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I probably care more than she does: Michael's Mom + Background
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May 10th 2007

I was wondering if we could debate a little on the personality of Michael Scott. Is he the way he is because of nature or nurture?

Things we know about his mom:

*She dressed him up in business attire as a young child and made him go on TV.

*She sent him a poster for his birthday.

*Michael (and occasionally Pam:) still talks to her and keeps her "up-to-date" on current girlfriends.

*She re-married Michael's Step Dad when he was young, who occasionally took him fishing on Lake Wallumpompack. (sp?)

*She keeps her back kitchen window unlocked while she goes to the salon.

If this is lame, kill the post, I'm just curious!

May 10th 2007

Don't forget she made him participate in the wedding, even though ding so made him pee his pants. Knowing what we know, I guess it's a miracle he didn't grow up to be a serial killing watchmaker.

May 10th 2007

my thoughts exactly. i wonder if we will get to meet her (and Stepdad? Is he still alive?)

May 10th 2007

Maybe Jeff was the problem. And wasn't there a line about how Michael would badger his dad. Probably no wonder the guy took off. He could read the writing on the wall, and it said "Threat Level Midnight."

May 10th 2007

And wasn't there a line about how Michael would badger his dad.

wow, i forgot about that line. "What's wrong, Dad...?"

Oh dear, poor Michael. Maybe that proves that he is just naturally annoying though. He had to be pretty young at that point.

May 10th 2007

Can someone refresh my memory on the Dad line? I'm drawing a blank.

May 10th 2007

Is he the way he is because of nature or nurture?

This isn't a very good answer for a debate, but really it's always some of both.

I don't know about most of his quirks, but Michael shows an interesting combination of wanting to be the center of attention (most of the time), and thinking he's the center of attention if he actually doesn't want to be (when something bad happens). I wouldn't characterize him as narcissistic or histrionic (well, maybe a little histrionic), so I'm going to chalk this up to nurture. My guess is that, even though his mom and step-dad don't appear to be horrible people, they probably didn't give young Michael much attention, unless he did something bad, in which case they probably yelled at him a good bit. And since he is, as far as we know, an only child, and didn't have many, if any, friends, he would've had nowhere else to go for positive attention.

May 10th 2007 edited

I wouldn't characterize him as narcissistic or histrionic (well, maybe a little histrionic)

Ok, I take that back. He's a total histrionic. Here's the checklist (from Wikipedia, of course):

  • Constant seeking of reassurance or approval: check.
  • Excessive dramatics with exaggerated displays of emotions: not off the charts, but check.
  • Excessive sensitivity to criticism or disapproval: big check.
  • Inappropriately seductive appearance or behavior: not really seductive, but definitely inappropriate.
  • Excessive concern with physical appearance: "so my looks had nothing to do with it?" check.
  • A need to be the center of attention (self-centeredness): another big check.
  • Opinions are easily influenced by other people, but difficult to back up with details: Exhibit A: Todd Packer.
  • Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are: double check.
  • Threaten or attempt suicide to get attention: bingo.

These ones don't really apply to Michael so much. That's 3 out of 12:
- Low tolerance for frustration or delayed gratification
- Rapidly shifting emotional states that may appear shallow to others
- Make rash decisions

edited for markdown

May 10th 2007
  • Make rash decisions

"Do I know what the surprise is? Hell no!"
"Yaaaaaaaankee Swap!"
"This is about doing, not thinking."
"As that was coming out of my mouth, I knew that it was wrong."

On the other hand, he did think to test the trampoline on a watermelon first.

May 10th 2007

Calling a press conference? Oh, the press asked for a story?

Hang on, I'll forward you the photo. Packer? Packaging.

May 10th 2007

I'd say he hits those, to some degree. The "rash decisions" one, espeically, though it's hard to tell, because it's always difficult to know what Michael's logic is. But calling a press conference? Trying to back out of his condo deal? Pulling out a gun at class when he's been told expressly not to? These all could be indicative of a lack of imagination or misunderstanding of the way things work, but they are decisions he takes at the drop of a hat, which seem like radical reactions to the situation to me. His rapidly shifting emotional states are also explainable by the other things on this list, but he does threaten to burst into tears (in public) a lot more often than most functional adults do. Then again, there's some question as to whether he's a functional adult.

As far as delayed gratification . . . well, he seems to have an inordinately high tolerance for that, given that he'd never asked for a raise until last month, and that he's been waiting patiently for ketchup fights pretty much his whole life. Hmm.

May 11th 2007

He seems to have worn a lot of suits as a child (I'm thinking about his appearance on the kids show in Take you daughter to work day

May 11th 2007

But that was a special occasion, I mean, how often does a kid appear on television? Somebody with Michael's view of the world would consider that a dress-up opportunity, and we know young Michael liked to dress up (see: "We thought you were gay.")

May 11th 2007

He wore suits in high school, Phyllis said, which is why they thought he was gay.

Oct 5th 2008

Who thinks we might actually get more info on Michael's mom this year? Bets?

Oct 5th 2008 edited

I hope we get more information on everyone's mom, including the moms of everyone on here.

Oct 5th 2008

My mom had her birthday two days ago.

Oct 5th 2008 edited

My Mom's coming over to stay with us next weekend. She usually stays for about 2 weeks.

Oct 5th 2008

I also want more information about gb's mom.

Oct 5th 2008 edited

She told me earlier this week that she and my dad now have a punching bag (of the heavy variety) at their house. I fear for my dad's safety, if my mom actually takes up boxing. But not foxy boxing. That's for Daoust's mom.

Oct 5th 2008

she and my dad now have a punching bag (of the heavy variety) at their house. I fear for my dad's safety, if my mom actually takes up boxing.

As long as your mother doesn't tape a pic of your Dad to the punching bag, I'd say you have nothing to worry about.

Oct 5th 2008

My mom quilts. It is the worst hobby in the world.

Oct 5th 2008

So does my mom! And so do I. I think it's a great hobby. I don't like the actual quilting time. But I like the patchwork...making the tops.

I think the bad parts are....the time it takes to actually quilt the thing and the amount of space that scraps and "future projects" take up.

Oct 5th 2008

I hope we get more information on everyone's mom, including the moms of everyone on here.

Correct answer would have been: Let's get off moms because I just got off yours.

Oct 6th 2008

I hope we get more information on everyone's mom, including the moms of everyone on here.

Correct answer would have been: Let's get off moms because I just got off yours.

10 points to lemonade.

Oct 6th 2008

Wohoo!

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