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Tuck 119 [message #4689] Sun, 20 August 2006 14:28 Go to next message
Raadsel  is currently offline Raadsel
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A powerful chapter, Ellen did a great job of expressing Tuck's pain.

My initial impression is that Tuck is starting to evaluate if he wants to keep babysitting. I also get the idea that Sheila is going to really start earning her money and force Tuck to look at the questions that he's been avoiding.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4690] Sun, 20 August 2006 16:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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Raadsel wrote on Sun, 20 August 2006 19:28

A powerful chapter, Ellen did a great job of expressing Tuck's pain.

My initial impression is that Tuck is starting to evaluate if he wants to keep babysitting. I also get the idea that Sheila is going to really start earning her money and force Tuck to look at the questions that he's been avoiding.


Talking of Sheila earning her money, I have to wonder after this chapter if she's going to be afraid for Tuck's safety in that household. Sarah is becoming increasingly unstable, it seems. She's losing it now. They're basically having to trank her down just to get anything approaching normal, proportionate behaviour out of her.

And Tuck's palpable, and this time outright declared fear of her, of disproportionate retribution, can't possibly have been lost on Sheila, if she's of any worth at all.

As well as, of course, that he seems to expect to be punished at least as much for telling the truth as she actually saw him being punished for a - very ordinary for teenagers looking for a little space in their lives - lie.

And Tuck possibly needs some education about rights. He doesn't have the right to not get rained on in wet weather, but he has the right not to be assaulted. He doesn't seem to see that. Shows a worrying lack of a sense of belonging to a civic society. Sheila's got to worry where that comes from.

This is a dysfunctional family.


Rachel
Is Travis trying to call? [message #4691] Sun, 20 August 2006 17:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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The phone rings and rings and Tuck doesn't answer...sometimes it's an alarm to remind Tuck to take medicine but who is it when it's not anyone?
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4692] Sun, 20 August 2006 18:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Tabercil  is currently offline Tabercil
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rachel.greenham wrote on Sun, 20 August 2006 16:11


This is a dysfunctional family.



Well we always knew this was a screwball family. I guess we see now just how screwed up it is compared to the norms.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4693] Sun, 20 August 2006 19:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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I don't remember the episode (and I'm too lazy to look it up), but Tuck described going to school like "being in jail, but not as safe." His home has always seemed somewhat restrictive but I attributed it to the normal adolescent urge to be away from Parental Observation. Valerie seemed to be a safe haven, especially when out with The Pack. with Travis, or at the Parkers'.

Now, with his Parental Units' reaction to the Grand Revelation of Tuck's life as Valerie and the assault in school his home is feeling more like a jail.

Beth Parker seems to be uncomfortable with Valerie, and I think Tuck's not willing to talk to her about it at the moment. We don't really know what happened with Travis but that seems to be pretty much over as well.

That leaves Valerie being with the Pack as the only safe haven and source of support ("Pam reached out and took and held both my hands, and that felt more intimate than sex.") With the way things are going why do I have the nagging feeling that something might happen there, too?[0]

I agree with Raadsel, Tuck's going to be forced to look at the questions that he's been avoiding.

A couple of thoughts about Sarah:
a - She wants to keep Eugene safe, and
b - She wasn't able to protect him from being assaulted, and
c - She's not able to kill or seriously maim the perps, therefore
d - She has a lot of pent-up rage that's leaking out.

e - From her reaction to Valerie's cuddling of Stella and the general babysitting question, and
f - From her attitudes about "men can do childrearing chores, too," I think that
g - She has some Unresolved Issues about gender roles.

[0] Aside from gathering a bit of a clew[1] about Ellen's Evil Nature(TM) from reading this saga.

[1] Original spelling, from the word used to describe a ball of string or thread, plus the story of Theseus and the Minotaur. http://www.ask.com/reference/dictionary/ahdict/7961/clew
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4694] Sun, 20 August 2006 23:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
OtherEric  is currently offline OtherEric
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The Tucker's seem to have a bit of a disconnect with reality. Saying that the kids are not supposed to have sex outside the house is the sort of policy from them I would expect- it's straight out of Heinlein and makes sense. But the parents should have made it clear what they really meant, because a kid normally would interpret it like Tuck did without emphasis. (That's just one example, I'm sure everybody can come up with a lot more.)

I also really want to know what's up with Travis- either Tuck is seriously misinterpreting events, or Travis is copying almost exactly behavior that upset him as much as anything we've ever seen in somebody else.

Tuck has a lot of very good friends; I wish Tuck would let Tuck's defenses down a little more around them.

Another good chapter; thank you as always, Ellen.
Re: Is Travis trying to call? [message #4695] Sun, 20 August 2006 23:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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Erin Halfelven wrote on Sun, 20 August 2006 22:46

The phone rings and rings and Tuck doesn't answer...sometimes it's an alarm to remind Tuck to take medicine but who is it when it's not anyone?


I took that missed call to have been Sabrina - as just afterwards Tuck's wondering why Sabrina was trying to call, so I presumed there had been an elided decision to look up the caller id in the interim.


Rachel
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4696] Sun, 20 August 2006 23:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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OtherEric wrote on Mon, 21 August 2006 04:22

The Tucker's seem to have a bit of a disconnect with reality. Saying that the kids are not supposed to have sex outside the house is the sort of policy from them I would expect- it's straight out of Heinlein and makes sense. But the parents should have made it clear what they really meant, because a kid normally would interpret it like Tuck did without emphasis. (That's just one example, I'm sure everybody can come up with a lot more.)


Frankly I wouldn't expect Tuck to believe it even if he did understand it. Especially as they're talking here about Tuck sleeping with Debbie... Do you think they'd have been just okay with it if Tuck had openly brought Travis home to sleep with?

It's not realistic of them to believe this will work. Left Tuck in the position where only total abstinence would have avoided getting into some kind of trouble.


Rachel
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4697] Mon, 21 August 2006 00:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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mkemp wrote on Mon, 21 August 2006 00:20


A couple of thoughts about Sarah:
a - She wants to keep Eugene safe, and
b - She wasn't able to protect him from being assaulted, and
c - She's not able to kill or seriously maim the perps, therefore
d - She has a lot of pent-up rage that's leaking out.



What about all that rage from before the assault, from the outing of Valerie?

I wonder if it's occurred to either of the Tucker parents yet, that maybe the way they reacted to that contributed to the situation that got Tuck assaulted. He was exhausted, physically and emotionally.


Rachel
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4698] Mon, 21 August 2006 00:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sluggo  is currently offline sluggo
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Sarah is still trying to work off the guilt at not being able to protect Susan years ago. When Tuck was assulted she felt like it was happening all over again and yet she still couldn't do anything about it. That feeling of helplessness can drive a person to do things that they normally wouldn't do.

Sarah should be going to see Sheila or another therapist (and I'm surprised that Shelia hasn't asked her too.)

Tuck's reaction is very confusing to Sheila in that she was ready to help him work out the post tramatic stress of the assault, but there just isn't any there. And as the discussion moves along she got a much better view of who the person in front of her was. I can't wait to see the future discussions that these two have.

What I still want to hear is Debbie's description of the interrigation. We know that Debbie told Sarah and Bill a lot of things, but what did she really tell them. Did she spill about Travis? I kinda doubt it or Sarah would have brought that up.

Great chapter though. I could feel all of Tuck's pain in this one. (Or maybe that was just my body complaining about my workout yesterday.)


-sluggo-
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4699] Mon, 21 August 2006 00:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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rachel.greenham wrote on Sun, 20 August 2006 21:01

Quote:


What about all that rage from before the assault, from the outing of Valerie?

I wonder if it's occurred to either of the Tucker parents yet, that maybe the way they reacted to that contributed to the situation that got Tuck assaulted. He was exhausted, physically and emotionally.


I agree about the exhaustion that the outing of Valerie caused, and I think that one of the causes of the rage might have been that he was so successful at hiding Valerie from his parents for so long.

Here his parents were, both of them with a certain level of expertise at being sneaky, and their kid totally outsneaks them.

Re: Tuck 119 [message #4700] Mon, 21 August 2006 09:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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rachel.greenham wrote on Mon, 21 August 2006 05:01

What about all that rage from before the assault, from the outing of Valerie?


A couple more thoughts about Sarah:
a - She wanted to keep Susan safe
b - Susan systematically lied about who she was with and what she was doing
c - Susan got assaulted and raped
d - She wasn't able to protect Sarah from being assaulted
e - She wasn't able to kill or seriously maim the perp,

therefore
f - She has a lot of pent-up rage that's leaking out.

And that was last year.

rachel.greenham wrote on Mon, 21 August 2006 05:01

What about all that rage from before the assault, from the outing of Valerie?


Watching Kid #2 do the same/similar things that got Kid #1 seriously hurt, AFTER the explanations and new rules... This drives me crazy when my SO does it. And I didn't give birth to my SO.
Plus a big rule in the Tucker house is, 'you do not screw the entire family with your choices'. Try to imagine (from Sarah's perspective) the civil lawsuit possible, if the Parkers decided to persecute Valerie. Remember, a civil lawsuit can be started by anyone for anything ... in civil cases the standard is "a preponderance of the evidence" (and not "beyond a reasonable doubt"; that standard is for criminal law ONLY) ... "child molesting" is a hotword that makes juries remarkably upset ... and, go look at http://www.stellaawards.com/ for Stupid Lawsuit Tricks.


Ellen
nosig
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4701] Mon, 21 August 2006 10:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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Oh, boy. Thanks for clearing that up. What a metric boatload of guilt, fear, and barely-suppressed rage she's carrying around.

I agree with sluggo, Sarah should be seeing a therapist.
In my untutored opinion Sarah should be taking Appropriate Meds to help her through her immediate difficulties. What's the quote, 'fear is the mind-killer?'" I submit that guilt and rage are also quite effective in inhibiting proper mind functions.

Just my two zorkmids' worth.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4702] Mon, 21 August 2006 12:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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Sarah is being stupid. Sex takes two people. How many parents would be happy to know that their daughter is going over to their boyfriend's house for sex? That's just as dangerous for the girl as what Sarah is trying to avoid for Tuck. Clearly Sarah is more concerned about her sons being raped than her sons being rapists. I agree that the only option their children have is not to have sex at all, which wouldn't be bad except that they didn't word it like that. If you say it's ok to do something they will try, even if the only way to do it is to break other rules. If you simply place it out of bounds, they will be much less likely to try to do it, they will know exactly where the boundaries are.

Another thought. I don't think tuck's parents were ever more than one or two degrees of separation from finding out where tuck was. The Parkers and Mike usually knew if tuck was going out with Travis. Rachel usually knew too, and Mike knew to ask her. Before that Deb usually knew. Besides, Travis is a peach. I'm sure there is more to this than Travis just falling into bed with the next girl he saw.

The babysitting really feels like it's on its last legs. The parkers aren't really talking to tuck, or if they are, we aren't hearing about it. He probably feels like an outsider, and Ricky is the only one who really wants tuck there. Eventually, they will come up with a reason to fire Tuck. My guess has always been that Mrs. Parker will quit her job to become a full time housewife. She's expressed interest in that in the past.

