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Since it’s about eleven years or so since Liz screamed WAIT!!!!!! at a computer because her ‘friend’ Anthony needed a ‘friend’ in his hour of self-inflicted need (as well as being eleven years since she got all defensive about having any sort of role in the break-up of his marriage), it behooves us to remind ourselves that not only does she not want to admit that even if she herself didn’t intend to do anything to mess up Therese’s life, her intentions have the same weight as anyone’s when the shit hits the fan. The phrase I like to use when I want to describe how much her not wanting to be seen as a homewrecker actually means is “sweet dick all” because a person is what she does, not what she wants to do.

It means even less when you consider a second fact she’d prefer not to face: part of her wanted to see Therese die in a cancer fire for ‘stealing’ a friend from her. She doesn’t want to admit to being a jealous pinhead who thinks that the only friend someone has should be her because that makes her a bad person but the thing exists no matter what she tells herself. This means that she doesn’t want to admit that it delights her that this woman crashed and burned because she dared to make her feel bad about being a graceless nitwit who thought that social norms that got in her way should be abolished. She mouths pious gibberish about her being a casualty of horrible parenting but the honest fact is that we’re dealing with an immature twerp who doesn’t want to admit that she has negative impulses.

dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Now that it's been more or less eight years since the Fauxposal, I'd like to take a look at something else that the Pattersons aren't especially curious about: how Therese sees them as a group and why they do the irritating and hurtful things they do. As we know, she first became aware of the Patterson family when Anthony talked about his harmless meeting with an old friend. The more he tried to defend this blonde person, the more Liz looked like one of the predatory women that her dad cheated on her mom with. Imagine her horror on discovering that someone playing the part of the over-grown high school girl in order to cozen men into supporting her really was someone who was just fifteen and a bit. The obvious implication of his longing for someone who looked as if she'd gotten lost on her way to Home Room is that Anthony sort of wanted a passive doll to play house with. My guess is that by now, she's sort of figured out what made Liz that way: wanting to please her parents. I also think that she sort of pities Liz sometimes because that's a mug's game.

While she has met Elly and her mother's issues and her need to have things just so in order to prevent Marian from emerging from the grave and calling her a failure and a disappointment, it would seem that Elly is only half of the picture. Someone she's never met so far as I'm aware of would have to loom large to Therese as being the driving force behind the destruction of her marriage. From Anthony's boss singing the praises of the family that has his nuts in a vice to Liz's brother making arch comments that reveal that he's made of Mommy Issues, it occurs to her that pretty much every person who'd ever made her feel like an evil interloper who should be ashamed of herself for daring to take their teal-and-lavender utopia away is an extension of the will of Liz's manipulative jerk dad who seems to think that Milborough is Westeros. She's never met John face to face but she realizes that by now, the man clearly hates the idea that she can come in and mess up his screw-ball vision of the true and good. If she's been eating her Wheaties, she might even realize that someone who poses as a commanding figure is little more than something I grew up referring to as a great big sookie baby whining when people try to take his ba-ba away from him.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As we all know, Liz's reaction to her parents deciding she'd had enough cuddling so could she please go away and stop trying to drain Mommy's substance is to think that the World is a terrible place that wants her to die alone. In her childhood dreams, I should think that she would be on her spinster's death-bed being laughed at by people for daring to want to be loved and be given attention. Add in a media that shows her imagery of cruel, heartless schemers who seek to destroy the happiness of innocents because they aren't worthy of male companionship and need to learn their place and it becomes rather obvious that Liz sees herself as the star of a telenovela in which she's an underdog being cruelly afflicted by monster rich women who spent their time monologuing about how mousy little non-entities like her should just sit back and accept their spinsters' graves.

What makes her innate and almost genetically hard-wired feeling of inadequacy worse is that she's lousy at picking up on social cues. Not only did a long-undiagnosed visual impairment mean that she never learned to read facial reactions at all well, Elly's need to sentimentalize a really hoorible time in a human being's life and fear of being bereft of purpose led her to get locked out of pretty much every loop. Add in how Elly isn't really good at giving advice and you can see why Liz really never twigged to what was going on around her. She doesn't know how to read body language and she sucks at looking at the big picture because her mother is letting her own issues get in the way of being a mother. She thus turned to a 'convenient' source of good advice: network television. The problem is that the goggle box is just as bad a parent as Elly and just as likely to fill impressionable minds with mush-headed ideas.

