More evidence that the dysfunction goes way back
Hey, I just thought of something. NE1 think that mayB the purpose of all these stultifying, soul-crushing flash backs is 2 cure ppl of their nostalgia? Think abt it. This all has been showing the past really sucked, doncha think?
Formerly little sis. Dad may have not been a good dishwasher back in the old days of 1979, but he was a quick observer of the human condition. I remember on one occasion where mom was complaining that he didn’t appreciate what she did around the house, and he presented a cogent argument.
First of all, he told mom that he did appreciate what she did around the house. Mom gave him an unusual reaction even for those days by causing her eyes to go crooked on her head, her mouth to go lopsided on her face, and one of her breasts to disappear (I don’t want to think about that last one too long).
Then I remember dad telling us that he was glad he came home to a clean house, good food, well-managed finances & happy kids… He usually said this to Elizabeth and me while he demonstrated his ability to stack and balance our building blocks together in so precarious a method, I wonder even to this day, why the thing didn’t topple. Of course, he was just saying this for our benefit, because mom was almost always in another room when he said it. When I wasn’t in school, I was in the house and I knew better. The house was seldom clean, the food was…well, formerly little sis, let’s just say I really liked the good old days when we used to have Kraft dinner and sandwiches every night. Mom would make up a big batch of Kraft Dinner family size and put it in a giant bowl on the table alongside her tea pot, and we would wolf down our food, eating it in our typical, slobbering Patterson style. Those were good times!
Deep down inside, dad knew that with the quality of the dinner, and the dirtiness of the house, mom was doing other things, which later on he discovered was job-hunting. But it was a difficult topic to broach. Dad would just say something like, “But I admit that I find it hard to see how the house & kids can occupy your every waking minute.” I think he said this with the hope that mom would talk to him about what she was doing. He would say, “What Do you do all day, Elly?” This never worked. Mom would rather go face first into a plate of Kraft dinner than answer that question, and she often did. She did it often enough, if I were sitting across the table from her, I would just roll my eyes and think, “Not Again.”
Sometimes it was hard to talk to mom back then, but I think my dad did it especially well. I emulate his style with my lovely wife Deanna, and I cannot help but think that it has been one of the reasons our marriage has been such a success.