I really like how when Tuck feels like he's loosing control of his life, he stops eating. Anorexia is usually a control issue. I'm also surprised no one has been bothering tuck to make sure that he eats. Sure they keep telling him to take his pills, but I don't think Mike has reminded him to eat recently. With all this going on, if they try to control his eating too, Tuck is really not going to react well, even if he doesn't realize why. Tuck has no reserves left. He could be loosening a pound a day at this point, all of it REAL weight loss, fat and muscle.

I've been wondering about a possibility recently. A drugged up Sarah goes off on tuck for some perceived wrong. Tuck talks back, yelling escalates on both sides. Sarah in a moment of drugged stupidity hits tuck. Either tuck collapses from exhaustion, pain, and his own drugs, or Tuck releases all that anger and frustration he's been hiding and the two of them have a nice cleansing physical fight. I don't think it would happen, but either possibility would make me feel so good. I'd love to see Sarah's face when she realizes that tuck is that afraid of her.

Over all, the only thing left in Tuck's life that he feels comfortable with is mike. I suspect we're going to see Tuck being a lot more clingy to mike. If Tuck pushes Mike away more and more, like maybe if Tuck starts feeling like Mike is being too controlling and Tuck desires more freedom, it means Tuck has probably gone more self destructive.

Does this remind anyone else of how tuck was acting after meeting Mike at the water park? Might tuck need another cleansing moment with Mike? Tuck was worried about Mike rebuking Tuck at the park, it looks like Tuck learned that expectation from his parents. Bill has been kinda distant, which was why the night in the rain was so great for Tuck, thought it does feel like bill has been trying more recently. Sarah though is more concerned with keeping them safe than making them feel loved. The kids are definitely afraid of pissing her off. You think there might be a bit of a codependency issue there? Might Sarah be running all over Bill right now and Bill lets her for some reason?

Tuck's very emotionally vulnerable right now. He could either turn overly clingy or distant. If he turns clingy he'll hide from the sleep over thingy, if he turns distant, he might become upset at the group for asking him to talk about things he doesn't want to talk about.

Tuck could desire the safety and security he felt from Travis, Mike comes close to that. I know it will never happen, but could a tuck on the rebound find himself falling for mike? If not mike, what about one of da rat boyz? Book is a lot like Travis, though George hasn't seen val in a long time and might be more likely to see Val in a new light, even if George is a jerk. Maybe tuck will wait for his first meeting with the glee club, but Tuck needs someone he can feel like he can trust, I don't see him entering into a relationship with someone he hasn't known for a while.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4703] Mon, 21 August 2006 13:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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Doragoon wrote on Mon, 21 August 2006 17:18

The babysitting really feels like it's on its last legs. The parkers aren't really talking to tuck, or if they are, we aren't hearing about it. He probably feels like an outsider, and Ricky is the only one who really wants tuck there. Eventually, they will come up with a reason to fire Tuck. My guess has always been that Mrs. Parker will quit her job to become a full time housewife. She's expressed interest in that in the past.


I actually have a feeling that Valerie might quit the babysitting job. Then, just maybe, they'll realise they miss her...

A lot of your other observations I agree with, except I still really doubt valerie and mike will get it down. They're just not in that place.

I would actually not expect Tuck to want to get in another relationship just now at all.

Of course, things may happen despite what Tuck wants, but it'll be a surprise.


Rachel
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4704] Mon, 21 August 2006 16:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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Ellen Hayes wrote on Mon, 21 August 2006 06:37

Watching Kid #2 do the same/similar things that got Kid #1 seriously hurt, AFTER the explanations and new rules... This drives me crazy when my SO does it. And I didn't give birth to my SO.


On the other hand, they are making the same mistake way too many lawmakers do.

They are making rules that go contrary to the way people are, and mostly because they expect the kids tro have the same worldview they do.

Rules have to be set up so that people want to follow them. Or at least so that they feel that the benefits of following them outweight the costs.

That "no sex outside the house" rule violates it big time. To a teen, the costs of following it are pretty damn extreme. And the only "benefit" is going to be "lack of punishment".

I'm fairly sure from the way tuck acted with Debbie, and from other things that he's expressed, that he'd *expect* to be punished for getting caught with Debbie in the house.

Worse yet, and the major flaw, is that given his clear and *very* definitely expressed view of Sarah's "lectures", expecting him to *ask* to have someone over to the house so he could have sex with them is not merely unreasonable, but a case of *serious* denial of reality.

Then again, that's a major factor in a lot of this.

If a parent wants their kid to talk to them about stuff, they have to *not* make it something that the kid dreads.

Then again, I went into that ages ago.

Bill had it right when he said something along the lines "the reason he didn't talk to us about it is because he knew we'd react like this".

As long as that's the case, they *can't* set reasonable rules because they don't know what constitutes "reasonable".

Sad
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4705] Mon, 21 August 2006 17:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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Doragoon wrote on Mon, 21 August 2006 09:18

Sarah is being stupid. Sex takes two people. How many parents would be happy to know that their daughter is going over to their boyfriend's house for sex? That's just as dangerous for the girl as what Sarah is trying to avoid for Tuck. Clearly Sarah is more concerned about her sons being raped than her sons being rapists. I agree that the only option their children have is not to have sex at all, which wouldn't be bad except that they didn't word it like that. If you say it's ok to do something they will try, even if the only way to do it is to break other rules. If you simply place it out of bounds, they will be much less likely to try to do it, they will know exactly where the boundaries are.


Actually, I'm trying to figure out what the *exact* rule was. And what Sarah was thinking when she made it. Other than "treat both genders equally" type thinking, I can't really see what she thought she'd be protecting tuck & Brain *from* with such a rule.

Doragoon

Another thought. I don't think tuck's parents were ever more than one or two degrees of separation from finding out where tuck was. The Parkers and Mike usually knew if tuck was going out with Travis. Rachel usually knew too, and Mike knew to ask her. Before that Deb usually knew. Besides, Travis is a peach.


They had no way to *contact* the Parkers. Nor did they know that Travis is a peach. Remember, they still don't *know* about Travis.

Before the attack, the next Shiela visit was supposed to be about his being gay and why he was sure about it.

Doragoon

I'm sure there is more to this than Travis just falling into bed with the next girl he saw.


Given the way one of the girls laughed at tuck for saying he could tell that Travis and the other girls had been doing it, I suspect that the "misinterpretation" hypothesis is still a possibility.

Doragoon

I really like how when Tuck feels like he's loosing control of his life, he stops eating. Anorexia is usually a control issue. I'm also surprised no one has been bothering tuck to make sure that he eats. Sure they keep telling him to take his pills, but I don't think Mike has reminded him to eat recently. With all this going on, if they try to control his eating too, Tuck is really not going to react well, even if he doesn't realize why. Tuck has no reserves left. He could be loosening a pound a day at this point, all of it REAL weight loss, fat and muscle.


Forcing an anorexic to eat tends to be counterproductive. It just adds to the problems that led to the anorexia. No quick & easy fixes.

Doragoon

I've been wondering about a possibility recently. A drugged up Sarah goes off on tuck for some perceived wrong. Tuck talks back, yelling escalates on both sides. Sarah in a moment of drugged stupidity hits tuck. Either tuck collapses from exhaustion, pain, and his own drugs, or Tuck releases all that anger and frustration he's been hiding and the two of them have a nice cleansing physical fight. I don't think it would happen, but either possibility would make me feel so good. I'd love to see Sarah's face when she realizes that tuck is that afraid of her.


I'm hoping that between the recent outbursts by Sarah in therapy sessions, and Tuck's previous statements to Shiela about his mom's "lecture to death" reactions, Shiela will try to get across to Sarah that she needs to change if she wants her kids to be willing to discuss *anything* with her.

Mostly, Sarah needs to learn the difference between "talk AT" (ie "lecture to death") and "talk WITH" (ie have an actual *discussion*).

First step will have to be learning that she cannot demand that they not interrupt her if she isn't willing to grant them the same priviliege.

She'd *hate* it, but maybe forcing her to carry out discussions in email might help. No way to interrupt there, and you are sort of forced to slow down and think a bit more.

[Updated on: Mon, 21 August 2006 17:18]

Re: Is Travis trying to call? [message #4706] Mon, 21 August 2006 17:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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rachel.greenham wrote on Sun, 20 August 2006 20:51

Erin Halfelven wrote on Sun, 20 August 2006 22:46

The phone rings and rings and Tuck doesn't answer...sometimes it's an alarm to remind Tuck to take medicine but who is it when it's not anyone?


I took that missed call to have been Sabrina - as just afterwards Tuck's wondering why Sabrina was trying to call, so I presumed there had been an elided decision to look up the caller id in the interim.



There are at least *two* missed calls. Maybe three or more (I can't find where my download of the chapter wound up).
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4707] Mon, 21 August 2006 17:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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rachel.greenham wrote on Mon, 21 August 2006 12:43

A lot of your other observations I agree with, except I still really doubt valerie and mike will get it down. They're just not in that place.


I didn't say that Tuck and mike would get it on, just that tuck might fall for Mike. That is, that tuck might develop some kinda crush on him. I foresee the two of them spending a LOT of time together in the future, and that kinda time will breed intimacy. I don't think it could happen anytime soon, but maybe in a few weeks.

It would never happen, but it would be just painful enough that Ellen could toy with us with it.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4708] Mon, 21 August 2006 18:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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Before I get into the heavy stuff, a bit of speculation about 120, based on this chapter.

If I'm reading things right, the Pack is moving the slumber party to the Tucker house.

This is apt to have *several* interesting consequences.

Either Tuck is going to dress as Valerie (only semi-likely) or else we are going to have Tuck dressed in something that doesn't scream "guy" and *become* Valerie just because of the "reflexes from being around the Pack and "at a slumber party".

Either way, Sarah (and possibly Bill) is going to get yet another exposure to Valerie. And how "natural" it is for Tuck.

At the same time, I think spending some "Val time" in a situation that isn't as stressful as babysitting has become might be good for Tuck.

Of course, Ellen being Ellen, it's just as apt to have something go wrong, making Tuck uncomfortable with being Val around the Pack. Sad

Ok, now for the heavy stuff.

Several things in the therapy session bother me.

Tuck119.txt

"Eugene," Sheila said quietly, "your parents are very upset over
some things they found out yesterday. They said you broke some rules,
about going places without notification, and about having sexual
relations outside your house."
"What?!" I'd never imagined Debbie would admit to doing anything
like that, and doubly never to my Mom.
Mom blipped and glared at Dad who glared back. Sheila looked at
them until it was apparent that Mom wasn't going to jump to her feet and
start yelling, then looked back at me.
"What's the charges?" I asked Dad, ignoring Sheila.
"Failure to obey house rules on dating and sex, lying about your
location, multiple counts. I think four each," Dad stated.


The lack of notification was already *dealt* with when Sarah caught Val at the mall. Well, in the fallout thereform. I'm pretty sure it was already mentioned in the therapy session where Shiela talked down the penalties.

The "sexual relations" bit surprises me as much as it surprised Tuck.

As I noted in another message, this rule seems *very* poorly thought out. Even for the Tuckers. Or maybe *especially* for them.

BTW, things are apt to get *really* ugly when Tuck has to tell the parentals about Travis. Because it's going to mean another set of fines because I bet that's not covered by this set.

And hopefully, it'll come up during a "family" session with Shiela. Because then, *maybe* she can get across to Sarah that there's no way in hell Tuck could have obeyed the rule and still had sex with Travis.


