Of course, the principal reason that Elly doesn't realize that she is an inherent difficulty to herself and those around her is that while she owns up to more flaws than John does, she can't admit that her false cause fallacy makes her life worse. As I've done before, I'll use the time Lizzie was sent to the store to get a bag of milk. As we all know, she didn't look what she was doing and the silly thing broke. We know that she was just a dumb kid who didn't mean harm but Elly does not. Mom's thought processes seem to me to go as follows.
- Elizabeth broke the bag of milk I sent her to get.
- This is an inconvenience that makes me angry.
- Therefore, she must have done so with the specific intent of inconveniencing me and making me angry.
- Elizabeth tells me that she didn't mean to do so and isn't setting things up so that I have to do everything.
- If this is the case, I'm an old sorehead looking to nail myself to my cross like Dad says.
- I don't like the idea of me being an irrational old fool yelling at the kids for nothing because that means I'm the problem.
- Therefore, Lizzie must be telling a lie in order to make me feel bad about feeling right.
The reason that I mention this is that a future story arc reminds us all that Elly believes that her children deliberately get sick in order to chain her to the house. We knew going in that Elly thinks that kids play sick to make
sure she doesn't get anything done because they hate her. Despite that little lesson in reality, she's still all about the minor inconvenience to herself
and not so much about being there for her kids if that clashes with her need to have an identity that isn't Mommy. Mike is, of course, milking it shamelessly
but we remember something Elly doesn't. We remember that he remembers that stands around braying about how awful it is to have to be around him
because he's eating her happiness so he can't help but wonder if she'll be there for him when the chips are down. The annoying part to her
is that his flu lasted just long enough to make sure that she missed the rest of a week of something that means something to her.
The resulting belief that her family get sick merely to make sure she drops what she likes to do so as to wait hand on foot on them because they HATE her and never want to see her do anything SHE likes seems to have been reinforced by their questionable levels of support when she was sick. As we see here, the kids have it in their heads
that if she's well enough to stumble to the kitchen (despite being as sick as a dog), she's well enough to cater to them because they're too stupid
to understand that she's not a God-damned robot.
Hmmm. I just thought of another inherent factor Elly doesn't want to admit to: her children are kinda clueless and haven't the blindest idea of how they're perceived nor the least glimmering of awareness that what they do and say irritates the Hell out of her. As we saw in the last one, Mike is too bloody idiotic to notice that his question is the worst possible one he could have asked. He doesn't mean to be a bloody idiot but his being so dense, light bends around him is simply a property of his that Elly needed to allow for. More on that tomorrow.