Lynn's Comments: Alan's life hadn't really been this exciting. He had been working in construction while trying to get a music career off the ground and had moved to Ontario to see if the grass (yes) was greener in the east. Still, I was jealous of his freedom and his casual ways. I had become a mom and a homeowner who had little to live on, and I was determined to carry my own load. If I spent more than $20 a week on groceries, I'd be unable to pay the mortgage, which at the time was $147 a month. My friends who rented apartments and had no kids thought I was rich. This, of course, was far from the truth. Along with the mortgage came the taxes, repairs, maintenance and other bills - all of which meant that I was living at or below the poverty line. My friend Fran was renting a room, which helped a lot. She also took care of Aaron and did much of the cooking, but we were far from solvent. When Alan went out for groceries one day and came back with a few cases of beer, I knew that our living arrangement was going to come in for review.
Lynn's Comments: Uncle Phil's relationship with Connie illustrated the single side of things and Connie's having a child nicely complicated everything. Naturally, Elly was intrigued by her brother's affairs. Because he was living in her home and dating her close friend she felt it was...let's say... "her responsibility" to find out what was going on. When my brother lived with me, however, I refused to ask him his personal life. I would wait until he confided in my other room mate, Fran...and worm the information out of her!
Lynn's Comments: Never ask a kid a direct question unless you're prepared to hear an equally direct answer! When my grandfather read the comics page to me he would rail at the interaction between the Peanuts characters saying "Children don't talk like that! Children don't have such intellectual thoughts!" Privately, I disagreed with him. I might have been in first grade at the time, but I remember thinking "Of course we have those thoughts and ideas! We might not use the same words you do, but we're smarter than you think!"
Lynn's Comments: When I was a single mom, I dated a man who sent my head spinning, then stopped the carousel, saying that because I was not of the same religion, I was not "forever". His family would never accept me and he was moving on. He was a serial "shiksa" man and I was number 61! In my machinations afterwards, I fantasized his return; his begging for forgiveness and his asking for another chance (fodder for a good song). This never happened to me...but in the strip, it happens to Connie. She readily accepts Phil's apology and for awhile their relationship goes on.
Lynn's Comments: Being at home when your spouse is with friends is usually a time to relax and enjoy the solitude. During my first marriage I was left at home too often, however, and the feeling of unrest is easy to recall. I remember wondering where he was, what he was doing and with whom he was doing it. In this strip, I turned the scenario around. Here it's the GUY who's left out and wondering if "something" is going on!
Lynn's Comments: It was scenarios like this which drove my readers crazy. I learned quickly that if you annoy folks and make them wonder what in heck was going on - they'd be sure to tune in the next day!
Lynn's Comments: Parents of young children can easily carry on two conversations at once. While showing a toddler that you are there and paying attention to them, you can also listen to and process adult communication. This is not something a non-parent can tolerate and now that I'm well past coddling a toddler, I can't stand it either!