Thursday, May 14, 2009

Real Working Marriage

We have hit upon this theme before in For Better or For Worse. Back on October 2, 2008; Lynn reprinted another strip where Connie praised Elly and John’s real working partnership / marriage. Using AMU reprints, I discovered that the phrases “working partnership” or “working marriage” only occur in these two strips, at least as far back as AMU reprints goes (1996). There was one other location though.

In Liz's Letter, January 2007, she says, in reference to Constable Paul Wright’s potential as a husband:

But - I'm not going into wedding mode. Some of my friends totally focused on gowns and gala events, maybe more than they focused on the seriousness of the ceremony. When I say "yes", it'll be because I know it's going to be a working, long-term partnership. The ceremony is secondary. Security and commitment come first!

It’s interesting that this would be such a theme for Lynn back when she first started the strip and would rarely occur later on. With today’s reprint of For Better or For Worse, the statement is odd. After all, Connie knows Anne and Steve Nichols and it is before the time period when Steve became known as a philanderer. Why would Connie pick Elly and John over Anne and Steve? Especially after listening to Elly whine and complain again and again about her marriage, why would Connie ever say that Elly and John have a near perfect relationship? I would think that Elly’s whining about John would put that idea right out of her head. To me, this is not typical behavior. In my experience, if a woman complains to me about her marriage, the last thing she wants to hear from me is: “I think your marriage is nearly perfect.”

What we have instead is practice that became a standard in the final years of the strip – a separate character from the Pattersons, compliments the Pattersons. In these early years, it’s Elly and John marriage. In the later years, the complimentary subject changes to Elly’s parenting or house cleaning or cooking or business management.

5 Comments:

Blogger forworse said...

Why would Connie pick Elly and John over Anne and Steve?
I expect it's because Connie and Anne were rarely seen together. In the early years of the strip, it was clear that both were friends with Elly, but didn't seem to associate with one another. Annie's liography expanded upon this by showing that she felt that Connie's lifestyle was an affront to everything Annie believed in: SAHMotherhood and marriage for life. Annie was secretly pleased to know that Connie struggled.

If they did associate off-panel, Connie might have picked up on Annie's disapproval, or perhaps she pitied Annie for her lifestyle in exactly the same way Annie did her.

Or it could just be that Connie and Steve had already had a fling so she knew he wasn't the faithful sort.

11:05 PM  
Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said...

forworse:If they did associate off-panel, Connie might have picked up on Annie's disapproval, or perhaps she pitied Annie for her lifestyle in exactly the same way Annie did her.Precisely; just as Connie's tribulations gladdened Annie's heart in the 1980s, watching Annie make a fool of herself, trade her dignity for the approval of the uncaring and waste her life trying to fix a hopelessly damaged marriage instead of starting fresh cheered Connie up when she felt low.

11:23 PM  
Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said...

howard.What we have instead is practice that became a standard in the final years of the strip – a separate character from the Pattersons, compliments the Pattersons. In these early years, it’s Elly and John marriage. In the later years, the complimentary subject changes to Elly’s parenting or house cleaning or cooking or business management.What's more, the praise has to be for virtues that said Patterson does not possess.

11:25 PM  
Blogger howard said...

forworse,

Annie was secretly pleased to know that Connie struggled.Good point. I expect this may be the primary reason why Connie keeps pumping Elly for information on Connie. It’s less knowing about gossip, and more building her own self up in comparison.

Or it could just be that Connie and Steve had already had a fling so she knew he wasn't the faithful sort.This thought did occur to me. I can see Connie saying, “Well, Elly. When you were out of town, I came onto your husband; but all he could talk about was going out drinking with Ted. At least Anne’s husband, Steve, would sleep with me.”

11:33 PM  
Blogger howard said...

DreadedCandiru2,

Precisely; just as Connie's tribulations gladdened Annie's heart in the 1980s, watching Annie make a fool of herself, trade her dignity for the approval of the uncaring and waste her life trying to fix a hopelessly damaged marriage instead of starting fresh cheered Connie up when she felt low.-

Turnabout is fair play. Of course, Annie pretty much left the strip after Steve’s affair was revealed. I don’t remember a lot of Connie gloating.

11:33 PM  

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