This isn't just why Candice and Dawn had to sit her down and explain that Anthony didn't just happen to show up places where she was because he announced his intention in a way not thought of in the philosophy of Zack Morris. It isn't just why she didn't see that Eric was a player until it was too late. It isn't just also why she didn't admit that the people of Mtigwaki weren't lovers of adultery because they didn't want to get involved in a domestic because they ain't stupid. It's pretty much all the reason why she still sees Thérèse as a soap opera monster who spends her days clubbing seals and plotting the ruin of plain Janes because that's just what people who make Liz feel inadequate DO.

The real reason for this need to see Thérèse as a soap opera monster plotting her ruin is because that made more sense than her rival being....well....her!!! As Anthony's Liography clearly indicates, what Liz will always see as an irrational monster who hates her for no other reason that being a bad person is pretty much a Franco-Ontarian Lizardbreath trying her damnedest to prove herself to her own bloated vermin parents owing to coming a distant second place to a son who was never born at all. Her major malfunction is that she sees a passive little thing like Liz as being a manipulative man-eater who wants HER to die alone and unloved and to laugh at HER misery because she looks like someone who's got everyone fooled into thinking she's harmless because that's how cruel people who want people to die alone operate. Right now, as we speak, the poor woman is telling her boyfriend about the blonde monster with the rich dentist daddy who has a whole town wrapped around her finger just like on TV! Why, she even managed to turn Thérèse's own child against her, she's that devious and selfish!!

Thus does the trick box amplify the horror caused by the narcissism of minor differences. Liz and Thérèse would have found it hard to get along in the first place because they reminded each other of what they most hate about themselves. A medium that proves the worst just made a bad situation far worse.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
One of the most irritating things about watching Lizardbreath smugly defame the evil, scary and wrong French Person by witlessly parroting third-hand gossip and rock-solid innuendo is watching her simper about how wrong it was to traumatize poor Anthony by making him dress like an adult and eat like a human being. As I've said before when this subject comes up, moral goodness in a woman seems to be directly proportional to their sheer impotence in changing a man's habits. The ideal is, of course, Elly having to nail herself to her damned cross because John wants to parade around in public in retina-searing colour combinations so he can witlessly blacken her name and disgrace her and she can feel all martyred and unappreciated.

The problem is that if anything, Lynn seemed to be understating it. While the Rod of the present day cuts a fine figure of a man, back when she first met, he tended to behave as if not dressing like he's a member of a hardy band of meltdown survivors was his defense against being emasculated and feminized. This tells me something I should have known all along: even drama queens have problems. Granted, Lynn tends to hide what they are with her inability to be specific as to dates owing to have forgotten when things happened to her but it's clear that some of the stuff she's nagging her family about is a legitimate grievance.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
It's not just keeping themselves safe from having to realize that April isn't a spoiled little child who doesn't know about the real world that keeps John and Elly at pains to keep her in the dark. They also have to keep themselves from having to realize that Mira Sobinski isn't some horrible monster who wants to enslave them with her family politics. What Mira is is someone a lot like Annie or Connie who simply doesn't feel the need to panic about the possibility that Elly Patterson doesn't like her.

This, I should think, is why her ambitions are bad while Gordon's ambitions are good; Mira's ambitions don't have as their basis a healthy respect for the opinions of others....or, as we say in English, the possibility that what she's doing might make a paunchy pea-brain with anger issues screech doesn't alarm her much. This is also why Ted, Becky and Thérèse are pure evil: they don't care if a screaming lunatic might be angered by what they do.
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In her latest attempt to plead with us to love Anthony as much as she loves him, Lynn revealed the fact that she not only didn't remember Thérèse's name, she didn't really think that it was terribly important for either her or, by her laughing off our insistence that she should remember it as coming from our being all worked up over nothing, us to do so. This perky, giggly admission that Anthony's first wife was not only the wrong girl by her standards but simply a plot device to show us how great a catch he was confirmed a hunch most of us had. That hunch was that Thérèse and the two men Elizabeth was dating before she, as Lynn would put it, came to her senses and went back home where she belonged existed solely to show us how dangerous the world outside Elly and John's narrow vision of the true, good and beautiful is.

