The most infuriating part of the part-time job arc is that the whole story line was ripped from the headlines of newspapers that were published thirty years before the thing was first printed. The attitudes of both of the characters involved might have passed muster if one were about to create tension in a radio soap but in the year 1980, they seemed somewhat dated. Since Lynn seems to let media imagery influence her thimking, we were forced to contend with:
- Elly's reason for wanting something she knows will bring her into direct conflict with John is never really given. I could see it if at any point Lynn had run a strip that had her thought-bubble "Okay. it was my turn to go back to University eight years ago! When does that happen?' but we've been given no clue as to why she wants something she later doesn't.
- John's odd belief that if Elly were to have a part-time job, it would mean that their marriage was a failure. This sort of rubbish had no hold on the members of his generation that I'd noticed; what a real John would say is that she'd have to wait until what she brought to the table wasn't swallowed up by child care.
- Elly's meekly asking permission to do so as if she were a child asking to go to the Bobby Curtola concert on a school night; again, a real Elly wouldn't phrase it like that. She'd be a lot less passive about it.
- The fact that the whole thing is regarded as an escape from being a wife and mother; Lynn clearly believes that working and being a mother are contradictions in terms and it shows.
- The knowledge that the whole thing is an exercise in futility; despite all the scream and shuttle, Elly never does have a real career any more than she ever really finishes her education. The whole thing is just her going through the motions because everyone else is doing it.
The most irritating thing of all is that these facts will wash over a lot of people who think that Lynn is somehow on the cutting edge of social change when, in fact, she's in the rear, complaining about the noise and turmoil those who are make.