April 11th, 2013

Snarky Candiru2

Friday, 12 April 2013

In today's strip, Michael destroys Elly's freedom of expression by expecting her to shell out a bunch of money to impress irrelevant children. Or, to translate that from Martyr Mom to Sane Human Being, Elly stands around looking like someone hit her on the back of the head with a two-by-four because she finally found out that she's in competition with every other mother in the neighborhood to put on the Best Birthday Party EVAH!!!!!! when she wanted to cheap-ass her way through things.

(Strip Number 591, Original Publication Date, 13 April 1984)

Panel 1: Now that Elly is home, we join her conversation with Mike already in progress. He tells her that "At Jeff's party, we all got big prizes! At Greg's party, they took us for pizza an'a movie! At Mark's party, they hired a magician!!"

Panel 2: He then astonishes her and ruins her life FOREVER by asking her what she's gonna do for his party.

Panel 3: Since she sees the idea of spending a lot of money on a kid's birthday party as an insane imposition, she asks if it's a birthday party or a competition.

Panel 4: Since John realizes that one-upmanship is a thing, he astonishes Elly (who doesn't) by saying "May the best Mom win!" Elly, of course, is gobsmacked by this.

Summary: Were Coffee Talk still a feature, we would no doubt get notes explaining that Elly really objected to having to outdo all the other mothers because she doesn't want Mike to become a materialistic jerk. The problem is that she doesn't mind his being a greedy idiot just so long as it benefits her somehow. Also, Elly clearly doesn't understand why Mike wants all of this stuff. While it is true that she remembers wanting to have things other kids had when she was nine, she assumes that Mike must think like she does and is pretending he doesn't to make her miserable.