The Wrong Girl, you see, wanted not only to take Anthony away from his home and make him a pawn of someone else's family politics, she wanted him to take on a role for which he was unsuited and, worst of all, talk about what was bothering him. That is the worst of all because complaining to the person you're complaining about is something that scares Lynn witless; I don't know whether it's because she expects to be yelled at or to suffer the humiliation of being made to look foolish by having her anticipation of being yelled at disproven but I do know that she seems to fear confrontation when she's not in the driver's seat.  As for the Wrong Men, their nomadic natures not only exposed Liz to the risk of worrying about what they were doing when she couldn't see them, they also exposed her to the terrible danger of adapting to a strange and therefore evil and wrong culture and, worse still, never being able to impress her parents and gain their approval.

To Lynn, it's enough that the Wrong People exist to tempt and menace the Sainted Family with the horror and evil that the unfamiliar represent; giving them names is simply an unnecessary detail. To us, however, it displays a defect in not only the story-telling but in Lynn herself. A competent author would keep track of this sort of thing and rely less on miracles. What could have and should have been done was to have Elizabeth confront the behaviors that drive her suitors into the arms of other women when she's not around; having to admit to being a dreary, passive, uncurious lump of nothing so as to make herself a better fit for her parents' ambitions wouldn't be pleasant but it would make her choice of Anthony more palatable; granted, we'd also have to have the impossible-to-Lynn revelation on Anthony's part that he went out of his way to be a crappy husband to Thérèse because he was stupid, whiny and hell-bent on turning her into the Liz that only existed in his head but a good author could make that work. It wouldn't be a hearts-and-flowers ending but it would be more realistic and more satisfying than the teal-and-lavender mess we were made to endure. 
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As I'm about to demonstrate, the 'favor bank' system of morality isn't just about manipulating children and others into a state of peonage; it also gives the Pattersons the right to hate people at will. The first example of a person the Pattersons hate on sight because he doesn't feel the need to do them favors is Ted; even though he's a bit of a playboy and really doesn't quite get that Connie isn't the big girl he thought, he's not really all that bad a guy; you wouldn't know that to hear the Pattersons talk, though. The point woman for Ted-hate is, of course, Elly; the reason that she hates Ted is that he never did her the favor of taking her as seriously as she wanted him to. Since he reacted to her hysteria, bullying and bluster with mockery and disdain, he never filled her favor bank; he also managed to alienate himself from John by not doing him the favor of marrying poor, innocent Connie. We know that all three people involved in the mess still idly wonder what would have happened if things had gone better; Elly sees herself as saved Connie from a hateful oppressor because she never understood Ted at all. Similary, Mira never let herself be marginalized like Mike and Elly wanted her to be, she still didn't do them the favor of fading into the background so that Elly would be the sole voice influencing Mike's family life. We see this same need to demonize people who don't do the Pattersons the good turn of knuckling under to their whims when Therese refuses to let Elizabeth interfere with her marriage and when Becky doesn't hide her talent under a bushel to salve April's ego.
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The real problem I do have with Elly's over-concern with what Connie and Phil do with their free time is not that she misreads Phil's motives horribly due to her being a resentful, misandrist twit. It doesn't really affect things that she cannot see that Phil wants to be just good friends with Connie and that's it; even Connie herself eventually admits that Phil did not mislead her as to his intentions so Elly's belief otherwise is irrelevant. It also doesn't matter that she thinks that Connie is a passive victim who was led on; again, Connie tearfully admitted that she was responsible for her humiliation as she wondered what was wrong with her that she constantly threw herself at men who weren't marriage minded. It isn't even that Elly's need to control Phil's life by getting him to settle down and dust off that electrician's licence he has in his wallet so he can get a real job instead of playing music she can't sing along to; the other characters have adapted to her sullen inability to see that there's more than one way to live. What is wrong is that she's making it all about her. Like all the other times she nails herself to her cross, she does so because she takes herself too seriously and thinks she's far more important that she really is. A sane person with a healthy self-image would regard the Phil-Connie non-relationship as being neither her fault or responsibility and get on with her life. Since Elly is a narcissist with paranoid tendencies, she can't leave well enough alone and since she's too stubborn to admit she's wrong, she never learns. This tendency to overestimate her importance and believe that people are trying to destroy her came into play about a quarter of a century later when she went out of her way to disrupt Thérèse's life because she represented an obstacle to her baffling ambition to get Liz and Anthony married. Given how she went out of her way to marginalize and malign a stranger who'd done her no harm by any standard that normal people could agree upon and value, it's obvious that she couldn't let That Woman's marriage stand because it represented a personal affront. That's because the same woman who thinks that it's a reflection on her if Phil and Connie don't get together thought that Thérèse proposed to spite and ruin the life of a woman she barely knows.

