Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Elly the Spy

With today’s reprint of For Better or For Worse I am struck by 2 things. I am trying to think of how old I was before I was allowed to walk to a neighbour’s house by myself. Unfortunately for me I don’t remember much of my life prior to age 4; however, I do remember at that age walking to a friend’s house and even walking with that friend on the wooded trails behind our houses without any adult supervision. Given the theme of today’s For Better or For Worse, I have to ask the question, “Was I really walking alone, or did my mother surreptitiously hide behind objects and follow me the whole way?” Well, of course not. My mom could look out the window and watch me the whole way, just like I expect Elly could, considering Lawrence’s house is just across the street. Of course, this reprint could have occurred before Lynn Johnston had a clear idea just where Lawrence’s house was relative to Mike’s. Even so, it appears to be just down the road.

Nevertheless, by following Michael so closely, Elly is essentially saying that she thinks something can happen to Michael which will require her instantaneous intervention and not just her intervention as if she ran from her house to him. Not only that but she thinks it is important that Michael thinks he is walking without her. The net effect is that at some point, Michael will walk without her, and she will go into a panic, because she has failed to shadow him all the way. Yet again, we are seeing bad parenting in action. I will be very surprised if anyone writes in to say they did this with their kids too.

It appears that we have an emerging theme for this week, i.e. Elly is martyring herself over things which otherwise never bother her. This sort of thing only works for people who are reading the strip for the first time. Even people reading the strip just since September will know better. Monday, Elly is desperate for time alone, when we have already seen strips of her watching soap operas and yacking with Connie or Anne. Tuesday, Elly is all concerned about the mess her children make when they stay in from the rain, when we have already seen a strip where Elly gave Michael permission to play in the rain. Wednesday, Elly shadows Michael because she is nervous for him to walk to Lawrence’s house by himself; when we have already seen Michael playing in the rain by himself, wandering all over the neighbourhood with only Lawrence for company, and walking to a school bus by himself.

I made a joke in this blog on Monday about how time seems to be running backwards in this strip. I am beginning to wonder if it is true. Maybe we have moved back in time and we are seeing Elly let Michael go to Lawrence’s house alone for the very first time. That’s about the only way the chronology of this strip makes any sense.

7 Comments:

Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said...

This probably means that this time next year we'll be talking about how big a pain in the ass Elly is now that she's expecting. It also means that in 2017, we'll finally get to see how John proposed.

10:15 PM  
Blogger forworse said...

"Elly, if we could go back in time, I mean...if I asked you to..."
"Yes, John...with all my heart I would! But this time, let's do it backwards. We'll choose an arbitrary point in our lives, like when Mike and Liz were small and the other one hadn't come along yet, and then work back from there!"
"Er..."
"Eventually it will be just the two of us, without any kids around!"
(John, thought-bubbling) "And eventually I could go study someplace else that day instead of your favourite spot in the university library. Maybe someplace where Connie is studying..."

11:15 PM  
Blogger April Patterson said...

John, thought-bubbling) "And eventually I could go study someplace else that day instead of your favourite spot in the university library. Maybe someplace where Connie is studying...::snerk::

This post made my morning, forworse. :)

3:42 AM  
Blogger howard said...

DreadedCandiru2,

This probably means that this time next year we'll be talking about how big a pain in the ass Elly is now that she's expecting. -

I would have to admit there is a certain part of that which would be fun. How far would Elly go to be in imitation of the Deanna pregnancy? We already saw they were both “Oops! How did this happen?” Maybe Elly also has a birth control lapse, only Lynn tries to set in “modern” day and she’s using the patch.

It also means that in 2017, we'll finally get to see how John proposed.-

This could be fun too. How much would it resemble the Liz / Anthony proposal? Elly would call over to John’s place in the middle of the night and find that Connie answered the phone. Then Connie would explain that she was just visiting and there was nothing kinky going on. The next day Elly would be sitting beside John on a chesterfield and saying things like, “Would you like to share your life with me and your unborn child?” John would respond, “YEEAAAH!”

5:36 AM  
Blogger howard said...

forworse,

(John, thought-bubbling) "And eventually I could go study someplace else that day instead of your favourite spot in the university library. Maybe someplace where Connie is studying..."-

I know this isn’t the intent, but Lynn Johnston has reprinted enough stuff with Connie telling Elly what a wonderful marriage she has and how she wished had gotten an MRS degree like Elly did, where I have to wonder what was really going on with Connie and John. We saw a brief glimpse of Elly and John’s courtship in September, 2007, but, despite the fact that Connie was Elly’s roommate at the time, we never saw Connie. Lynn never really acknowledged Connie could have been a part of the story.

There are all kinds of possibilities here. After all, Connie is in radiology and John is in dentistry. It makes more sense for John to happen across Connie in the medical library than Elly, a supposed English major. If there was something between them, then Connie’s over praising John and Elly’s marriage and her desire to be like Elly would make sense.

5:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I insisted on walking to my first day of "big girl" school -- kindergarten -- all by myself when I was 4. It was a few blocks. I let my mom walk with me sometimes after that, but not all the time. Even though I was an only child, I'm quite certain my mother didn't shadow me the whole way.

Of course, "the whole way" in this instance would be next door, wouldn't it? Or is it down the street? I have no idea where Connie lives any more.

11:11 AM  
Blogger howard said...

clio-1,

I have no idea where Connie lives any more.-

In this strip, it looks like it is down the street. I am not sure when Lynn started developing an idea where Connie and Anne and Mrs. Baird lived. Connie moved away in a few more years and by that time, when the Enjos moved in, she seemed to have the location established. As far as modern Lynn goes, I think she generally knows.

On September 15, she had Anne close enough so Elly carried Lizzie to her house instead of using a stroller. Anne likewise carried youngest (and now nonexistent) son over to Elly’s place. Likewise, Mrs. Baird’s place is close enough to tapdance in the rain to. In contrast, we haven’t seen any “walking to and from Connie’s house” strips in the new-runs.

2:38 PM  

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