As we've seen, the older material makes it quite clear that Annie Nichols and her family were at least as important to the Pattersons as Connie was. Many is the time that she and Elly would have coffee and share war stories about suburban motherhood, those silly young women that run around nowadays and how lonely and desperate Connie really is. The problem is that when Elly finally found volunteer work that John didn't object to too much, Annie started to decrease in importance; instead of being someone who made motherhood so easy, it made Elly feel uncomfortable, she ended up being something of a hanger-on living in denial about her husband's roving eye. After he'd admitted to his affair, she became the female version of Ted McCaulay: a character who'd served her purpose and then only showed up when the Pattersons needed something of her. She had a lot of company in Patterlimbo because of Lynn's odd habit of simply ignoring characters that have outlived their usefulness. After all, we weren't supposed to know or care about what happened to Thérèse, Françoise or anyone else not immediately connected to the Pattersons after 25 August 2008.