noise about how they've got everything under control.

While I appreciate her need to be with her own kind, it always used to puzzle me that while Elly gets on reasonably well with her fellow ignorant jerkass lecturing idiots, it's clear that Connie and Annie can't abide each other's company. As we know from Annie's Liography, the heftier, more traditionally minded know-nothing know-it-all made a smug, ignorant comment about how she thought Connie brought her problems on herself by talking down marriage and how horrible she was for daring to blight the world with an illegitimate child. Annie, it would seem, believes that Connie needs rescuing from herself. What she doesn't realize is that Connie seems to think that Anne should go first. This is because the same woman who made pious noise about how every child should have a mother and a father is pretty much a single parent in all but name. She might say after the fact that she was too frightened to confront Steve about his peregrinations but the plain fact is that she's what a weak man like him needs: a woman who blinds herself to the obvious because it's easier. She had plenty of warning that Steve was a shiftless layabout and skirt-chasing jerkwad but she just didn't want to see the signs; this makes her the same as Connie and her belief that despite bending herself into a pretzel for her MAYYYYUUNNNN, he's the one being changed.

Another commonality they have is what I mentioned in the first paragraph: their tendency to fall apart when things don't go the way they expected. Just as Annie thought that Leah's extra fingers were a sign that she was somehow living her life wrong, Connie seems to think that Lawrence's sexual orientation is somehow a sign that she didn't live her life right. She probably still thinks that if she'd managed to get him a father quicker, he'd be as straight as an arrow. This sort of thing leaves me wondering what would happen if she actually said this where Fatso could hear her; the idea that Connie only rebelled against the belief systems of her parents because she was on the wrong side of them would make Annie's brain explode; since said brain is simply two neurons tied together in a slip knot, the mortician wouldn't have to order a prosthetic head for the service.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
While it is true that John is made out to be an ogre who thinks that Humphrey the hamster was out to kill him or something, he did have something of a point when he objected to the little fellow's presence. This is because Elly seems to have known about this beforehand but didn't think that she needed to run it by him to see if he'd like to have a temporary pet. What makes this all the more annoying is that nine years later, she Connie against doing the very same thing that she did when she up and bought Sera the dog. Granted, Elly's hypocrisy is fairly bad but it isn't a patch on Connie's not practicing what she preaches. It amazes me that someone who made a shrill, ill-informed how John was trying to destroy Elly's brain by buying a dog would counter Elly's more rational objections with much the same sentiment she herself was non-plussed by.

What really irritates me, however, is the motive behind the purchase. The actually rather well-documented motivation behind Connie's deciding to get a dog was that she needed to fill a void in her life. It seems that she envied Elly and the time she spent chasing April so much, she just got herself a child who wouldn't talk back or ruin her life by outing herself. Too bad that her attempt to be a vigilant owner ran into the Pattersons' need to not really know where April was at any given time or to have the sense to spay or neuter their pets. One too-easily unlatched gate and one ambiguous order later, bang came Edgar and his litter mates.

What we're thus left with is another Foob getting a pet for a questionable reason and taking not much care of it. Ah, well. Since Sera probably died in the five years since the strip ended, we can reasonably expect that Connie has herself another second child. Let's hope she's more responsible with this one.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
Y'know, I was looking through the strips wherein Elly screamed about how she had to quit motherhood because Evil Scary Picky-Faced Martian Princess April committed the horrible atrocity of wanting to put her homework away instead of rushing down on command to eat food while it's still blazing hot despite boasting about how both she and Connie were loving, fair, firm, kind, generous, understanding and a whole lot of other things that they clearly were not and found something interesting: Connie talking bullshit about how she, Molly and Gayle were all one big, happy family now. What's funny about that was that she prefaced that load of old cobblers with a load of whinging that since Lawrence was gay, she was never going to get to be mother of the bride like she was supposed to. This, you see, would pre-suppose that for some reason, Molly and Gayle thought it somehow more appropriate to let the mother who'd walked out on them do that than to allow Connie to indulge her need to stomp around like she's Lady Muck.

It seems to me that Connie's Liography might have a clue as to why this is. Let's scan through this passage to see what might be the problem:

Love may have come easily, but their families' acceptance did not. Lawrence was understandably wary of yet another man intruding into his and his mother's life, and Greg's two teenage daughters, Molly and Gayle, were downright hostile about the prospect of someone taking their mother's place.