Tuck describing why the attack *wasn't* a "traumatic incident" to Shiela is bothe truthful *and* likely to finally get across to her the fact that Tuck's *life* has been one continuing trauma for years.

Hopefully she can get this across to his folks, since they seem to have not been entirely clueful about it.

Tough I have to admit that part of that is that it's made tuck's worldview so slanted that he hasn't mentioned things or "underplayed" them because he either considered them "normal" or thought that his parents would consider them to not be unusual. Sad

Tuck119.txt

She dropped the pages and asked, "Could I ask you a question?"
"Sure," I said, feeling like I was back on solid ground. *I won't
necessarily ANSWER it...*
"So," she started, "it sounds like... like you've been, um, going
out as a female?"
"Huh?" Oh, yeah, that had blown up too. "Oh, yeah."
She thought for a while, or whatever it was Sheila did, then asked,
"Why didn't you mention any of that to me, in here? Before?"


Ok, I need to go back and check, but I could have *sworn* that got covered in the theraphy session after Val got busted by Sarah.

So either this is a continuity error, or Shiela is being *way* too clueless.

On the other hand, this gives some hope that she may actually support Tuck in wanting to hold off on the testosterone treatments. Because it should make her start wondering a *lot* about what sort of gender identity Tuck *actually* has (as opposed to the one he thinks he *should* have)

Then the next bit
Tuck119.txt

I could not believe she was this stupid.
But, she kept waiting for me to answer it, or say something, so I
finally took a breath and said, "Because you'd have done the same thing
Mom and Dad did when they found out about it."
She looked away and took a breath and I tensed up, because she was
going to start yell- "Why would I have done anything like that?"
"What?"
"You... thought I would punish you somehow?"
I wondered where the trap was, and what was going to trigger it.
*Answering, probably.*
Pause.
She was looking at me again, and she didn't seem like she was going
to attack me. "Yeah?" I dared.
"Why would I do that?"



And Tuck's realization that shiela *isn't* his mother.

Shiela bringing up the oath is interesting too. I don't think she did it to bring about the reavtion Tuck had to it.

One other detail that seems wrong is shiela's comment about thinking that Tuck doesn't trust her.

There's no *way* a properly trained therapist (and I can't see Dana recommending one who wasn't trained and didn't have some sort of clue) would expect a teen who had explicitly stated he was there only because his parent required it and who then insisted upon something like that oath to trust her very far.

Yes, I suppose that after the oath, she might expect more trust, but that sort of thing takes time. And it hasn't been that long.

I do agree that she doesn't understand Tuck. But given how unusual Tuck is in so many ways, that isn't surprising.

One thing that I hope may eventually come out of this is tuck stays in therapy and actually tries to work with Shiela is that he may eventually understand just how far his worldview is from most people.

I don't expect him to change his too drastically, but hopefully he'll at least get a grasp of what fundamental assumptions differ between them. Which may make it easier for him to deal with "mundanes".




[Updated on: Mon, 21 August 2006 18:07]

Re: Tuck 119 [message #4709] Mon, 21 August 2006 18:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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rachel.greenham wrote on Sun, 20 August 2006 13:11


Talking of Sheila earning her money, I have to wonder after this chapter if she's going to be afraid for Tuck's safety in that household. Sarah is becoming increasingly unstable, it seems. She's losing it now. They're basically having to trank her down just to get anything approaching normal, proportionate behaviour out of her.


Yeah. Then again, she's got reason to believe that trying to force anything on them would be a bad idea. Even if most "children's services" divisions in most states *were* equipped to deal with something as weird as Tuck, trying to get them involved would make the family move out of state.

rachel.greenham

And Tuck's palpable, and this time outright declared fear of her, of disproportionate retribution, can't possibly have been lost on Sheila, if she's of any worth at all.


Yeah, but what she can *do* about it other than try to steer things to get *Sarah* to consider changing....


rachel.greenham

As well as, of course, that he seems to expect to be punished at least as much for telling the truth as she actually saw him being punished for a - very ordinary for teenagers looking for a little space in their lives - lie.


Yeah, that rule is *incredibly* blind to reality. I expect that Sarah talked Bill into it as he seems to have a better grip on reality than that.

rachel.greenham

And Tuck possibly needs some education about rights. He doesn't have the right to not get rained on in wet weather, but he has the right not to be assaulted. He doesn't seem to see that. Shows a worrying lack of a sense of belonging to a civic society. Sheila's got to worry where that comes from.


I have to disagree with you there.

An education regarding rights won't do Tuck any good whatsoever. Because the rights in question are almost entirely *theory* rather than fact in his situation.

Women have a right to not be raped. That has *nothing* to do with whether or not it's a good idea to be alone in some parts of a city at night.

Yes, it *should* be different. But that has no bearing on what is and isn't a wise decision.

His right to not get assualted, like mine when I was his age) is far more theory than reality. The laws say it's assualt. But that doesn't mean the police will make an arrest or that the DA will file charges.




This is a dysfunctional family.
[/quote]
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4710] Mon, 21 August 2006 19:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Cate
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Dora posited the possiblity that Sarah hits Tuck, and a physical confrontation between them ensues. What I see as beginning more likely is a physical encounter involving Sarah and Sheila.
I think that after processing Tucks revelation that assholes and beatings are universal phenomena like rain; Sheila will come to the conclusion that Tuck fears his mother more than the "Inevitable" next beating.
When she shares this with Bill and Sarah, I can see Sarah taking a poke at Sheila. Unless I miss my guess, Sarah's "always react with hostility shtick" is probably wearing real thin with the therapist. I could see her very easily responding in kind, and mousing up Momma Tucker's eye, or fattening her lip. Or, even worse, threatening to bring Protective Services into the act.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4711] Mon, 21 August 2006 20:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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When Sheila shares that revelation with Tuck's parents I can see Sarah jumping up and start yelling. Sheila might bounce up and pop Sarah one, after which Bill separates them. I can also see Sheila just folding her arms and waiting with ill-concealed impatience until Sarah runs down, after which she asks if Sarah's aware of what she just did and how Sarah could think that Tuck would talk to her unless he's forced to. It might take a couple of iterations but eventually Sarah might get the message (or grow too hoarse to keep yelling, but I doubt it).

I can see Valerie and the girls hanging out in the basement eating pizza when Sarah comes in. Sarah starts up and somebody asks, "Are you going to have some pizza or did you just want to yell at Valerie some more? 'Cause if you are then we're going over to Sabrina's. Valerie, too."

It's too bad that both Tuck's and Sarah's meds don't mix well with alcohol. I think that the whole group getting a little sloshed together might be useful.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4712] Mon, 21 August 2006 23:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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Quote:

At the same time, I think spending some "Val time" in a situation that isn't as stressful as babysitting has become might be good for Tuck.

No way. They are going to be bugging Tuck, asking him what's going on. He's sick and not going to feel like talking or socializing. If anything, this event may cement Tuck's decision to stop being Val. Why should Tuck be Val if it only complicates his life and adds more pain?

The only good that might come from it would be if he got some one on one quiet time with one or more of the girls. That might get tuck to open up, and maybe deal with the emotions that Sheila saw seething. But I wouldn't expect any revelations coming from any of this.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4713] Mon, 21 August 2006 23:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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Quote:

What I see as beginning more likely is a physical encounter involving Sarah and Sheila.


I don't see Sheila as ever doing anything through violence. Sarah probably only abuses verbally and never resorts to physical abuse. But if Tuck felt threatened, or maybe has a night terror...

What I see is Sarah getting on a rant, and violently gesturing or something, and somehow it triggers Tuck's defensive mode. Now, Sarah could see this and freak out at the sight of that kind of primal fear in the eyes of her own child. Or she could not realize what's going on, Tuck makes some motion, she freaks out and responds. Tuck would make the first move, but it would be Sarah who's the aggressor, if that makes sense.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4714] Tue, 22 August 2006 04:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lurker
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Rachel wrote...

This is a dysfunctional family

During the therapy session, other than Sarah being extremely frustrated with Tuck, IMHO, I don't see her being overreactive, nor do I think Tuck/Val is ever in any danger of any physical abuse by Sarah. If Sarah were out of control, I believed she would have started in on Tuck before they got to therapy with Sheila.
From 119

"Damnit, Eugene..." Mom started, then lost it, and just shook her head and wiped her face as she turned away. "I didn't want you to get hurt..."
"Mom..." I just did not know what to say. "I'm sorry," I finally said, which was pitifully small.

Two points here-
1. Pulling from classic Jane Thompson themes, Jane's MO is to try and extract a reaction of tears from her charges as a way of channeling emotion away from violent reactions. One might say that Sarah channelled her anger here. What's also interesting is that Tuck's empathy towards Sarah got an "I'm sorry" out of Tuck - an act of remorse.
2. "I didn't want you to get hurt..." Is Sarah linking the cause of Tuck's attack to being Val? This may be an ominous clue of Sarah's feelings about Val.

Tuck's fear of having to deal with Sarah when she's angry seems to be a normal child's reaction to a parent's anger. All we have seen is Tuck's view towards Sarah's anger, fear and the dread of it's confrontation- no evidence nor any indication by Ellen that neither Sarah nor Bill ever used corporal punishment on the kids, just fines and grounding. BTW, Sarah's slapping Val at the Mall was an emotional reaction to being lied to, not corporal punishment. If the fear reaction wasn't there, I am pretty certain that Tuck, Susan and Brian would be wholly uncontrollable by the Sarah and Bill. Sarah just plays the bad irrational cop with the kids.
The family is odd because of their survivalist mentality, but I hardly see it as dysfunctional.

Maybe I just grew up in a dysfunctional family and see this one as enviably normal... Sad
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4715] Tue, 22 August 2006 12:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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Maybe I just grew up in a dysfunctional family and see this one as enviably normal... Sad


Maybe. I refuse to count parental behaviour that makes a kid feel this bad about themselves as non-dysfunctional. They have a concept of "weird but okay", which is fine, but this is not okay.

And Sarah doesn't play the irrational cop. She's clearly irrational, and Tuck is scared of her. Do kids get that scared of parents who just shout and lecture? She's unpredictable, and Tuck's clearly, clearly said (to us) in the past that violent action wouldn't be out of pattern. It doesn't need her to have actually pounded on the kids for the fear itself to cause lasting damage. What sort of parent/child relationship is that?

By the way:

lurker

BTW, Sarah's slapping Val at the Mall was an emotional reaction to being lied to, not corporal punishment.


And that was brilliant, the way that planned out. I completely bought how she reacted then. But we're beyond that now.

It's a sign of good writing that these characters make me angry. But I am so disappointed in Sarah Tucker. I expected more of her than this. She should know better. She should be more intelligent than this. I knew when I was writing T^2 that I was being optimistic in the way I portrayed her there - I even had Valerie mention that things didn't go well with her mother, though I didn't go into any detail at the time - but I must say I did think she had some capacity for insight and compassion. Some ability to recognise what's actually going on and not take her child's problems as a personal affront. She's being disappointingly stupid. And Bill, who's shown some clue, is being dissapointingly weak in the face of the damage Sarah's doing to her child right now.

I want to shake her and slap her and yell at her 'don't you see what you're doing? You're going to drive your second child away as well!' Wouldn't do any good of course.

