Having not seen Ben for years Bern may have built up expectations of what he might be like now and feels like she can never measure up (as a sibling) and it is making her anxious. I think once she sees Ben and his easy going appearance (compared to years ago) she may relax.
Ben asked Luann (sort of) to intercede on his hehalf. Yet Ben should be communicating w/ Bern himself. if she doesn’t respond to e-mail, he should come over when she is at home and talk face to face, which he tried to do but ended up talking to Luann instead. Ben needs to be doing his own heavy lifting.he needs to stop being so puzzled and clueless and try to sort the situation out. There are some obvious things to consider.
it’s not clear (to me) that Ben and Bernice have much of a relationship at all. To my knowledge, she became aware of him in high school when he visited while on leave from the military; at that time Bern seemed happy to know that she has a brother. There was no conflict (in terms of who was doing what or living where). Yes she gave up her room to him (not knowing that she would have no place herself to stay). Now she feels displaced. Bern is used to being the only child in the house and having her own quiet room in which to study (which is what she wants). Ben does not seem aware of her needs (in this respect); he hasn’t done anything wrong per se; he is just totally unaware of who Bernice really is. I think Bern has just been disappearing off to the Mooney library instead of going to dinner at her parents’ place. She is a very serious student who is driven by her academic studies.
interesting analogy. i like it.
Ben was puzzled and confused but he did NOT express annoyance. Also, why isn’t Luann busy with school? She could find a better time to approach the subject (which she is getting wrong) instead of ambushing Bern the minute she arrives home after full day and needing to study.
Agree. also Bern is dressed in her normal nerdy campus attire that we have seen on her before. She is likely just coming home late from studying in the library after class. She looks like a typical college student wearing jeans and the standard woolly watchcap.
I agree; as of now we have no evidence that Bern has been unkind or done anything wrong. That said, Ben tossed Luann the proverbial red meat that she craves and she is going right to work….
To be honest, i don’t see how Ben can be so clueless. The Halpers probably have a small 2 bedroom home, one for children (Bernice) and one for the parents. Ben comes in (suddenly) with his two kids, expecting to just move in, displacing Bernice (who needs a place to sleep and study) and he can’t figure out that she might just be a tad annoyed with him and maybe with her parents too for not considering her needs. To me this is obvious; there is no hidden agenda.
I should have worded my comment differently. Bern was essentially on her own at Mooney which is different from being with a family that is more flexible than what she experienced growing up. Bern’s obsessive frantic concerns on waking up early that first morning probably reflect her upbringing. I suspect she eventually came to realize that her habits did not negatively impact others, that she didn’t need to tiptoe around early in the AM and that she didn’t have to do all the cooking and cleaning, that people accepted her as is.
so we see that Bern grew up in a rigid rule oriented household and this explains why she is that way herself. Perhaps moving out is a metaphor for her learning to bend and change. i think her parents extended the offer to Ben thinking that Bern would be away at Mooney (they may have wanted the opportunity to bond w/ their son); but then the letter arrived. I don’t believe Bern’s parents intended to drive her out of the house; she over reacted and initiated that on her own and it just all worked out that way.