As we know, Connie was originally meant to be the bane of Elly's existence; what was supposed to happen was that she'd crawl out from under her rock at the worst times and start spouting bitter nonsense about how John was oppressing her, how having to listen to children all day long was going to turn her into a babbling nitwit and other stuff that Elly already believed. Since Lynn was taking her cue from the comic strip Cathy, however, the shrillness soon blunted until she became what can be safely called a designated hero; that's because it looks to me that she was the first character we were meant to cheer on despite her still being something of a jerk. The following things about her make me think that our sympathies might be wasted on her:
- Her dubious relationship with Lawrence: It isn't just that she palms him off on Elly or otherwise leaves him to his own devices when she's entertaining a gentleman caller that bothers me; it's that Lawrence seems to be more actively fearful of getting on her bad side than Mike does Elly's. Since Elly is a bucket full of firecrackers when she's riled, this says something disturbing about her.
- Her aggressive pursuit of male companionship: It might look as if her insane attempt to fling herself at Phil is out of character but it isn't; she also tries her damnedest to steamroll Ted into marrying her and eventually gets Greg to tie the knot.
- Her lack of empathy for others: Her refusal to go home when Lawrence broke his leg because getting a mayyyyun came first is only the first example of her inability to consider the needs of others. We mustn't forget that she ran roughshod over her stepdaughters owing to her belief that their legitimate concerns about her presence in their lives and the odd hold she had on Greg were the ravings of spoiled brats and stood there like a robot when Greg kicked Lawrence out after outing himself. What's more, we haven't seen her and Lawrence in the same room since while Greg has sort of reconciled with him.
- Her refusal to learn from experience: It doesn't seem to matter how many times she threw herself at a man only to end up getting the brush-off; she only made cosmetic changes to her basic pattern of reinventing herself in order to pull a bait and switch on the man after marriage. The only reason she and Greg are still married is that he was as desperate for companionship of the opposite sex as she is.
This tells me that everyone in Milborough would be a damned sight better off if Connie had stayed in Thunder Bay and Elly continued to hang out with people who had both brains and basic decency like Annie and Carol. Eventually, she would have learned to be grateful for what she had without her enabler there to tell her how to not live. It's too bad that Elly seems to think that she might never have landed John without Connie's advice; if she could have broken the hold the sick twit had on her, she might have sucked less as a wife and mother.