Remembering Susan's attitudes to the parentals, in particular stuff she said when Tuck first ran away in April. It does make me wonder what happened when Susan got raped, because judging by this performance I bet Sarah and Bill made her fucking pay. They probably made the whole aftermath about ten times worse than it had to be. Their supportiveness was presumably such that she couldn't wait to move out just as soon as she was able. And I bet Tuck will move out just as soon as he's able too. And once she was out of reach, they took it out on the remaining kids, laying down rules that were really traps, to try to legislate out 'stupid' behaviour, like being a rape victim.

And all these broken rules they're punishing him for - they didn't get him attacked. No harm was done. Not least because he wasn't stupid and he was surrounded by good friends that his parents are now doing their best to push away. He was attacked doing precisely what he should have been doing: going to school.

But okay, there's a perceived threat to the family, but I think it's pretty shitty to force male social conformity on your intersexed kid because you're afraid of the comeback. Maybe that's Freehold mentality. Can they seriously be thinking that he could have announced in advance that he was going to explore his gender and sexuality, when he didn't have the slightest idea what he was doing himself? Yet they're punishing him for not doing so, which, because it was impossible for him to do so, means they're really punishing him for the exploration itself, no matter what they say. It's an irrational punishment, I can't see it engendering much long-term respect.

ISTR Susan offered to Tuck to call her if the parents get too difficult. I wonder if Tuck remembers. OTOH I was disappointed that she didn't get more of what was going on and act on it after Valerie was busted and she came back.

Brooke

I have to disagree with you there.

An education regarding rights won't do Tuck any good whatsoever. Because the rights in question are almost entirely *theory* rather than fact in his situation.

Women have a right to not be raped. That has *nothing* to do with whether or not it's a good idea to be alone in some parts of a city at night.

Yes, it *should* be different. But that has no bearing on what is and isn't a wise decision.

His right to not get assualted, like mine when I was his age) is far more theory than reality. The laws say it's assualt. But that doesn't mean the police will make an arrest or that the DA will file charges.


I think you missed my point. Knowing you have rights doesn't mean never taking basic precautions. I'm not talking about this in a preventative way. I'm talking about afterwards; now. To take your example, it may be unwise for a woman to be alone in some parts of a city at night, but that doesn't mean she deserves to be raped as a consequence; it doesn't mean she was asking for it, and it doesn't make it her fault.

But Tuck feels it's his fault he got attacked. To be fair, no other character wants him to feel that way, but he still does, and the roots of that need to be got at.

Brooke

Yeah. Then again, she's got reason to believe that trying to force anything on them would be a bad idea. Even if most "children's services" divisions in most states *were* equipped to deal with something as weird as Tuck, trying to get them involved would make the family move out of state.


Um, are you saying that if you're an abuser and suspicions are raised in one state you can just cross a state line and carry on? Because that's so braindead I don't believe it. Wouldn't it become a federal case at that point?


Rachel
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4716] Tue, 22 August 2006 13:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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What makes me think Sarah might do something stupid is the story of Sarah getting upset while holding a gun. When she's upset she isn't thinking to the point that she'll point a gun at people without thinking. I could see her doing something threatening to Tuck without realizing it.

As for that slap, that might be enough of a physical attack that tuck would go off on her. If she gets on a role, tuck decides he's not going to take it and talks back, she goes to slap him... Who knows what would happen.

Looking at the story of Sarah with the gun also makes me question how she sees Bill. Could she see Bill how everyone sees Tuck? Nice and gentle until he freaks out everyone by going extremely violent.

Also, wasn't Sarah a big time feminist in college? Feminists REALLY don't like the idea of transsexuals. Tuck being a woman is an assault on feminism, at the same time she's worried she caused him to act that way. Susan's rape probably confirmed a lot of Sarah's irrational hate of men which is why we get lots of irrational rules. Hmm, anyone think that maybe Sarah has some sexual history she's running away from? There are lots of simple reasons for Sarah to be irrational about Tuck.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4717] Tue, 22 August 2006 13:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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A state would have to pursue through courts someone who crossed state lines in such a situation. It's unlikely the Feds would get involved. US states have independence that is hard to understand, sometimes. Changing states to avoid troubles with the law is a time-honored US tradition, embodied in the joke, "We don't have an extradition treaty with Idaho." (Or whatever state someone just moved to.)

- Erin
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4718] Tue, 22 August 2006 13:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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Doragoon wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 18:07

Also, wasn't Sarah a big time feminist in college? Feminists REALLY don't like the idea of transsexuals.


That somewhat tars all feminists with one brush. Yeah, there are 'essentialist' feminists like that, but they're on the radical fringe. Or the fascist fringe, in fact.

Then again, saying equal pay for women is a good thing is a feminist standpoint, so there are going to be people who want to discredit that standpoint by equating them with the 'all men are rapists, all art is penises... except ours' fascists.

Not to say Sarah wasn't one of them... Smile

Doragoon"

Hmm, anyone think that maybe Sarah has some sexual history she's running away from? There are lots of simple reasons for Sarah to be irrational about Tuck.


I could buy that.


Rachel
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4719] Tue, 22 August 2006 20:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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lurker wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 01:13


Tuck's fear of having to deal with Sarah when she's angry seems to be a normal child's reaction to a parent's anger. All we have seen is Tuck's view towards Sarah's anger, fear and the dread of it's confrontation- no evidence nor any indication by Ellen that neither Sarah nor Bill ever used corporal punishment on the kids, just fines and grounding. BTW, Sarah's slapping Val at the Mall was an emotional reaction to being lied to, not corporal punishment. If the fear reaction wasn't there, I am pretty certain that Tuck, Susan and Brian would be wholly uncontrollable by the Sarah and Bill. Sarah just plays the bad irrational cop with the kids.
The family is odd because of their survivalist mentality, but I hardly see it as dysfunctional.

Maybe I just grew up in a dysfunctional family and see this one as enviably normal... Sad


Sorry, but the level of fear tuck has of Sarah's anger is *way* beyond anything normal.

He's not "afraid" of it, he's *terrified* of it.

Corporal punishment has little to do with it.

My mom had some things in common with Sarah when she got mad. She did use corporal punishment. But that wasn't what scared me. It hurt, but it was over quickly.

What scared the hell out of me was the *rage* and the "out of control" vibes. I'm 51. And certain tones of voice *still* make me want to crawl into a corner and hide.

Purely *emotional* abuse (which, btw, can be done to a kid with the best of intentions) can mess a kid up pretty badly. I've got some PTSD from way back then. Reinforced by a few jerks I worked for over the years. Sad

Perhaps didn't notice it when Tuck said that he'd *rather* get beaten than endure one of Sarah's lectures. That's more than a little telling.

Basically, her lectures aren't merely "you screwed up". they are "you're a 'bad' person because you screwed up". For various values of "bad". Repeat that often enough, especially in a stressful situation, and the person you are telling it to comes to believe it.

Sarah can have the best intentions in the world but still be scaring the hell out of Tuck and messing up his mind as well.

As with my mom, all it takes is a bad mismatch between "personalities" of the parent and child and measures that the parent would expect to produce a positive change in the kid will instead mess the kid up. Sad



Re: Tuck 119 [message #4720] Tue, 22 August 2006 20:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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rachel.greenham wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 09:11

Brooke

I have to disagree with you there.

An education regarding rights won't do Tuck any good whatsoever. Because the rights in question are almost entirely *theory* rather than fact in his situation.

Women have a right to not be raped. That has *nothing* to do with whether or not it's a good idea to be alone in some parts of a city at night.

Yes, it *should* be different. But that has no bearing on what is and isn't a wise decision.

His right to not get assualted, like mine when I was his age) is far more theory than reality. The laws say it's assualt. But that doesn't mean the police will make an arrest or that the DA will file charges.


I think you missed my point. Knowing you have rights doesn't mean never taking basic precautions. I'm not talking about this in a preventative way. I'm talking about afterwards; now. To take your example, it may be unwise for a woman to be alone in some parts of a city at night, but that doesn't mean she deserves to be raped as a consequence; it doesn't mean she was asking for it, and it doesn't make it her fault.

But Tuck feels it's his fault he got attacked. To be fair, no other character wants him to feel that way, but he still does, and the roots of that need to be got at.


I've had this agrument with people before. Apparently, Tuck and I define "fault" differently than you do.

My being at fault for doing something stupid that gets me beaten, raped or whatever is *entirely independent* of the guilt of the party that attacked me.

The attacker is "at fault" in a *legal* sense. I am "at fault" for failure to think.

If I'm in a crosswalk and get hit by a driver running a red light, he's 100% at fault for running the light.

But if I didn't look before stepping off the curb *I* am at fault as well, even if the law doesn't see it that way.

My responsibility or *my* actions doesn't "connect" with his responsibility for his actions.

Same thing with Tuck saying it was his fault. He's saying that if he'd remembered to follow normal procedure, he wouldn't have been attacked in that bathroom.

That in no way excuses or lessens the actions of his attackers. It's just a simple statement of *fact*.

rachel.greenham wrote

Brooke

Yeah. Then again, she's got reason to believe that trying to force anything on them would be a bad idea. Even if most "children's services" divisions in most states *were* equipped to deal with something as weird as Tuck, trying to get them involved would make the family move out of state.


Um, are you saying that if you're an abuser and suspicions are raised in one state you can just cross a state line and carry on? Because that's so braindead I don't believe it. Wouldn't it become a federal case at that point?



Nope. That's purely *state* law. And good thing, too.

I know people who moved out of state because relatives who didn't approve of their religion (they were Wiccan) kept siccing CPS on them. And before you ask, yes, people *have* had their kids taken away for being Wiccan.

Unless you can *prove* sexual or physical abuse, you aren't going to be able to extradite the parents from another state.

If there are actual *charges* filed, that'd be different.

And given the reputation that CPS in most states has for over-reacting, nobody is likely to listen to them when it amounts to "she's scaring the kid by yelling at him"

On another topic... your comments about Susan's offer got me thinking. Didn't the Laniers make one as well?

And if Tuck and the Parkers can "work things out" tuck would have a job, meaning that he might be able to apply for "emancipated minor" status.

Sarah would fight it. But I'm not sure Bill would.

On the other hand, he thinks that *both* Tuck and Sarah are wrong.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4721] Tue, 22 August 2006 20:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lurker
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rachel.greenham wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 09:11

But Tuck feels it's his fault he got attacked. To be fair, no other character wants him to feel that way, but he still does, and the roots of that need to be got at.

