Over the years, I've made a bit of a mistake: attributing malevolent intent to Pattersonian behavior that would be easier to explain away as the result of stupidity. Sure, Elly is filled with resentment and self-pity; she's also filled with idiocy, a lack of awareness and indecision. This comes into play when she wants to help the people around her. Let's review her failed attempts at lending a hand:
- Her attempts to help Connie get over the heartache two failed romances generated left such a bitter taste, Connie had to leave town to start over again.
- Her helping Gordon deal with his abusive parents consisted of wringing her hands and making stupid remarks about dark houses.
- She gave Liz a bunch of useless advice about how Candace should deal with her stepfather's making passes at her.
- She reacted to April's revelation that Kortney Krelbutz was a thief and bully by whining how she couldn't believe it; upon being proven wrong, she didn't apologize to her daghter but instead whined about how she was the one wronged.
- Her response to Iris's passive-aggressive insistence that she didn't want help was not to take matters into her own hands but to keep a frail old woman of dubious mental stability in charge of her ailing father.
- Her helping Liz with her romantic problems consisted of her hammering away at the need to destroy the happiness of another human being and throw her weight around like a dumb bully.
Elly had the best of intentions in all those cases but she lacks the experience, empathy, awareness and humility to be anything more than a hindrance. If she'd experienced genuine hardship at any point in her life, she might have developed into someone who could make the world better. As it stands, she's just an uglier and slobby version of Mary Worth.