Meanwhile, I'm not going to comment on the past week's strips, because I'll have my hands full as it is when the May retcons go up. But I do have some thoughts to share.
--- On the subject of Liz being an unpaid babysitter for Apes. Liz was not robbed of a social life. In her late high school years, she went out at night plenty, usually to Club Soda, or just with Anthony. Elly didn't make her stay home all the time, and in fact, Elly was not as allergic to April as she currently is. What caused conflict was the afternoon and early evening. Elly didn't set a schedule, like "I'm doing such-and-such on Tuesday, so I need you to stay with April." She just took for granted that at times when Liz was *already* home, Liz would devote herself to The Watching Of April, homework notwithstanding. Scheduled dates or Club Soda visits were never in jeopardy. But in a way, April today actually has an ascendancy over Liz then, because evening babysitting is *paid* babysitting, and April gets credit for babysitting the Patterspawn. AFAICT, Liz was never paid for Watching April in the afternoons, and she did not get credit for it, because that's just what the Eldest Daughter is *supposed* to do. Sorry, I'm rambling. But I just wanted to clarify that it's not a matter of Liz never getting to go out at all because of Apes. It was simply a matter of Elly bringing the attitude about "April spilled her juice! Why don't you have eyes in the back of your head?...Mike? Watch April? Are you joking?"
--- On seeing Saturday's strip, Cookie Monster had an interesting comment. Paraphrased, "In real life, you'd think if they were going to push anyone on Liz, they'd be trying to hook her up with John's associate whatsisname. He's young, he's goodlooking, he's a go-getter. They know his schedule, so they can't say 'He's a flake; never there for you.' And he works *with* John, in the same field, same office even, so they can't write him off as a so-called jerk, because that would reflect badly on John for hiring him. Most parents do think a dentist is a great catch...Anthony's an accountant? I thought he was one of Gordon's car salesmen!"
--- Someone in the Yahoo! group has an all-encompassing excuse for Liz's behavior. I'm including the entire post now, which I neglected to do before.
Okay, old fart talking here, so this is going to be long winded.
Further, I'm the father of only girls, a night cab driver who sees these young folks on a nightly basis, and I volunteer my time working with young fathers, so I review developmental studies.
First, you have to understand that females don't reach full maturity until age 24, not 18. Liz turns 26 in June. The only reason they are considered an adult at age 18 is because boys are, and they only got it because they can be drafted. But, they draft them at that age because their brains are still so much mush and they are easy to manipulate. Males don't reach full physical and emotional maturity until age 30. The age Christ was when he was mature enough to leave home.
When Liz was assaulted by the man, she was still nearing the end of her years as a child, not a good time to have something like this happen to her.
Add to all this, age 24-28 are the peak reproductive years for females. Hormones are being produced to drive this need, which are also affecting her view of things. More Oops children are born at this time than during any other period in the lives of females, including teenagers.
Add to this, the affect on her what has happened to her brother and his children. My oldest daughter has no children, but the youngest does. When something happens with the children, the oldest feels it like it was her very own. Mike's children are her extended family and this can have as much an emotional effect on her as the mother.
Add to this the boyfriend problems every young person deals with, the stay in the northern territories, forming attachments to the native people, then leaving that behind, and the health problems of her grandfather.
Liz is not a loser. She's just a young person with a lot of her plate. This is the point when her father needs to sit down with her and review where she is in her life, and where she's going.