The kind of fault that Tuck feels he's committed is not the victim kind - it's the failure to secure himself, which he felt he should be able to control. Tuck sees this failure like someone who lost a ball game, or blew an exam. He didn't work hard enough to succeed.
From 119 - Tucks to Be Me

"How is that your fault?"
"I was in the wrong place at the wrong time! I should've held it until I was in a safer place!"
"Eugene, why do you think you're to blame?"
"What?! Who the fuck said I was to blame? I didn't tell them to come and fuck me up?"
"But you just said-"


It's clear Sheila doesn't understand that Tuck never blamed himself about the attack. You can tell she was all set to console him about avoiding the "victim blames self" syndrome. When, in fact, Tuck doesn't see himself as a victim, but rather he was dealing with his "natural" enemies. We as readers of this story may think this is just peculiar to Tuck because of his "condition" - but take a step back here... Brian was taught the same values, it's just that this is a story about Tuck. I am sure Brian has his own "natural" enemies.
Tuck sees himself as a participant in a war of sorts, he doesn't consider himself a "civilian". Hence, he wants to go back to school to protect his friends. Besides family, on his side in this "war" is Mike, Da Boyz, members of the Pack , and now the Little Siblings. This loyalty will cause him future grief.
From 108 - Paranoid Eyes


"Dad?" he rasped.
"Yeah?"
"I didn't..." Eugene sucked hard on the oxy mask. "I didn't make it. I fucked it up; I lost."
"You did pretty damned well, considering," Bill answered honestly, a little surprised that he should be worrying about something like this. "Encumbered, four to one, small enclosed area, ambushed..."
"I sucked," he spat bitterly. "I should've-"
Bill interrupted, "The situation sucked. You said you got at least one of them, maybe two or three, with good hits, right? And you're alive now. Sometimes... Sometimes the situation sucks, Eugene. Sometimes, you're outnumbered, outgunned, and trapped, and the best you can do is fight until you go down. Which you did." He sat on the bed next to his son and put an arm around him, not surprised to find that his son was silently weeping.
*Tanner, Chevas, Monroe...* Sometimes all you could do was die,the best way you could. He'd seen it happen to his friends.
"Sometimes it's all you can do," he said thickly, and then he wasn't sure who was comforting who.

We can see Bill never recovered from his post traumatic stress from his days in Nam and has transferred this paranoia and survivalist mentality onto his family. Bill is teaching his children that ultimately their absolute survival is a personal responsibility, no one elses - society, even with the best intentions, will at some point fail the individual. Note that Bill clearly pointed out to Tuck that Tuck did his best, and it was not a failure considering the odds. A downside lesson for Tuck is that Bill may have unwittingly encouraged the concept that sacrifice is permissible if you took more from them than they took from you. Whether Bill and Sarah meant to or not, it looks they brought up Tuck to think like a soldier.

Hmmm, I wonder if Ellen sleeps with a gun under her pillow? Rolling Eyes

[Updated on: Tue, 22 August 2006 21:09]

Re: Tuck 119 [message #4722] Tue, 22 August 2006 21:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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Doragoon wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 10:07

Also, wasn't Sarah a big time feminist in college? Feminists REALLY don't like the idea of transsexuals. Tuck being a woman is an assault on feminism, at the same time she's worried she caused him to act that way. Susan's rape probably confirmed a lot of Sarah's irrational hate of men which is why we get lots of irrational rules. Hmm, anyone think that maybe Sarah has some sexual history she's running away from? There are lots of simple reasons for Sarah to be irrational about Tuck.


*Some* feminists have a problem with transexuals. They are the same radical fringe that leads to comments like "feminazi".

For what it's worth, Saturday the Michigan Womens Music Festival actually let in a transwoman who had tol;d them she was trans when she bought the ticket.

They are now busily claiming they never had a policy against transexuals.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4723] Tue, 22 August 2006 23:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lurker
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Brooke wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 17:01

Sorry, but the level of fear tuck has of Sarah's anger is *way* beyond anything normal.

Not meant to be glib - seriously, what's normal? Many friends at work will describe a parent reacting with extreme behaviour when they've misbehaved as kids. Show me a "milk toast" parent and I'll bet you one of their kids was in jail at some time...
Rachel.Greenham wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 09:11

It's a sign of good writing that these characters make me angry. But I am so disappointed in Sarah Tucker. I expected more of her than this. She should know better. She should be more intelligent than this.

Should a story such as Tuck have "perfect" parents? Tuck's personality hinge on Sarah and Bill conditioning him to what he is. Others on this thread discuss possibility that Tuck and Sarah reacting physically and violently abusive with each other. I can't see that as a line either would ever cross. Ellen could make it happen, but I don't see it. We would have seen it by now in the 11 months of Tuck time...
Brooke wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 17:01


My mom had some things in common with Sarah when she got mad....What scared the hell out of me was the *rage* and the "out of control" vibes. I'm 51. And certain tones of voice *still* make me want to crawl into a corner and hide... Basically, her lectures aren't merely "you screwed up". they are "you're a 'bad' person because you screwed up"

So did my mom, also my dad. As kids, if we misbehaved, Mom would whack us with a feather duster handle made of splintered bamboo -Dad used his belt. We never went on picnics, to ball games, nor camping nor did any of the so called family social things. Dad worked his own business 7 days a week - Mom help him when she wasn't working. All punishments were accompanied by verbal haranguing on how worthless we were for all the neighbors to hear...Do we have mental head scars from way parents dealt with us as kids - probably, so what? Looking back, they probably thought they really meant well - btw, Mom was a grade school teacher before she married dad ... wouldn't touch her students - her own kids were fair game though...
At 80,Mom now has Alzheimers (you and I same age...something about the 60's maybe?) still yells at me and yet doesn't remember my age despite looking directly at me- she thinks I'm in high school. Got her on drugs to keep her calm. We hope she doesn't burn down the house while we're working. Dad is bedridden - my brother and I bathe him every 2 days, change his diapers every 3 hours...24/7 (I got permission to go home during work hours to do this), hand feed him three minced meals every day, going on two and half years now... and he curses us while we're doing this.
We don't plan to put them in elder care as long as we can physically do it. Psychologically, it would be a relief if we did - siblings discuss this alot. But, they wouldn't last a week there - grandparents didn't. Mom goes ballistic despite the drugs when suggestion of "hired" help is brought up. Life lesson is this: You don't abandon family.
I believe we're normal. Yeah, it really sucks, it's life - we deal.

So will Tuck, so will Brian, so will Susan - that's why I think the Tuckers are normal, in fact, better than normal...

[Updated on: Wed, 23 August 2006 20:42]

Re: Tuck 119 [message #4724] Wed, 23 August 2006 04:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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lurker wrote on Wed, 23 August 2006 04:03

Brooke wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 17:01

Sorry, but the level of fear tuck has of Sarah's anger is *way* beyond anything normal.

Not meant to be glib - seriously, what's normal?


For 'normal' read 'non-toxic' maybe. Which I'll define simply as the child taking less damage in their care than out of it.

"lurker continued

Many friends at work will describe a parent reacting with extreme behaviour when they've misbehaved as kids.


Except here I think the infractions being punished have more than a flavour of being a proxy, a pretext, for punishing Tuck for being who she is. Sarah is out looking for stuff to punish.

"lurker continued

Show me a "milk toast" parent and I'll bet you one of their kids was in jail at some time...


define: "milk toast parent"

lurker continued

Rachel.Greenham wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 09:11

It's a sign of good writing that these characters make me angry. But I am so disappointed in Sarah Tucker. I expected more of her than this. She should know better. She should be more intelligent than this.

Should a story such as Tuck have "perfect" parents?


I don't expect them to be perfect. I just expected better of them than this. I expected more intelligence.

[Updated on: Wed, 23 August 2006 05:29]


Rachel
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4725] Wed, 23 August 2006 05:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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Brooke wrote on Wed, 23 August 2006 01:40

On another topic... your comments about Susan's offer got me thinking. Didn't the Laniers make one as well?


Yes, but I'm not convinced that's what Tuck needs.

"Brooke mentioned"

And if Tuck and the Parkers can "work things out" tuck would have a job, meaning that he might be able to apply for "emancipated minor" status.

Sarah would fight it. But I'm not sure Bill would.

On the other hand, he thinks that *both* Tuck and Sarah are wrong.


I think that's the best idea yet, although I don't expect the babysitting job will be enough to live off. OTOH without the overhead of fines payable for normal teenage behaviour it might just work. Smile

Maybe they'll go for it because it gets the family off the hook - if there's such an objection to the existence of Valerie because of a perceived threat to the family...

[Updated on: Wed, 23 August 2006 05:22]


Rachel
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4726] Wed, 23 August 2006 20:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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Brooke wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 18:03

*Some* feminists have a problem with transexuals. They are the same radical fringe that leads to comments like "feminazi".

For what it's worth, Saturday the Michigan Womens Music Festival actually let in a transwoman who had tol;d them she was trans when she bought the ticket.

They are now busily claiming they never had a policy against transexuals.


Alas, they've changed their minds again...

They are back to the "womyn born womyn" doctrine...

Sad
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4727] Wed, 23 August 2006 21:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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lurker wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 20:03

Brooke wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 17:01

Sorry, but the level of fear tuck has of Sarah's anger is *way* beyond anything normal.

Not meant to be glib - seriously, what's normal? Many friends at work will describe a parent reacting with extreme behaviour when they've misbehaved as kids. Show me a "milk toast" parent and I'll bet you one of their kids was in jail at some time...


Rachel already covered some of this.

Brooke wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 17:01


My mom had some things in common with Sarah when she got mad....What scared the hell out of me was the *rage* and the "out of control" vibes. I'm 51. And certain tones of voice *still* make me want to crawl into a corner and hide... Basically, her lectures aren't merely "you screwed up". they are "you're a 'bad' person because you screwed up"

So did my mom, also my dad. As kids, if we misbehaved, Mom would whack us with a feather duster handle made of splintered bamboo -Dad used his belt. We never went on picnics, to ball games, nor camping nor did any of the so called family social things. Dad worked his own business 7 days a week - Mom help him when she wasn't working. All punishments were accompanied by verbal haranguing on how worthless we were for all the neighbors to hear...Do we have mental head scars from way parents dealt with us as kids - probably, so what? Looking back, they probably thought they really meant well - btw, Mom was a grade school teacher before she married dad ... wouldn't touch her students - her own kids were fair game though...[/quote]

My mom was a retired teacher. Which I'm sure had something to do with the problems.

But your argument has a common but *fatal* flaw. It assumes that the same treatment of different kids will produce the same results.

Alas, this isn't true. Incidents that one person will shrug off will mess up someone else for life.

lurker wrote

At 80,Mom now has Alzheimers (you and I same age...something about the 60's maybe?)


Doubtful. My mom was born in 1909 (and has been dead for 10 years or so)

lurker wrote

But, they wouldn't last a week there - grandparents didn't. Mom goes ballistic despite the drugs when suggestion of "hired" help is brought up. Life lesson is this: You don't abandon family.


Given that my mom dropped me like a hot potato when I go in trouble at 17, I can't agree with that.

Heck, even before that, her solution to my being too big to beat on anymore (demonstrated the day I realized I *could* take the switch away from her and then did so) was that the *next* time we had a blowup, I got home from school to find the doors all locked and my kid brother under orders not to let me in.

I was able to get in on my own after she was asleep. Next morning just got ignored. The next afternoon, when I got home, everything was "ok".

First chance I got after that, I grabbed the spare set of keys I knew she had and made duplicates at the hardware store.

This went on for a couple of years. And there were times when it'd be *days* before she'd acknowledge me. My dinner during those periods was frequently cold canned food swiped from the shelves in the basement after I snuck in late at night.

Then I got into trouble with the law. And didn't want me back in the house.

lurker wrote

I believe we're normal. Yeah, it really sucks, it's life - we deal.

So will Tuck, so will Brian, so will Susan - that's why I think the Tuckers are normal, in fact, better than normal...


Alas, some people *don't* "deal". And Tuck, while dealing fairly well with the attack is *not* dealing at all well with his parents.

He's well into the "unable to function normally" range that is one of the definitions of mental disorders.