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As I said recently, there's been a disturbing change in how Lynn has approached the Holiday season; we started out with an Elly who was slightly more enthusiastic about the festivities than her children; granted, she didn't like cleaning up the mess or her children's pleas of boredom with their toys but, as I'd said, it was a small price to pay for Yuletide joy. As an example of the need Elly had to preserve the mystique, the recent return to Santa was originally her way of making sure that her son didn't associate Christmas with nubile blondes wrapped in cellophane; her later decision, which she regretted, to tell Mike that Santa was less a person than a personification didn't put a serious dent in her enjoyment. For that to happen, we had to wait until the early 2000s; the Elly of old had mutated into the frothingly frustrated mess that flapped, honked and wanted to own horses; that incarnation of the main character was a petty figure who was done with caring about any needs other than her own and filled with the need to show up her rival, Mira Sobinski. April was allowed to set the tone by whining about how Dee's mother supposedly won all the time and how unfair it was that the Pattersons had to share things with people they despised merely because it was the latter part of December. Another example of Yuletide begrudgery was Liz's final confrontation with Thérèse; I'm fairly sure that in Lynn's mind, Thérèse has earned the nasty reputation she'd been given but, for some reason, that didn't translate to the printed page any more than Liz's severe case of homesickness did. What we instead saw was an ill-used and justifiably angry woman forced to watch as the woman whose family ruined her life seem to take away one of the few good things in it: the love and trust of her child. This immediately proceeded the most hateful thing I've seen in years: the Yuletide Meal of Malice. Not only did we have Anthony do what new-ruin Elly did and use Santa's name as a means to frighten a trusting child into compliance with her dictates, we had April exiled to the kiddie table like an afterthought as well as the gluttonous vermin begrudging Mira the ninety or so seconds it took to say Grace because they wanted to wolf down their food while it was still unbelievably hot.

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Now that we've seen the bio of Anthony Caine, one thing seems obvious: if the man were any more passive, he'd be a potted plant. Lynn and Beth tried so hard to make him sympathetic, they forgot to give him a backbone. What they did give him was a ludicrously turbulent childhood. Instead of the bland, boring existence that the Anthony we first met was most likely to have had, we have him dealing with a cold, distant father, abandonment issues because his birth mother split the scene and feelings of inadequacy because his parents spent more time cooing over his half-sister than making him feel good about himself. This leads him to view the Patterson family as some sort of ideal to which all things must conform. It also leads him unable to cope with a woman with even more issues and a more traumatic childhood than his own: Therese Arsenault. It seems clear that the woman Lynn wants us to see as an evil monster is the punch-drunk and angry victim of being pulled apart by too many idiots. He may have an inkling that his friendship with Liz might have been inappropriate but has no real idea that Liz was a walking, talking reminder of his wife's feelings of inadequacy. He never did seem to get that his lack of ambition was seen as a betrayal, either. Therese, you see, was trying to prove herself to her cartoonish stereotype chauvinist dad that women were more than decorations when Assthony bounded onto the scene trying to turn her into what she was as a mindless baby maker who lacked the sense and will to object to being cheated on. She took as much of this as she could before calling a halt to the proceedings. Did she care that her dad would probably bully Anthony into going for the jugular in the divorce? Nope. She was willing to pay any cost to be free. We also have to contend with Lynn and Beth's ham-fisted attempt to counteract that infamous "I-have-no-home" speech. It does us little good to see that he wanted a do-over in a retcon. We need to spend thirty seconds on it.
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There's another side-effect of the planned revision of Anthony's past that's so obvious, even Kool-Aid Nation can see it; it makes it hard to see why Liz and the Pattersons would approve of his family. As we all know, they hate Gordon's family because they mistreated him, they don't approve of Candace's mom's devotion to a man who wants to have sex with her daughter and they're justifiably pissed at Jeremy's dad because he ran off. This tells me that when they find out more about his past, they won't be angry at him for keeping secrets this horrible despite his being an adult; they'll be angry at Daddy Caine for raising a man who felt he had to lie about what he felt. They, along with the Camera-in-my-house people, will have a fresh new reason to dislike Therese; Liz will have to do what she could not and sacrifice her time to give him the hooooome he needs. Since Therese couldn't recognize Anthony was worse off than her, she's gonna be wearing the Extra-bad woman hat.
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As you know, Lynn has released excerpts from her planned biography of Anthony Caine, thereby fulfilling in her mind her obligation to bring the character out of the shadows. I should think she fully believes once we read his tragic story, we will no longer question the rightness of the Settlepocalypse. Given what we've seen, though, it's going to take more than she can do to make him presentable. The samples we've been given are quite simply the most blatant attempts to rewrite history Lynn has made to date. By leading off with his being "abandoned" by his mother and spending his teenaged years allegedly relying on the inconstant Elizabeth as the sole source of stability in his life, Lynn clearly wants to demonize his family to ensure that he prefer the company of Sheet Shaver and JSTF to his own parents, not to mention giving him trust issues. As has been pointed out though, there was no sign whatever that this was happening when he first appeared. This is telling because Lynn would never have passed up a chance to out someone as an abusive jerk. Every so often, you see, Lynn would have a Patterson wring his or her hands about how awful a certain parent must be to mistreat a swell kid like Gordo/Candace/Becky. What's more, Liz was unaware of his existence until junior high but Lynn has him following her around since first grade. This is as odd as his blind acceptance of his father's supposed claim that Mother Caine "threw" him away. As he would himself do to Therese later on, Daddy obviously bullied Mommy into letting him keep Anthony. In both cases, an emotionally distant control freak reacted with rage at the prospect that a will would gainsay his own. In both cases, the father made sure that the "evil" woman who rejected a "Nice Guy[tm]" would not "ruin" his child with her odd ways. If "stranger in his own home" means what I think it does, both men married a passive dullard who could be relied on not to challenge the masculinity of a Caine. What's more, his father preferred the children of his own personal Lizardbreath to Anthony. This, of course, bodes ill for Françoise's future. Like Anthony himself, his daughter will be explained away as an ungrateful little brat to the passive idiot girl's credulous parents. She too will seek out her birth mother and build some sort of relationship despite parental disapproval and both will build some nonentity into a paragon of virtue.

