Liar's Club


Happily Ever After? People say when you marry someone you don?t just marry that one person, but you marry that person?s whole family. Every family has its dysfunction?s. Every family has members that are often times difficult to deal with, but that?s what family is all about; sticking together and loving one another, despite what differences or opposing forces may exist. In Liar?s Club, Mary Carr?s Grandma didn?t share this point of view when it came to Pete, Mary?s father. In fact, she wanted Mary?s mother, Charlie, to divorce Pete before they were even married. "Grandma subsequently viewed my father as some slick-talking hick who had baffled her only child into settling for a two-bedroom tract house when she deserved a big ranch"(Carr, 13). Grandma?s presence and death were only fuel to the wildfire that scorched the Carr?s family relationship, leading to disaster and divorce. The first time Charlie threatened to divorce Pete, she pile Mary and Lecia into the car and tore off to Grandma?s house in Lubbock. Upon arriving, no words of comfort or encouragement for the mending of Charlie?s marriage escaped Grandma?s mouth. "Grandma never did sugar coat her opinion of Daddy. She said something about Mother coming to her senses"(27). Since Grandma wasn?t happy with Charlie?s decision to marry Pete, she felt it was her duty to show Charlie the wrong doings of her actions. It was almost as if Grandma didn't care whether or not Charlie loved Pete. Not only did Grandma voice her extreme disapproval of Pete, but she proceeded to place Charlie in the spotlight by comparing her to those marriages of which she approved. "At some point, Grandma announced that Dotty had sure made a good marriage, which judgment wasn?t lost on Mother?"(31). It seemed Grandma wasn?t just on Charlie?s back about her marriage to Pete, but jumped at the chance to criticize Charlie about anything. "The morning Mother decided to go back to Daddy, she and Grandma had a fight about whether her lipstick was too dark. The old lady called Leechfield a swamp, a suckhole, and the anus of the planet"(33). This caviling only seemed to worsen once Grandma, diagnosed with cancer, moved to Leechfield to live with Charlie and the rest of the family. "All day she doled out criticisms that set my mother to scurrying around with her face set so tight her mouth was a hyphen"(42). "Suddenly Grandma was staring at us with laser blue eyes from behind her horn rims, saying Can I make a suggestion? or beginning every sentence with Why don?t you??"(44). The worst part of all this was no one seemed to notice or bother to do anything about the damage Grandma was causing on the family and on the strength that held Charlie together. The worst part wasn?t all the change she brought, but the silence that came with it. Nobody said anything about how we?d lived before. It felt as if the changes themselves had just swept over us like some great wave, flattening whatever we?d once been(46). The everyday stress of being a housewife with two children was enough for Charlie without having to deal with Grandma?s constant nagging. The pressure Grandma forced on Charlie only escalated Charlie?s arguments with Pete. On her worst days Charlie could be heard saying, "There?s no hope, there?s no hope"(38). Much to Grandma?s pleasure, Charlie?s warnings of divorce became a reoccurring event. And much to Grandma?s disappointment, Pete never fell prey to these threats. "Daddy?s response to it was usually a kind of patient eye-rolling. He never spoke of divorce as an option. In his world, only full blown lunatics got divorced. Regular citizens in a bad marriage just hunkered down and stood for it"(35). Despite the fact that divorce didn?t seem like a pressing issue for Charlie and Pete, Grandma did all she could to stir things up and tear things down within the household. Her negative and condescending attitude slowly ate away at Mother, leaving her nothing but a puppet whose strings Grandma relentlessly tweaked. During this time of turmoil one would think the best remedy would be a strong support system made up of those closet to you, only Charlie didn?t have that. "Daddy was never around after Grandma came home. It was some unspoken deal everybody had. Since she thought he