The Val stuff is odd, but not a disorder. He doesn't have a problem with it, and the only way it interferes with his life is the switching and having to hide it.

The stuff at school is causing some problems. He's showing signs of stress disorders. And Sarah makes those *worse*. As well as creates problems on her own.

Tucks *automatic* assumption that they hate him is a telling symptom. So are a few of his other reactions.

It's normal for kids to think their parents over-react. It's normal for them to think their parents are being unfair. But Tuck's feelings on the matter are well outside "normal". And with at least some justification.

It's not *remotely* "normal", much less *good* for a kid to be *terrified* of a parent.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4728] Wed, 23 August 2006 22:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lurker
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rachel.greenham wrote on Wed, 23 August 2006 01:46


define: "milk toast parent"

Mundane, boring, unengaging, self-rightious. From their perspective, they think they are doing something. Kids tune them out - hence do their own thing and become rebellious or undisciplined.
------
From Tuck the Story perspective (Chapter 45: Tuck Stop), you sort of have that in Bill growing up in an overbearing religious family or cult and gets out by joining the Marines. Somewhat rebellious to authority until Lanier straightens Bill out. Later in Bill's life, you have Mike involved so tightly with the Tuckers, he's almost family - makes you wonder if Bill providing a psychological "safe haven" for Mike from his preacher father, not just because of Mike's close relationship to Tuck. Also one wonders how Mike would turn out without Tuck and the Tuckers (sounds like a band! Smile )
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4729] Wed, 23 August 2006 23:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lurker
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Brooke wrote on Wed, 23 August 2006 18:20


But your argument has a common but *fatal* flaw. It assumes that the same treatment of different kids will produce the same results.)

I don't believe I made such an assumption or assertion. You need to flip the perspective here, I am saying that Sarah's behaviour will not necessarily cause Tuck being screwed up for life. If Tuck has debilitating fear of Sarah, would Tuck's pulse go down with Sarah besides him in the hospital after the incident? (Ref Chap 105-The Happiest Days Of Our Lives). Tuck sensed her. Otherwise, they could have just stuck a stuff animal or a dog next to him.
I'm more inclined to believe if Tuck is messed up in the future, it's his relationship to his environment - the stress of the need to be on mental guard at all times for personal safety, whether it be bees or cheerleaders.
Brooke also wrote on Wed, 23 August 2006 18:20


Alas, this isn't true. Incidents that one person will shrug off will mess up someone else for life.)

I agree with you here, and, I guess this is the crux of our differing points. I think Tuck will be OK interacting with Sarah, you don't.
Brooke also wrote on Wed, 23 August 2006 18:20


Doubtful. My mom was born in 1909 (and has been dead for 10 years or so)

Interesting, since you're 51 (as am I, b.1955), your mother was 46 when you were born (mine 30). I sometimes wonder about generational value differences when raising kids...just an idle thought and potentially a great off-topic subject to discuss.
Brooke also wrote on Wed, 23 August 2006 18:20


The Val stuff is odd, but not a disorder. He doesn't have a problem with it, and the only way it interferes with his life is the switching and having to hide it.

...and Tuck must be on constant guard so his latent effeminate mannerisms (due to being Val) doesn't crop up. Mike has been warning him of this...
Brooke also wrote on Wed, 23 August 2006 18:20


Tucks *automatic* assumption that they hate him is a telling symptom. So are a few of his other reactions.


It has been related in the story that Tuck has always been in some altercation or another, for whatever reason (starting with his asthma as a kid), since grade school. Why wouldn't it be automatic? You're not paranoid if "they" are really after you.

The stress is understandable, and probably a large reason for Tuck's reactionary mental state. Unless Ellen explicitly writes something into the story that Sarah is the cause of Tuck's being unstable in any way, I just see Sarah as a passionate personality with respect to her kids with the kids reacting in a equally responsive manner.


-----

Peace. Smile

[Updated on: Wed, 23 August 2006 23:43]

Re: Tuck 119 [message #4730] Thu, 24 August 2006 03:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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lurker wrote on Thu, 24 August 2006 03:04

rachel.greenham wrote on Wed, 23 August 2006 01:46


define: "milk toast parent"

Mundane, boring, unengaging, self-rightious. From their perspective, they think they are doing something. Kids tune them out - hence do their own thing and become rebellious or undisciplined.


It's a logical fallacy to claim that violent harsh disciplinarians are the only other way parents can be. I asked you what you meant because I wondered if 'milk toast parents' was a term that described mine. It doesn't.

My parents never hit, never smacked not onc--- ok, once. My mother lost her temper once and smacked myself and my sister once. And later came up and apologised for that.

And we didn't become rebellious or undisciplined or tune them out, nor did we ever have any problems with the law. OK, I got stopped for speeding a couple of times when I was at college. Smile

And I didn't have to go through any of that fear and self-loathing shit, the ingrained expectation of punishment, when I eventually came out to myself.


Rachel
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4732] Thu, 24 August 2006 04:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Raadsel  is currently offline Raadsel
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While reading through the thread and the rule that sex could only be in the house, I started thinking of the trip with Debbie to LA. Mr. Tucker admitted before Tuck went that he knew that Tuck would have sex, and it appeared from the conversation that Miz Tucker knew that it was likely to happen as well (Chapter 39). Yet, the rule was never brought up nor was it mentioned that Tuck could, at least this time, break the rule. Further, Tuck slips and implies he's already had sex with Debbie, which his father picks up on but doesn't explore. Now, while if this would have happened with his mother she likely would have pushed the issue, the fact is that it's something that the parents (or at least Tuck's father) already knew.

So, assuming this isn't a continuity error, the Tuckers themselves are inconsistent about enforcing this rule with Tuck and it strengthens the idea that Tuck is being fined now because they are looking for ways to punish him.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4733] Thu, 24 August 2006 15:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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lurker said, "Whether Bill and Sarah meant to or not, it looks they brought up Tuck to think like a soldier."

With regard to school, something that really does present many characteristics of a battlefield, Tuck, and to a lesser extent the Boyz and the Pack, are exhibiting many of the martial virtues - unit cohesion, espirit de corps and, at least in Tuck's case, will to combat.

Note that these are characteristics of the soldier, as distinct from those of a warrior.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4734] Thu, 24 August 2006 19:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lurker
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mkemp wrote on Thu, 24 August 2006 12:44

Note that these are characteristics of the soldier, as distinct from those of a warrior.

This brings up a few questions...
1. What do you think Mike and Tuck see themselves as? Soldier or warrior?
2. Mike and Tuck both seem to know a lot about combat tactics. Who is the better strategist? It may seem that Mike is, but it might be just because Tuck has been too preoccupied to focus. I would think that Tuck has superior logic abilities - which I would be willing to say that doesn't necessary translate to better strategy, but may just be enough to turn any situation. Part of good planning requires understanding your enemy's E-quotient (Debbie seems to be the best at this of all the main characters...) - Mike seems to do better with that than Tuck. Example-Mike's ability to manipulate the Parker's thought process when confronted with the Parker's revelation of Val's true nature.

[Updated on: Thu, 24 August 2006 19:11]

Re: Tuck 119 [message #4735] Fri, 25 August 2006 02:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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lurker wrote on Thu, 24 August 2006 16:08
Quote:


This brings up a few questions...
1. What do you think Mike and Tuck see themselves as? Soldier or warrior?
2. Mike and Tuck both seem to know a lot about combat tactics. Who is the better strategist?... Mike seems to do better with that (E-quotient) than Tuck. Example-Mike's ability to manipulate the Parker's thought process when confronted with the Parker's revelation of Val's true nature.


I think that Mike and Tuck see themselves as heroic warriors, but they act like soldiers. The difference here is that warriors fight for glory or loot or fun and soldiers fight because they have to, and they do it whatever way gives them the biggest chance of bringing themselves and their comrades home. Paraphrased from Bill Mauldin, there's precious little glory in shooting enemies in the back or blowing them up with mines but soldiers kill or maim their enemies in the most efficient manner possible. Note that a mercenary who looks upon it as a job is a soldier.

I agree that Mike is probably better than Tuck at understanding the E-quotient, and my uninformed opinion is that Mike has the example of his minister father. Ministers make their living by manipulating others (mostly with good intentions but the results, whether good or ill, is another bucket of snakes and outside the scope of this discussion).
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4736] Fri, 25 August 2006 08:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
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Been out of computer contact; this thread's given me a lot to think about. But in the meantime...

A few points:
- First time in a long time that we've seen Ellen push the music-as-therapy-for-Tuck concept. I figured Jack and the band had left the story, having served their purpose and being awkwardly old for Val and the Pack socially. Now I'm a lot less sure of that; we're looking, after all, for a new potential oasis for Val, and onstage (and rehearsing) with Stepwise Pagoda might qualify.

- Unless I'm missing something or it's someone outside of the peer group, Debbie, Kathy and Lisa are the only ones who could have driven Tuck's stick-shift car home at Mike's request. (Actually, George was presumably driving farm equipment during the summer, which makes him a possibility.)

- Can't understand why Mike isn't reacting at all to Val's self-destructive behavior re Travis, without their establishing any of the facts or checking his voicemail (if Travis has indeed had access to it).

- FWIW, the Pack, having heard about Travis and Anne last night (or the night before, if Kathy drove the car home that night and Mike explained why), may well have had a chance to check on it through Debbie and might have some information for Tuck tonight. (On the other hand, if Lisa is their McAllen connection, there's a possibility that they might not get the straight story, assuming she's still vengeful.)

- It seems barely possible that Kim's mysterious disappearance fits here somewhere, though I can't believe she and Mike would dare have her pick up Travis and bring him to the Tucker house in expectation of a tearful reunion.

- The vampire scene is the first I can recall from Tuck or Val's perspective where we're in no position to judge whether anything really happened. It seems equally plausible as a dream, a drug-related nonevent or a couple of goth guys wandering over to the car and taking their cues from Val's comments.

- Others here have made the same observation, but it's amazing to me that Sheila is objecting to Tuck's lack of trust, given her caveat at the time of the oath that she couldn't morally or legally fail to report something illegal or destructive to either his parents or the authorities, and Tuck's response at the time that just about anything he might discuss could be interpreted that way. Suddenly now she's saying that Tuck could have gone into detail with her about Val and she wouldn't have told. That's true, but how would she expect Tuck to know that under those circumstances?

- Did anyone else think at first, when Tuck was reading the firing instructions, that he was contemplating suicide?

- At the rate Tuck's fines are mounting (and will continue to accrue if he admits to something like seven counts of sex with Travis outside the house), even if he wants or needs to quit the babysitting job, he won't be able to afford to.

- When it comes to Debbie trying to manipulate Sarah Tucker like she does everyone else, Ellen seems to have established that either Debbie thinks she can't or she doesn't dare. Given that, could she afford to have listened to Mike about the dire consequences of letting the Tuckers know about the Parkers having outed Tuck? She was over there for hours...

Guess that's enough for now (he wrote, three hours after he started...)

Eric
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4737] Fri, 25 August 2006 11:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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Eric wrote on Fri, 25 August 2006 05:20

Been out of computer contact; this thread's given me a lot to think about. But in the meantime...