All this, of course, presumes that Anusthony is telling the truth in the first place. The man we've seen is not trustworthy so I should think that what we'll read is his 'truth' which is more true than all the facts in the world.

This leads me to believe that the strips in the Reload that do not demonize John and Mike for having penises or vilify Mira for letting her ambition come between Mike and Twoo Wuv will be spent whining about the sad, lonely, ill-used little boy with the freckles who follows Liz around like a lost puppy.

The saddest part of all of this, though, is the knowledge that a lot of gullible people will swallow this tale of woe hook, line and sinker. Lynn's plans to expand her mail server are obviously inspired by her knowledge that the Inmans of the world will post long, awkward, illiterate letters telling the bad picky-faces to stop hating Anthony. Pleading his case merely because he had a crummy childhood is, of course, an absurdity. Even if his bio were one hundred percent true, it only explains what we've seen. Since he clearly lacks the impulse to regret what he's done, his past does absolutely nothing to excuse his multitude of sins.
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It can be said with some certainty that John and Elly never really respected Therese's marriage to Anthony. As far as they were concerned, she had no claim on him that they had to take seriously. Comparing how upset they were when someone they didn't like, Eric, treated Liz the way the beloved Anthony treated his wife, we remind ourselves that the Pattersons' sense of morals leave something to be desired. Both parents see Anthony as a solution to a problem only they have: making sure that Liz will bow to their will for the rest of her life. The dreary idiot looks to me as being best suited to make sure that Liz lives a life of frustration so it seems obvious that he is their idea of a good choice. Just as Paul and Warren are mocked, patronized and secretly feared because they might rescue Liz from co-dependence, Therese is seen as an obstacle because she took Anthony out of the equation. Not that they can see themselves as having done wrong. Their psychopathology is based on the futile desire to be in absolute control of their environment; anyone who might come in and upset their plans is a trouble-maker.
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Now, we've had a good laugh at how spineless Anthony is seeing how eager to accommodate the Settelpocalypse's being moved up at a whim he is. Or, for that matter, how he's stuck in a series of dead-end jobs that were awarded to him because his boss took pity on him. Hell, Gordo would have done that even if the Pattersons hadn't strongly hinted that's how things should be. The problem with that is that we all know how guys like him think. Gutless wonders like him who don't have the courage to dare and do maintain a mental list of people who've slighted them. In the event an Anthony is ever in a position of power over his "oppressor", he'll exact his revenge on this person. That's pretty much how he destroyed his first marriage, you see. Therese had tried to get him to be something he wasn't so in revenge he tried turning her into a photostat of Liz. That being said, Liz's desire to marry a man like her dad is going to come to pass. All John's ranting about hormones and stuff is what he called getting his own back for being called a selfish jerk.
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One thing that I wonder about from time to time is what Jim really thinks of Anthony. He, like most people Elly encounters, has been subjected to a barrage of nonsense about how funny, smart and charming he's supposed to be. On the rare occasions that he's met the man, he sees how off-base his daughter is. He probably chuckles to himself about how she said much the same thing about John and how poor a judge of character she is. He probably thinks that Elly is shoving them together because she can't or won't see how big a failure the guy is. I should also expect that he'd have asked pointed questions about the man's first marriage. The huffy, self-righteous, "You-can't-blame-me" attitude we'd no doubt have seen every time Therese was mentioned is too much like the one April copped when he called her on treating Becky like a traitor because she didn't realize that she was "supposed" to do what she was told. He'd quickly realize that his family was demonizing this woman because she got in the way of what they wanted. He also knows Elly well enough that she won't see how bad an idea this is until she has proof that even she cannot deny. He knows he won't live to see it but sooner, rather than later, the Pattersaints will be forced to see how they've embraced another devil to their bosom.