Greg approached the problem with his own quiet brand of diplomacy. He brought them all together for Thanksgiving and, with the children present, gave Connie a "friendship" ring. Not as shocking as an engagement ring, it still made the point clear that he and Connie were together. They were all going to be one big, hopefully happy, family. The kids would just have to deal with it.

By Christmas, Connie had run out of patience, waiting for Greg's daughters to deal. Always eager to move on a decision once she had made it, she hated hanging in limbo. While the two months since Thanksgiving had helped to warm the relationship between Lawrence and Greg, Molly and Gayle seemed to be getting more negative toward Connie. She suspected the girls thought they could delay the wedding forever if they acted out enough. It was time for decisive action.

The decisive action that she took was proposing to him. Since he didn't want to wait either, the die was cast and they were married before anyone could react to it. Let's scan down through the page to gleam more wisdom:

A month later, he told her he was being transferred to the bank in Milborough. He never admitted it, but she was certain he had pulled strings to get this particular transfer.

She and Lawrence were thrilled with the news of the move. Molly and Gayle were horrified. They had lived in Thunder Bay six years and had established a circle of friends there. Molly had a boyfriend. Her father couldn't stand him, which made her certain that the move was a deliberate attempt to split them up. She was partly right.

"She's getting in with a crowd that worries me, Connie. And wherever Molly goes, Gayle tags along. I think this move might be the best thing for them, too."

With grim persistence, the girls made their unhappiness all too clear.

Curiouser and curiouser. Let's see a little bit more, eh?:

Despite the girls' determined efforts to make everyone in the family as miserable as they were, there was more pleasure than pain for Connie in the move back to Milborough. Part of her happiness lay in finding a house beside Elly and John's. Their long-time neighbour, Mrs. Baird, was moving to a senior's residence. Although her house needed work, it had a wonderful garden and was large enough for the whole blended family. Besides, Connie had a strong hunch she would need a friend close by to talk with as she struggled to earn her way out of her assigned role of wicked stepmother.

By the time Molly finished high school two years later, the family had settled into a degree of peace. Molly still clung to her resentment, but it had become more reflex than real. She and Lawrence had become surprisingly close, in a teasing brother-and-sisterly way. The casual warmth of their relationship seemed to take the bitterest edge off Molly's attitude. Gayle's temperament was more easy-going, and Connie felt she might have been happy in her new home if it hadn't been for her older sister's influence. But when Molly graduated and entered college, Gayle decided to leave too, to live with her mother while she finished her last two years of high school.

Hmm. What this tells me is that Molly and Gayle learned a hard lesson: "Speak your mind but don't expect to be listened to." What Connie calls being assigned the role of wicked stepmother is what I call a logical reaction to dealing with an irrational, selfish jackass who thinks that the world owes her a living because she fails at everything. I should think that the reason that they get along as well as they do in the here-and-now is that Molly and Gayle finally realized that Daddy set the poor, dumb woman he married up to take the hit for his jackassery.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
So far in my look at the lack of self-awareness that plagues the characters, we have the Pattersons' collective lack of awareness that they're entitled vermin and Annie's inability to see that she was a know-nothing know-it-all. In today's essay, I revisit Connie Poirier so that I might contrast and compare her heroic self-concept with the depressing reality. Bear with me during the carnage.

First off, we have to contrast her constant hammering away at the theme that she doesn't need a man to feel complete with the fact that her sense of self-worth is dependent on having a man in her life. The primary symptoms of this near-stereotypical clingy, man-hungry neediness are the obsessive need to reinvent herself to suit whatever boneheaded scoundrel she's doing the dirty hula with at any given time.

This would be bad enough were she simply yet another clingy, needy weirdo who, while running her fool mouth about chauvinism, is emotionally dependent on male company to function. What makes Connie even more annoying is the sad fact that while joining Elly in boasting about being a wonderful. loving, responsible, generous, understanding mother she was Lawrence, she totally failed to see how her qualifying that by whining piteously about how her straight gay son will never find a girl, settle down and bring her grand-babies like he's 'supposed' to meant that she was nothing of the kind. But then, Connie had always been willing to throw the boy under the bus so she could chase after some repulsive asswipe. What's more, it's all on him because he's in the way of her happiness. The most aggravating manifestation of this tendency was when her homophobic asswipe husband (who still thinks of Lawrence's sexual orientation as a personal affront) turfed the boy out of his home because of his clear disgust at having a gay kid in HIS home. Connie, as we all remember, stood there feeling betrayed....by Lawrence. Sure, the Sainted Pattersons convinced the idiots to do what was right but still, Connie resents Lawrence for destroying her dreams.

