of For Better or For Worse
has made the change to panel 3 from:Well, it’s been great seeing you. Can I drop you at your cousin’s place?
To:Well, it’s been great seeing you. Can I drop you at your hotel?
From this statement, Connie responds in thought: Nice. A brush-off. But nice.
When the original statement was talking about being dropped off at her cousin’s place, the interpretation of a brush-off would be correct. Phil is not inviting Connie to a sleazy hotel. Phil is not inviting Connie to his apartment. “Cousin’s place” means “When I drop you off, there will be no sex or spending the night or much of anything.”
With the rewritten strip using “your hotel”, Phil is still not inviting Connie back to his apartment; but now that makes sense. If he has the “’Allo?” girl there
, he wouldn’t want to take Connie back to his apartment. This means offering to go to Connie’s hotel is not really a brush-off. It’s exactly the opposite. It should be precisely what Connie wants Phil to do. All Connie has to do is invite him up for a nightcap. In other words, Lynn has reworded the comic strip to get rid of the cousin reference, without thinking why the cousin reference was there in the first place. Here you go, Lynn! I figured it out for you. Back in 1981 you put in a cousin so Connie would know she was being brushed off, when Phil offered to drop her at her cousin's place. It didn’t have anything to do with having the cousin in as a character.
Let’s assume Connie is right and Phil really is brushing Connie off by dropping her at her hotel. What is Connie expecting that would not be a brush-off? Is she expecting Phil to invite her to go to a different sleazy motel room from the one in which she is already staying? And if that is her expectation, what is Connie doing to let Phil know that this is what she wants? This is Connie’s method of seduction:
1. Wear frumpy clothes covering you up to your neck and down to your wrist.
2. Don’t speak to Phil. Let him do all the talking.
3. Don’t touch Phil or smile at Phil (except when he isn't looking at you).
4. When you are walking beside Phil, put your hand in your pocket, stare straight forward and put your purse in a death grip; just in case Phil decides to mug you.
With seduction techniques like that, the unseen 5th panel to today's strip should show Phil thinking, “I wish she invited me up to her hotel room, but she just stood there and didn’t say anything. Nice. A brush-off. But nice.”
Connie shows up out of nowhere. Phil has not had the time to prepare to show her around town or take her any place nice. Not only that, but by the time Phil finished his gig, it's not likely there are many places around town that are still open. Assuming Phil isn't a sleazebag who is going to say, "Connie, let's go to a hotel and have hot and tawdry sex," then what are his options?:
a. Thank Connie for coming to see him and wave goodbye at the Jazzy Club. After all, if she got there by herself, then she can get back by herself.
b. Offer to take Connie back to where she is staying. It's the gentlemanly thing to do to make sure Connie gets home safely.
c. Take Connie home, but offer to take Connie out to do something the next day.
d. Realize that Connie has gone out of her way to visit him, so he should get on bended knee and propose.
Personally I think (b) is the best answer, followed closely by (c). Phil seems to be acting like a gentlemen to me. For Connie to think he is brushing her off, must mean that Connie is not accustomed to a man treating her very well. It's like she is saying, "He's not pawing all over me and trying to get me in bed. He must not like me." The more I look at this strip, the more messed-up Connie seems to be.
Take this behaviour and add it in the story of Pablo da Silva. Were Connie and Pablo really all that much in love during their medical mission, as Connie suggests when she tells the story? Or did Connie throw herself at Pablo and got pregnant with Lawrence as a result.
Take this behaviour and add it in the story of Connie's first husband, Peter Landry,who kept trying to change her? Was Peter really trying to unfairly control Connie? Or was Peter trying to change Connie to help her with her terrible self-esteem?