A few points:
- First time in a long time that we've seen Ellen push the music-as-therapy-for-Tuck concept. I figured Jack and the band had left the story, having served their purpose and being awkwardly old for Val and the Pack socially. Now I'm a lot less sure of that; we're looking, after all, for a new potential oasis for Val, and onstage (and rehearsing) with Stepwise Pagoda might qualify.

- Can't understand why Mike isn't reacting at all to Val's self-destructive behavior re Travis, without their establishing any of the facts or checking his voicemail (if Travis has indeed had access to it).

- FWIW, the Pack, having heard about Travis and Anne last night (or the night before, if Kathy drove the car home that night and Mike explained why), may well have had a chance to check on it through Debbie and might have some information for Tuck tonight. (On the other hand, if Lisa is their McAllen connection, there's a possibility that they might not get the straight story, assuming she's still vengeful.)

- Did anyone else think at first, when Tuck was reading the firing instructions, that he was contemplating suicide?

- At the rate Tuck's fines are mounting (and will continue to accrue if he admits to something like seven counts of sex with Travis outside the house), even if he wants or needs to quit the babysitting job, he won't be able to afford to.

- When it comes to Debbie trying to manipulate Sarah Tucker like she does everyone else, Ellen seems to have established that either Debbie thinks she can't or she doesn't dare. Given that, could she afford to have listened to Mike about the dire consequences of letting the Tuckers know about the Parkers having outed Tuck? She was over there for hours...

Guess that's enough for now (he wrote, three hours after he started...)

Eric


Responding to some of the points:

-Valerie singing with Stepwise Pagoda was a bit of fanfic that I posted to the Tuck at 24 thread. In Tuck119 Ellen showed Tuck dancing, which seems to have been therapeutic because afterward "Then I realized, while a lot of me hurt, it was more of a muscle ache, and my lungs were relatively clear." Now, if the Pack could just convince both Tuck and Sarah that a girls' night out would be good therapy.... I wonder if Sarah would recognize Valerie at first glance when seeing her as one of the Pack in 'serious party face'.

-AFAIK Travis never had access to Valerie's voice mail. He did have her pager number (and we still don't know what happened to the pager, do we?)

-I'd find it entirely believable for Kathy to bang on Travis' door and demand an explanation before driving Tuck's car home.

-I didn't find "TM 9-1005-221-12P" on the web but I did find this: "Pistol, Caliber .45, Automatic, M1911A1 (National Match) With Adjustable Rear Sight (TM 9-1005-211-12P NM) - This 19 page technical manual provides operator and organizational maintenance...." Tuck isn't thinking Bad Thoughts, he's just doing his equivalent of counting sheep.

-I think that Sheila will point out the inconsistancies in the Tuckers' rules pronouncements and punishments, and may be able to get the crippling fines dismissed. What _does_ happen when one of the Tuckers' prisoners\\\\\\kids can't come up with the dosh to pay the rather arbitrary fines?

-I think Debbie's intimidated by Sarah and doesn't dare try to manipulate her for fear of her reaction.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4738] Sat, 26 August 2006 02:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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Eric wrote on Fri, 25 August 2006 05:20

- Unless I'm missing something or it's someone outside of the peer group, Debbie, Kathy and Lisa are the only ones who could have driven Tuck's stick-shift car home at Mike's request. (Actually, George was presumably driving farm equipment during the summer, which makes him a possibility.)


Actually, one weird thought I had was wondering if it was one of the Parkers. While unlikely, it would bring into play the new factor of them knowing where Val lives.

Yes, there's the question of where they got the info. But I can think of several ways. Including having been told by Tuck's family or friends.

Eric wrote

- Can't understand why Mike isn't reacting at all to Val's self-destructive behavior re Travis, without their establishing any of the facts or checking his voicemail (if Travis has indeed had access to it).


It's not like Mike has had a lot of opportunities to find out anything. And he's *been* pushing Tuck to check voicemail and email.

I also have to wonder what's happened to the pager... I can't help feeling it's going to turn up at the worst time, in the hands of someone who will use it against Tuck.

On the other hand, I suspect that with what's going on with Kelly's revelation, Debbie & Sarah's plans, etc, it may help Tuck rather than hurt him regardless of intent.

Eric wrote

]- FWIW, the Pack, having heard about Travis and Anne last night (or the night before, if Kathy drove the car home that night and Mike explained why), may well have had a chance to check on it through Debbie and might have some information for Tuck tonight. (On the other hand, if Lisa is their McAllen connection, there's a possibility that they might not get the straight story, assuming she's still vengeful.)


Yeah, we've gottrten a *lot* of Lisa-viewpoint thoughts that strongly imply she wants to take Tuck down hard.

Eric wrote

- It seems barely possible that Kim's mysterious disappearance fits here somewhere, though I can't believe she and Mike would dare have her pick up Travis and bring him to the Tucker house in expectation of a tearful reunion.


I could see *Travis* showing up that way if he found out about Val having been in the hospital and somehow got the address of the Tucker house.

I can't see Kim or Mike being dumb enough to tell him the adress.

I *can* see Lisa giving Travis that info hoping that it'll cause trouble for tuck.

Eric wrote

- The vampire scene is the first I can recall from Tuck or Val's perspective where we're in no position to judge whether anything really happened. It seems equally plausible as a dream, a drug-related nonevent or a couple of goth guys wandering over to the car and taking their cues from Val's comments.


I'm fairly sure it was goths or some LARPers getting a *rude* shock.

Eric wrote

- Did anyone else think at first, when Tuck was reading the firing instructions, that he was contemplating suicide?


I was puzzled, then I re-read the paragraph.

He's field stripping a weapon. I'd have to look up the manual number to know which one.

Eric wrote

- At the rate Tuck's fines are mounting (and will continue to accrue if he admits to something like seven counts of sex with Travis outside the house), even if he wants or needs to quit the babysitting job, he won't be able to afford to.


I think Shiela will try to put her foot down when that comes up.

As I've noted, there's no way in hell tuck *could* have followed that rule with regards to Travis.

Re: Tuck 119 [message #4739] Sat, 26 August 2006 02:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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mkemp wrote on Fri, 25 August 2006 08:58

-Valerie singing with Stepwise Pagoda was a bit of fanfic that I posted to the Tuck at 24 thread. In Tuck119 Ellen showed Tuck dancing, which seems to have been therapeutic because afterward "Then I realized, while a lot of me hurt, it was more of a muscle ache, and my lungs were relatively clear." Now, if the Pack could just convince both Tuck and Sarah that a girls' night out would be good therapy.... I wonder if Sarah would recognize Valerie at first glance when seeing her as one of the Pack in 'serious party face'.


Well, there's every indication that the Pack is going to have a slumber party at the Tucker house in 120. That should be more than a little "interesting".

Especially since Mike will be there.

Re: Tuck 119 [message #4740] Sat, 26 August 2006 05:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
maltor  is currently offline maltor
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Given her presence at the park, how does everyone think Kelly is taking the revelation that Tuck was dating Travis. Even if they don't mention his or Anne by name during their efforts to console Tuck, she will have picked up that, until recently, it was a guy that Tuck was dating.

If she sees Tuck more as Val, will she see this as the betrayal of a lesbian role model that's gone hetero?

Has anyone talked to her about the fact that Bill and Sarah don't know about Travis yet? Anyone willing to bet that they find out during the sleepover when they overhear her making some observation or asking a question about Travis?
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4741] Sat, 26 August 2006 06:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
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mkemp wrote on Fri, 25 August 2006 08:58

-AFAIK Travis never had access to Valerie's voice mail. He did have her pager number (and we still don't know what happened to the pager, do we?)

There's some discussion of this in the Tuck 118 thread here. In what might have been a continuity error, Mike has twice asked Tuck/Val to check for voicemail from Travis: once while delivering (via pager) a "don't call him, he'll call you" message the Monday after the Tuckers learned about Val, and again in #118 when Mike urged Val to go through the voicemail before trying to visit him. The possibility existed that if (as always seemed clear to me) Travis had never previously had access to Val's voicemail, then Mike had provided it under the special circumstances of three weeks ago so that Travis could indeed phone Val once he was over his anger over being misled.

With no mention of it in this chaper, Ellen may have returned to the original premise, and Travis might not have a way to reach Val given the absence of the pager.

mkemp, continued

-I'd find it entirely believable for Kathy to bang on Travis' door and demand an explanation before driving Tuck's car home.

But then she'd have said something during the conference call the previous night, or when they all got together. So it's a safe bet that either she didn't drive the car that night, or she didn't know what was going on if she did. (I don't believe she'd recognize Travis's apartment if Mike just gave her an address without providing the reason for Tuck's car being there.)

Only reason I'm worrying about the driver, actually, is because Tuck brought it up twice, and because there does seem to be a severe shortage of people who could have done it without learning something new. (Even Debbie, as we found out in the varying-POV section, doesn't know how serious the Val-Travis relationship had been.)

mkemp, continued

...What _does_ happen when one of the Tuckers' prisoners\\\\\\kids can't come up with the dosh to pay the rather arbitrary fines?

Presumably they'd have to work it off around the house at the subminimum wage that Bill Tucker pays for household chores, with interest accruing. A longer grounding period might also be an option.

mkemp, continued

I think Debbie's intimidated by Sarah and doesn't dare try to manipulate her for fear of her reaction.

So would Sarah have had to ask an unlikely question for the Parkers' new knowledge about Tuck/Val to have leaked out, or would it inevitably come out in the course of the interrogation, if Debbie can't afford to deflect the question?

Eric
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4745] Mon, 28 August 2006 04:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lurker
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Just a nagging thought...
Now, as far as the Bill and Sarah are concerned, they seem to know quite a bit about Valerie's existence, that it extends a lot beyond babysitting (and whatever he admitted the night he was caught at the mall). With the exception of Travis (which BTW, should no longer a big leap for Sarah and Bill to figure out why Tuck admitted he was gay), Tuck is pretty full out to them about Val.
I sense that Sarah's personality includes impatience, such that I don't see Sarah wasting any time in the next 24 hours asking Tuck a single straightforward question (and continually nag him for an answer). Does Tuck want to be Val, or stay as Tuck? She seemed accepting of Tuck when he told her he thought he was gay, so I would think she would accept Val, if that's what Tuck wants to do. How do you think she will approach Tuck with this question? Or, do you all think Sheila told them to lay off of this subject in the near term (yeah, like Sarah would really take this advice... Smile )

[Updated on: Mon, 28 August 2006 04:09]

Re: Tuck 119 [message #4746] Mon, 28 August 2006 05:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
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lurker wrote on Mon, 28 August 2006 01:04

I sense that Sarah's personality includes impatience, such that I don't see Sarah wasting any time in the next 24 hours asking Tuck a single straightforward question (and continually nag him for an answer). Does Tuck want to be Val, or stay as Tuck? She seemed accepting of Tuck when he told her he thought he was gay, so I would think she would accept Val, if that's what Tuck wants to do. How do you think she will approach Tuck with this question? Or, do you all think Sheila told them to lay off of this subject in the near term (yeah, like Sarah would really take this advice... Smile )

I'd disagree on a couple of counts:
One, the original interrogation included that basic question. Tuck insisted, as he has whenever someone's confronted him with this in the past couple of months, that he doesn't consider himself a girl or want to live as one, he just finds relations with others to be easier, more pleasant and less threatening in Valerie-type situations.

