Another way in which Cathy is better company is that, unlike a dangerous case of borderline personality disorder like Ol'Flapandhonk, she's merely a neurotic with fluctuating self-esteem; as such, she's the Everywoman Elly Patterson isn't. This is because Cathy remembers something Elly does not; she knows that people are not 100% good or 100% bad. Case in point: Her mother is a loving, supportive woman who wants what's best for her daughter AND a meddling pain in the ass who won't shut her face. Cathy is able to reconcile the contradictions because she's at a more mature stage of development. Contrast that with Elly who will probably live to be ninety but still see the world as being divided into two warring camps: Good People and Bad People. Since she seems to suffer from splitting, she's unable to take the good with the bad. Remember how she avoided the Nichols family after their marital troubles? She lied about why; it wasn't that she couldn't understand how Annie forgave Steve, it was because she couldn't understand how a man could be both a devoted, loving father and a feckless womanizer. Rather than come to the dangerous conclusion that she had a problem, she left a friend to twist in the wind and blamed her for her own shortcomings. Since Elly's immaturity extends to her morals, Good People do things that benefit her and Bad People do things that do not; Cathy ill-naturedly accepts that good people doing things that are for the common good will unintentionally inconvenience her. She'll get frustrated but accepts it as the price she pays for living.