Adele, the perfect wife and mother was married to Edgar the perfect person. Adele’s brother, Ronnie was a ne’er-do-well who suffered from severe mental illness. Ronnie was a loner, unlike Adele and Edgar who were perfectly socially adjusted. Ronnie didn’t date in his teen years. Thus his behavior did not fit in with that of his peers. This was a significant issue for Edgar who wondered why Ronnie didn’t have a girlfriend.
But there’s an irony in Edgar’s concern about Ronnie’s lack of romantic involvement. In fact, one might say that dating was the only thing that Edgar did. Edgar had none of the interests or concerns that his peers had. In his college years Edgar seemed blissfully unconcerned with academics, unlike many of his peers. Originally, Edgar had not planned to go to college. His maternal Uncle Stanford persuaded Edgar to attend college and, in fact, paid Edgar’s tuition. Before Ronnie started college Edgar told him not to worry about his grades: “It doesn’t matter what grades you get in college,” Edwin told Ronnie. “Employers only look at whether you have a degree. As far as employers are concerned only the degree matters.”
Edgar had no concern with a future career. He majored in business administration in college, but upon graduating college his mother got him a job as a 6th grade teacher in Camden, New Jersey. Edgar stayed in teaching for the next 14 years. Edgar’s failure to establish a career was a financial strain for the married Adele and Edgar. After their first child was born (which apparently they could barely afford), Edgar asked Ronnie if he could get a typing job for Adele so she could bring in some extra income.
Unlike some of his peers, Edgar had no interest in athletics. One thinks here of the talented Ben Shirazi, the star of NYU’s track team.
Unlike some of his peers, Edgar had no hobbies of any kind.
So we see that although Ronnie didn’t date (like his peers), Edgar’s only interest was dating and his relationship with Adele. Adele was Edgar’s all and everything. Unlike some of his peers, Edgar had no concern with academics, career, athletics or hobbies.
One wonders whether Edgar’s sole focus on Adele is traceable to his early relationship with his mother in which, perhaps, his mother was his all and everything.
For Adele, it must have been a great narcissistic satisfaction to be the sole focus of a man, a man who was only interested in her and nothing else. “I am Edgar’s all and everything. Without me, Edgar would have nothing in his life!”
Is it possible that Edgar’s childhood experience was that of soul murder? Is it possible that his mother was a devouring, sphinx-mother who used her son as her automaton? (Edgar was a severely repressed person who did not recall his dreams; he had no inner life and devalued Ronnie as someone who “lived in a fantasy world.”) Is it possible that Edgar’s exclusive concern with dating a woman was a value transmitted to him by a mother who had a strong sexual desire for her son (or a repressed same-sex attraction) and who looked to his son’s relationship with a woman as a way of vicariously gaining satisfaction for her Oedipal strivings (or same-sex attraction)? Is it possible Edgar in focusing exclusively on dating was actually seeking to please his mother by discharging his mother’s Oedipal strivings (or same-sex attraction) by proxy? What are the psychoanalytical implications of such a situation? A Question For Dr. Shengold!!