Today, in my episode of Home and Away, Bobby Simpson is reunited with Al Simpson, her adopted father, who, in the past, treated her and her mother like dirt.
Bobby rightfully has a lot of anger for this man, and she shows this in her behavior towards him when he visits her at work.
Her best friend and co-worker, Ailsa Stewart, meanwhile is very pleasant towards Al. This in itself would greatly annoy me. I'm imagining someone close to me, and I've told them about an enemy from my past. Together we encounter this enemy. I would expect my friend to be civil to my enemy, but I'll admit I'd probably like it if there was a subtle amount of menace coming from my friend.
I mean I'm not expecting Ailsa Stewart to jump up and attack Al Simpson. But she could have been a little bit colder.
What's worse, though, is that when Al Simpson leaves, and Bobby Simpson makes a negative comment, Ailsa says, Give him a break. He seems pleasant enough.
I hate when people have that attitude. Just because someone manages to be charming to you for five minutes, doesn't mean they're a decent person. And it doesn't negate the turmoil they have caused to people who have had to spend much more time with them.
After Ailsa says that, Bobby defends her feelings. She explains why she hates her adopted father. I'm going to assume from past dialogues, and the nature of Bobby and Ailsa's relationship, that Ailsa has already been told this stuff about Al Simpson. I can't imagine it's all new to her.
Then Ailsa puts her arm around Bobby and says something like, Don't let it upset you. That's such an invalidating thing to say! Why wouldn't Bobby be upset about seeing a parent who has treated her like crap? Who wouldn't be upset?
When someone has valid reasons for being upset about something and you tell them not to be upset, is that really helping? I'd say no. I think it just makes them feel worse. It makes them question their own feelings. It's likely to make them feel like they're having the "wrong" emotions; that they're being too negative; that they're not being strong enough.
In Ailsa's defense, she later explains to Bobby's biological father that she has sympathy for Al Simpson because he's just gotten out of prison. Ailsa too has a past history of coming out of prison and wanting a second chance. She wants to believe Al Simpson is like her— someone who's made mistakes and is trying to make things right.
She's wrong about him...as we see from future scenes. He's a con artist who exploits his daughter to get money from generous strangers.
But Ailsa doesn't know that. And I do admire her for wanting to see the best in people. There IS a chance that a bad person can turn good. I also agree that people deserve second chances.
It's just there has to be a better way of going about it. Maybe in private, Ailsa can simply ask Bobby. Well, do you think there's any chance he's might have changed? I think if someone said that to me, I'd be slightly annoyed, but I'd appreciate that they're presenting it as a question and not an observation. It's also inviting me to share my opinion and feelings rather than telling me what I should feel.