You know, for a second I thought Lynn Johnston was going to pull a shocker on us all and kill one of the Pattersons - we all know Grandpa Jim's gonna be buying the farm soon, but that's kind of expected, so it'll be less of a shock when she does send him off.
But for a fleeting second, I thought she was going to kill off one of the younger Pattersons, until I realized this is a comic strip. To a certain extent, it does reflect real life, but killing off the junior Pattersons would just be cruel, although Michael's not my favorite Patterson kid. He's my age, but his little fairytale high-school sweetheart marriage, his pompous "important writer" persona and his whole life just...irritate me to no end. Pulling the tragic house-fire on Christmas was about as cruel as it gets for Lynn, but of course it happened because of the evil Kelpfroths, not because a light-string on the Patterson Christmas tree shorted out or Merrie or Robin knocked over a candle or something. That was a bit much.
I've almost stopped reading FBorFW, though, especially when they start up the Grandpa Jim storylines again. Given what my grandmother's going through, and how she wasn't given early enough intervention to prevent her stroke from disabling her permanently, I can't read the storyline without feeling rather bilious and bitter, despite the fact Grandpa Jim can't talk and my grandmother can (just barely, though - she slurs a lot, confuses languages, and has a lot of dementia issues due to both the brain damage and her prolonged hospitalization). I can't help it - it makes every single emotion from the time my grandma had her stroke, and that agonizing weekend when we weren't sure if she was going to live or die, well up again for me; if I could selectively erase those memories from my brain, I would.
It's going to be interesting to see the Patterson house so crowded, and how it will change the Patterson family dynamic. They're close, but living in close quarters with your family like that after you've left home is a bear - I've been there and done that, fortunately not
with a family of my own in tow (it was more like Liz's situation), or I'd have gone insane.
I'm gonna keep reading, because I want to see it through to the end, but I'm almost afraid Grandpa Jim will go at the same time as my grandma and make it doubly hard for me. I pretty much grew up with FBorFW (Mike's my age, or maybe a year younger, IIRC), so it's going to be interesting to see how it all ends up. I know she wants to end the strip maybe this coming year, but that sounds kind of wrong, because April has yet to graduate high school (she can't just leave us hanging, unless one of the virtuous Pattersons pulls a stunner and just drops out!), Liz has yet to figure out the love of her life (Note to Liz: it's Paul! PAUL! PAUL
!) and marry him, and now Mike's family is essentially homeless.
I know Mike's family is probably finally gonna cave in to the Sobinskis and let them (the Sobinskis) finance their (the Pattersons') new house. Or buy it outright. Or else something will magically work out - because nothing bad ever happens to the Pattersons. Bad things happen to other people who are Not Pattersons. Becky Maguire will end up with bulimia, a drug addiction or a teen pregnancy in there somewhere that she just has
to confide in April because she has no real friends and everyone (except April) hates her, or only likes her because she's "famous."
I'm too tired to predict other storylines, but somehow it's all gonna work out OK for the Pattersons because it always does. And now I'm bitter again because I just read the Sunday strip and it's about Grandpa Jim.
And how they've made it through another year. I feel just terrible reading those, because even though my grandma can talk, it's a confused jumble of present and past, she's barely there, and it's just painful to watch her. She's been stuck in a hospital bed for most of a year. I'm getting too emotional now. Grr.