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It seems obvious that the main sticking point to Françoise having any sort of relationship with the birth mother will be Elizabeth's refusal to let Thérèse anywhere near her child. She's gone on record as saying that her rival "threw" her husband and child away and clearly believes that by doing so, she's given up any right to ever re-establish a bond with them. This is, of course, a load of bollocks. Unless Therese is an sctive threat to Francie's physical or emoptional well-being, Liz has no say whatsoever in the matter, no matter how much she or her imbecile harpy of a mother yowl about the unfairness. This seems especially irnoic when you realize that if anyone has the right to scream about unjust treatment, it's Anthony's first wife. First off, it seems obvious that Liz has made no effort whatsoever to put herself in Therese's place. She's never admitted that the woman had a right to fear that her mere presence would be a danger to her marriage to Anthony even though what Therese has said would happen has done so. Also, she's never let facts that might present Therese in a positive light sully her mind. Does she admit that her parents and their friends made Therese into a pariah for getting in the way of their hopes and dreams? Nope. Will she see that she put too much on her plate, broke under the strain and ran to sanity in the arms of the man she left Anthony for? No frikking way! Can her mind's eye see that a mother who, while in the sinister grip of post-partum depression, rejected her child has every right to try again when she's gotten the right kind of help? That eye has always been blind so, no. Why is this? First off, we have the Pattersonian dread of having to apologize. They act like a group of spoiled children who think that if they have to say "I'm sorry" that they'll never be allowed to stop, that they'll have to apologize forever and ever. That explains why Liz can't admit to having indirectly wronged Therese; her failure to show pity comes from her fear of the woman. Simply put, Liz is terrified that Therese will somehow worm her way back into Anthony's life, depsite her obvious desire to have nothing to do with him and the life he represents, and push her aside, leaving her with nothing. The toddler who was left alone in the dark is still in charge of Liz's psyche so adult decisions and ways of thinking will probably never spontaneously occur.
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Elizabeth has gone on record as saying that she sincerely believes that Anthony has trust issues that stem from his first marriage. According to her, Thérèse's infidelity blindsided him and made him feel as if he couldn't trust the promises people made. It might not occur to her that since he'd given up on their marriage when she thought it was still salvageable and only started to cheat when it became too obvious that his promises of eternal fidelity were bullshit, that he might have been crying crocodile tears. Since she's fairly shallow, she took his whining at face value and assumes that he has to be shown that he can trust her. When you combine that with her default negativity, her belief that she'll die alone and unloved, that everyone will abandon her because she's not worth their time, you can readily see that Anthony will have to spend the rest of his life having to console her that he does indeed trust her. In a few years time, he'll have worked out a routine to deal with her easily-triggered guilty conscience. Knowing him, it would probably involve letting her stew in her own juices for a while. At any rate, he and Francie will be treated like royalty by a woman walking on egg-shells.
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You'll notice that I mentioned at the end of yesterday's post that the Michael we see on the homepage is a far better man than the one we see in the strip. That's because I've noticed that the Pattersons all look better on paper than they do in reality. Let's start with the most blatant example of a family member who has an unjustifiable reputation for virtue: Anthony Caine. As I've said many times, he isn't the tragic victim of an unkind fate he would have the Pattersons believe. For starters, he got engaged to Thérèse for the specific purpose of making Elizabeth jealous enough to drop Eric like a hot potato and fend off her sitting duck rival. When that failed because Liz was too stupid to know she was supposed to tell the antagonist Anthony had manufactured to get her filthy mitts off her man, he