- Her teaching job magically appeared because the last person fled back home after a painful divorce.
- Her choice of profession, for which she seems unsuited, was inspired by the need to copy someone who impressed her.
- Her desire to be marry a divorcee and raise his child in a house that he got from his boss and that his wife furnished speak for themselves.
- Her personality is an unpleasant mix of the worst elements of her parents' bad habits. She combines Elly's poor temper, default negativity and tendency to make her life more difficult with John's desire to bullshit people.
Why does Liz have nothing original about her? Why is she a pale photostat of other people living a borrowed life? Because she was never encouraged to be anything other than pretty.
Neither one of her parents wanted her toachieve things on her own terms. John was too big a chauvinstic douche and Elly felt too threatened by a strong, capable Liz to do anything but let her sit there whimpering "Poor Me". After all, she wouldn't be using the name Patterson all tha much longer so what was the point of getting her to excel? All her accomplishments would end up glorifying somebody else's family.