Speaking of the loathsome sack of sludge that is Greg Thomas, I'd like to remind you of the shabby way Connie treated the man's children Molly and Gayle. We see a woman who barged into this idiot's life, yelled "Heil Hitler!!" and sweet-talked the dolt into uprooting himself and his children to a town where they didn't know anyone and got treated like crap for not approving of the nutbag Daddy was banging; Connie sees two children who hate her for no readily explicable reason. From all reports, it took them years to realize how messed up Connie was inside and they eventually learned to not let their resentment of an oblivious twit come between them and their father. Since Connie is stupid, she thinks that she won instead of being someone who was thrown a bone.

What this all means is that Elly's best friends are a day-dreaming tub of lard chasing after a phony perfection and a scrawny megalomaniac with delusions of adequacy; how odd then that someone who shows glimmers of being normal envies dysfunctional gits.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As we know, the Pattersons never told Georgia anything about Connie Poirier until she asked Elly "Who is that mannish-looking, flat-chested woman with the bad dye job talking to Phil?" While this didn't lead to the ugly scene that the leering gargoyle Elly calls a husband wanted, our heroine's studied refusal to whine about how her selfish younger brother left poor Connie at the mercies of an awful man like Ted seems to fly in the face of her being what she calls an objective observer. You'd think that if she defined being objective as hammering people over the head with a laundry list of a sitting-duck antagonist's character flaws while ignoring any good traits, Phil's refusal to become an instant father so that Elly might crow about his misery as a means of getting pay-back for having a better childhood would be somewhere at the top of the list. The matter resolves itself when you realize that Elly also wanted an ugly scene so she could hector Phil about how his bad behaviour finally caught up with him. The really annoying part is that the same woman who was willing to throw Phil under the bus so she could finally avenge herself for being treated less leniently despite having seniority merely because he was a boy has no idea why there's a distance between them now.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
The interesting thing about Annie's aside about Tupperware parties was what inspired it: Elly's wistful comments about how great a time John must be having attending boring meetings, eating hotel food and wishing he were home. The reason it's interesting is that it's an example of something that used to happen before the Declining Years. What would happen followed the following set pattern:

  1. Elly is angered or upset by some event in her day to day life. The irritant could be menopause, the unwelcome presence of a third child, her inability to cope with any scary technology she doesn't have the patience to understand or that girl with the body and the language who remind her so much of the girls in her past who bewitched anyone she liked with their evil habit of smiling and not taking every last God-damned little thing as a personal affront.
  2. Elly shares her concern with an ear she assumes will be sympathetic. Normally, this ear belongs to Connie Poirier but has been attached to Anne Nichols, Moira Kinney or Carol Enjo.
  3. The figure Elly assumes will be sympathetic counters Elly's self-serving maunderings with something that makes sense. This astonishes and saddens her because she'd hoped for a shoulder to cry on, not a slap to the back of the head.
  4. Elly ignores the advice and goes right on squealing about Martians.

That last is the key thing that separates her from all the other people being lectured to. Unlike the picky-faced Martian princess, Elly has the luxury of being able to ignore things she doesn't want to hear.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
Remember the sequence wherein Elly was horrified to learn that Connie had had her face touched up? Not only did we have the same sort of bellicosely fatuous nonsense about doctors that informed the monster-under-the-bed take on getting a mammogram or seeing a gynecologist, we also had to endure a simperingly fatuous "moral" from Elly about how great it is to not arrest the process of getting old, fat and ugly the way Nature intended. The reason I mention this is that Lynn has herself a nasty habit that isn't kleptomania: lying to her fans about having the occasional round of cosmetic surgery. As we know and the Geri C's, Anna M's and Bettyheres do not, she'd once written Phyllis Diller about at least one face lift and her recent photos show all the signs of post-operative bruising so we know something about her that her fans don't. Why she lies about this is one of the few readily comprehensible things about her: that's because she's probably supposed to lie about stuff like that.


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