tried turning his wife into a copy of what he thought Liz was. Once he realized it wasn't going to work, he lost all interest in keeping the marriage together. It took the woman two years to realize that not even having the child he and her parents wanted would save a marriage she thought was real. My guess is that she found out the excuse he made for blowing off a counselling session was a lie; instead of there being an emergency at work, he made a pass at the woman who disrupted her married life. That, combined with the PPD he didn't understand or sympathize with, was a clear sign that he was never loyal to her so she could stop being loyal to him. The only reason her affair blindsided him is, that like a lot of selifsh manipulators, he thinks he can do what he wants whenver he takes a mind to but everyone else has to play by the rules. Since the Pattersons are idiots, they never questioned his take on events. He says all the right things, turns everything he does around so that he's not to blame and looks like the ideal son-in-law. Since Liz isn't who she says she is either, that's sadly appropriate. More on that tomorrow.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
I've noticed to my disgust that the Pattersons have spent the last little while ganging up on the hapless figure of Thérèse while lionizing her tormentor, Anthony. She fought for a marriage she thought was real and only left when she realized that she'd been living a lie all that time. She did not throw the marriage or her child away like the Pattersons thought. Everything that Anthony said was self-serving noise, designed to obscure from the Pattersons how horribly he'd behaved. I can readily see how her parents, ashamed that she'd committed adultery, made her sign Françoise away. The fact that Anthony only thought-bubbled it wouldn't have mattered to them any more than it would to John or Elly. She's living the best she can under horrid circumstances but the people who made her life awful call her a monster behind her back. She has something in common with Mira Sobinski. Lynn was so busy painting her as the Mother-of-the-bride-from-Hell that she ignored a glaring impropriety. Deanna spent an inordinate amount of time extorting concessions from her mother by threatening to disgrace the family by cohabiting with Mike when she was already married to him. I can list any number of occasions wherein she was either barred from her daughter's life altogether or greeted with a sullen glare because the Pattersons objected the the noise she caused. When you consider that the Pattersons don't realize that Deanna has convinced her mother that they're to blame for the mess she herself created, you start to sense a pattern. Does this mean that someday Gerald will blame Becky for all his self-inflicted ills when he wants to propose to April? All signs point to yes.
dreadedcandiru2: (Angry Candiru)
It occurs to me that Anthony would be a perfect fit for the Patterson family because he can't see any perspective but his own. Like everyone around him, he wants what he wants when he wants it and everyone else had better get out of his way and let him have it. I saw the first sign of this when Liz, in her own sweetly selfish way, had decided she'd wanted to see other people because she'd grown bored with him. He, unknown to her, had decided he wanted to look cool and hang with the car nuts and he didn't think he needed the Breath hanging off him so he broke up with her first. off_model best described the mess he made of his marriage by the following phrase: "Define 'forsaking'". Simply put, he thought (and still thinks) that he had every right to stand there and ogle his old girlfriend and if his wife didn't like it, that was just too bad. The spectacle of his not really caring how badly Thérèse's post-partum depression had messed her up is one of the more appalling images I've seen in the last while. All that mattered to him was that he wasn't getting what he wanted. If she didn't want the same thing, she was a bad person whose needs and hopes he didn't have to respect. The second most disturbing thing he's done was the "I have no home" incident. He didn't actually care how scared Liz was at all. He came there to whine about how bad he had it and blew off her real trauma because he was the guy. Seeing him strong-arm his child into accepting the woman who wants to replace her mommy by appealing to her fears is simply the latest loathesome act of selfishness from a man born to whine his way into getting what he wants and to hell with anyone else.

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dreadedcandiru2

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