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Friday, November 1, 2013

Dear Jeannie: Invasion of Privacy and Polar Opposites

Dear Jeannie,

In futuristic Asia, certain people are subjected to a certain government program where everything they think and feel gets monitored by an unknown individual. Lisa, who has turned sixteen, is one of them. My question is how would she react to this sudden invasion of privacy, having a complete stranger she's not allowed to communicate with know all her innermost thoughts? On the other hand, how would the unseen observer handle knowing everything about her?


Dear Anonymous,

No teenager wants their secrets splayed open for anyone to see (unless they themselves post them on a site like facebook). It's the "certain people are subjected to" line that will most likely chap her. She'll rail against being one of the chosen ones, and most likely she'd try to "trick" them by thinking things that she normally wouldn't, etc. But she would only be able to keep up the charade for so long. But I imagine she'd still fight against it. Still, she'd have to be curious (not that she'd ever admit it) as to who was listening in and observing her. She might become somewhat of an exhibitionist, leading them on a merry goose chase. It might not progress to anything resembling Stockholm Syndrome (though there might be similarities...she's not physically "captive" but her mind is), but it could. Feasibly, over time, she could even begin to develop romantic feelings toward the person, if you were thinking of going in that direction. Sounds like an interesting plot line, for sure. Thanks for writing in!

Dear Jeannie,

Dani is a survivor, who makes more allies than enemies. My trouble is her son, Aidan. Where she is aggressive, he is thoughtful. Where she draws her sword, he calls a time-out. He's a good strategist--more from study and theory than practice--but he would never try to outwit his mother. I have been modeling their relationship (and reigns) after Louis XIV and XV of France--a domineering public figure, followed by an overwhelmed introvert. This assumption isn't necessarily accurate. What kind of parent/child dynamics would contribute to a healthy adult relationship between this single mother and her son? (Her councilors and warlords used him as a pawn often during his childhood, which neither of them appreciated.)

Dethroned in Dallas 

Dear Dethroned,

Having a common enemy always forms close ties. If Dani's councilors used her son, especially for ill, she'd be protective of him, no matter their differences (assuming she loved/wanted him, that is). Vice versa for Aidan. Since Dani is such an alpha, she might naturally try to coax her son into a more subdued position, as two alphas in one pack don't work. Not knowing the dynamics that made dad leave the picture, Aidan might be more than willing to be put in that position, as doing so evokes kindness and pride from mom. He'd most certainly do this is if he was isolated in a castle somewhere and didn't have peers his own age to incite him to rebel. Dad's departure would most definitely play a role in the dynamics between them. If dad died while Aidan was young, then that would further solidify their relationship, even though polar opposites. They would be what each other has left, so to speak. So I guess I'd want to know more about dad and other environmental factors. Feel free to write more in the comments...I'll get to them when I'm not working my day job. :)

Got Questions?
Maybe I've got answers. Leave your question below, anonymously, using monikers like Sleepless in Seattle. I'll post your question in a future Dear Jeannie column in the order in which they are received.