Certainly whether that's true is a real question, but pressing the issue seems unlikely to change the answer. And expressed the way I described it, I think even Sarah would have to admit that this would be an awfully stressful time to make unnecessary demands on Tuck. But if I'm wrong on that and she tries, Bill, who DOES know something about priorities in extreme pressure situations, ought to be able to deflect her.

Two, it seems to me that Ellen has made it clear that there's a considerable distinction between Sarah accepting that Tuck is gay and her being able to handle a situation where Tuck is Val.

The section where she couldn't handle watching Val babysit made that clear, and the one later from her POV analyzing it explained the situation further. It wasn't just that Tuck-as-Val was goading Sarah the way she'd provoked her parents at the same age; it was apparent that she really has trouble mentally or emotionally processing the information that her son can emulate femininity really well. (Presumably emotionally: after all, she probably knows more details about Tuck's medical condition than Tuck has allowed himself to consider.)

Eric
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4747] Mon, 28 August 2006 16:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lurker
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parsing what Eric wrote on Mon, 28 August 2006 02:03

I'd disagree on a couple of counts:
One, the original interrogation included that basic question. Tuck insisted, ..., that he doesn't consider himself a girl or want to live as one, he just finds relations with others to be easier, more pleasant and less threatening in Valerie-type situations.
Certainly whether that's true is a real question, but pressing the issue seems unlikely to change the answer.

The kids were taught to think like POWs, give up as little as possible. Sarah (and Bill) certainly know this such that Sarah would conclude that Tuck was not 100% forthcoming in his answers at the first interrogation. I agree, Tuck would unlikely change his answer when confronted the second time - but it's possible. It's just that discussions on this thread about Sarah's "passionate" personality with regard to this situation tempts me to believe she would be compelled to press Tuck - putting more pressure on Tuck, thinking she is helping when, in fact, she is not.
parsing more of what Eric wrote on Mon, 28 August 2006 02:03


Two, it seems to me that Ellen has made it clear that there's a considerable distinction between Sarah accepting that Tuck is gay and her being able to handle a situation where Tuck is Val.
The section where she couldn't handle watching Val babysit made that clear, and the one later from her POV analyzing it explained the situation further. ... it was apparent that she really has trouble mentally or emotionally processing the information that her son can emulate femininity really well.
Eric

But isn't that really just a case of merging the emotional acceptance of the situation with the intellectual (which I think has already occurred)? Don't you think it's just a matter of time for Sarah learn to cope with it? Unlike families which may "disown" their child in such cases, I can't see Sarah ever abandoning Tuck...
Hypothetically, if Tuck were to abruptly say yes, he wants to be Val full time - I don't expect Sarah to immediately say "Great!" and then go to the mall to shop like mother and daughter as with other TG fiction (I'd be very disappointed if it ever went that direction). But rather, she'd want to try to meticulously plan out how to evolve Tuck to Val because she has a controlling personality and wants a resolution to deal with Tuck's condition, one way or the other.

Well, anyways...
Eric votes no...., Lurker- yes....
Anyone else want to throw in their two-bits?
Smile

[Updated on: Mon, 28 August 2006 16:35]

Re: Tuck 119 [message #4750] Tue, 29 August 2006 18:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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Quote:

she'd want to try to meticulously plan out how to evolve Tuck to Val because she has a controlling personality and wants a resolution to deal with Tuck's condition, one way or the other.

I don't see it as a control issue. I think it's more of a fear issue. That and wanting what's best for her child, and wanting to see him happy. It could also be that this is a moment when she realizes that she doesn't really know her child anymore, like with Susan, she probably didn't know that her child was getting into those kinds of situations. Thus it's not that she wants to control her children, she doesn't want them to leave her.

Sarah was probably able to turn Susan's rape into a bonding experience, but tuck's attack isn't working out the same way. Tuck is determined to succeed in spite of her help rather than because of it.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4751] Wed, 30 August 2006 03:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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Doragoon wrote on Tue, 29 August 2006 23:28

Sarah was probably able to turn Susan's rape into a bonding experience...


(my emphases in bold:)

"tuck28 & tuck29"


"Look, do Mom and Dad know where you are?" Susan asked, fairly certain she knew the answer.

"Y- no." Tucker heaved air into his lungs. "They just... they would have wanted to tell me shit, tell me how things aren't so bad, there's a silver lining-"

"-in every dark cloud," Susan sighed. "Oh, God, I know that one. And all the rest of 'em." She looked around. "Well, we should call, at least, to tell 'em you're okay."

Tucker sighed. "You think so?" Susan nodded.


"I need to figure something out," he agreed, then he stopped. "Susan," he said seriously, "I, I... I'm not up here on a joke or something. I needed to get the hell away from everyone, 'cause everyone keeps telling me what to do, what to be, and they don't even know what's going on." Susan could understand that; what she didn't understand was why he had put up with what he had for so long. "I need to figure out what's right for me, okay? Even if nobody else likes it. I DIDN'T mean to run into you, either," he emphasized.

Susan looked at her brother. "Look, Tuck..." She stared at his battered sneakers. "I'm sorry. I know what that's like." She rubbed her eyes, then shook her head. "So, I mean, what are you doing up here anyway? Here as opposed to someplace else, I mean."


"Look, I don't care what everyone else thinks, or anything like that. You already proved you could do this, and," Susan shook her head at the luck he must've had, "and you've got a girlfriend who, God help me, LIKES it. I don't see what you have to worry about!"

"But what about-" he gasped.

"What?"

Tuck took a deep breath, and let it out. "What about Mom and Dad?" he asked, starting to cry even before he got it all out.

Susan sighed. This had been a wet night, almost as bad as the night her high school boyfriend-she-thought-fiance had broken up with her. But she pulled Tuck into her arms again, and held him as he stuttered and sobbed. "I don't care what Mom and Dad think any more," she told herself as much as she was telling him, "and _I_ don't care," which was an outright lie, "whichever way you go. Just don't, you don't have to kill yourself over this, okay?"


"I just, I just didn't know what to do," Tuck explained.

"I know, it's a really big thing," she agreed. As big, maybe even bigger as the abortion she'd had last year, though she still wasn't ready to talk about it, not even now. "Sometimes, you just have to get away and think. I just, I mean..." She sighed, and stopped Tuck by a hand on his arm. "Tuck, just promise me, you'll talk to me, or someone, before you get crazy? I mean, yeah, it sucks what you're going through, but you can't be the only one or they wouldn't already have a name for it, right? So..." She sighed, but forced the words out before he could say anything. "Tuck, I love you, you're my brother, and I don't want to see you die over this. I'll do anything to help you, whatever it takes, okay? Even if Mom and Dad won't, I will. Whatever it takes."


"Mom? Hi, it's Susan- yeah, he's fine." She glanced over at the two girls, and his best friend, clustered around him. "Yeah, everyone made it okay, they're- yes, Mom, he's okay. We just needed to talk some. What?" She put her hand over the mouthpiece of the phone. "Tuck, Mom wants to talk to you..." Tuck made a face and waved his hands at her. "Uh, damnit-" She sighed and put the phone back to her mouth. "Mom, he's exhausted, he said he hadn't slept since Tuesday night- that's what he said, Mom. He looks it too, so what- Mom, they rented a hotel room, and they were going to stay there over- Yes, Mom, he's fine. He just got, he just needed to think about some stuff. I dunno." Susan rolled her eyes. The one thing SHE didn't want to do right now was try and explain things to her parents. It was hard enough to do when she knew what was going on. "Mom, look, we're all exhausted, Tuck's okay, the kids-" That drew some vocal protests, like she knew it would. "-will be back tomorrow as soon as they get some sleep, they have a couple of rooms rented or something- No, Mom, I can't put five of them up, the dorms don't like anyone staying overnight and there's nowhere to put any of 'em. Mom!" she protested. "We'll talk to you tomorrow, okay? Bye." She hung up, and shook herself, like a dog shaking water off, until she'd shaken the stress off. Then she switched the phone's ringer off.

"Tuck, you jerk," she said as she turned around, "you'll pay for making me talk to them after this."


Debbie, his girlfriend, flashed enraged eyes at her, but it was Tuck who said, "Well, I get to talk to them when I get home, and I don't think I can just hang up on 'em. Maybe I could just stay up here for a year until they get over it?"



Somehow... I don't think so.

[Updated on: Wed, 30 August 2006 04:54]


Rachel
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4752] Wed, 30 August 2006 06:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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rachel.greenham wrote on Wed, 30 August 2006 02:45

Doragoon wrote on Tue, 29 August 2006 23:28

Sarah was probably able to turn Susan's rape into a bonding experience...

Somehow... I don't think so.


I don't see how anything there implicitly denies a strong mother daughter bond. My impression from that scene is more that she's upset at tuck dumping all this in her lap. Also, the two of them haven't always had the best relationship, and it wasn't until later in the story that Tuck started remarking that Susan was treating him better.

I could just as well point to the time when Sarah and Susan stayed home during the camping trip as proof that they get along well with each other. And even if the two of them like each other, Susan could not like it when Sarah is in rant mode.

Though whether they actually bonded or not is not the issue, it's whether Sarah thinks they bonded. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if how Sarah attempted to bond with Susan is drastically different from how she's trying to bond with Tuck. Tuck's weird, being an odd mix of independence and fragility, I would be surprised if Sarah actually did know how to bond with tuck.

Bill has bonded with tuck a few times. The "dice with death" day worked well, but I think now he's trying to bond with the shooting practice, which is substantially less effective. I still think Bill's going to have a BIG part in whatever happens.
Re: Tuck 119 [message #4755] Sat, 02 September 2006 18:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
iWindoze  is currently offline iWindoze
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I've been waiting for someone else to bring this in, and some of the other comments have touched on it in a peripheral fashion but no one seems to have come right out and put it up for discussion.

How much of Sarah Tucker's reaction is a misplaced response to Susan?

I mean we know that Tuck in Valerie mode has been compared to Susan repeatedly--Ellen has more or less rubbed that fact in our faces--so I'm surprised no one has brought it up before! When Sarah looks at Tuck is she even seeing him or is her mind subconsciously whispering 'Susan! It's Susan! And she got herself hurt again by not following the rules...' ?

She may consciously know she is looking at Tuck, she may be calling him 'Eugene' when she speaks to him, but is she really speaking to Susan?

I think this could explain some of the over-reactions we've been seeing lately and I'm expecting Sarah to over-react way above and beyond once she meets Travis because of this. Hmmm...now that I'm thinking about it, has Sheila ever actually met Susan before? If she were to meet Susan and Tuck together at some point I wonder what her reaction would be?

--iWindoze

Re: Tuck 119 [message #4756] Sun, 03 September 2006 04:23 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
lurker
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iWindoze wrote on Sat, 02 September 2006 15:56

How much of Sarah Tucker's reaction is a misplaced response to Susan?
She may consciously know she is looking at Tuck, she may be calling him 'Eugene' when she speaks to him, but is she really speaking to Susan?

Plausible...
iWindoze wrote on Sat, 02 September 2006 15:56

Hmmm...now that I'm thinking about it, has Sheila ever actually met Susan before? If she were to meet Susan and Tuck together at some point I wonder what her reaction would be?


Check out Chapt 96 - Tuck It All Off. Sheila met Susan and all the Tuckers the evening after Tuck's medical diagnosis....
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