The curious thing about why Elly is really angry about no one listening to her about her concerns is those concerns aren’t what they look like on the surface. To find out what they are, we were forced to wait seventeen years to see what Lynn really thinks of not putting a ring on it and what she really wanted Elly to accomplish in September 1983. Let’s contrast and compare things to find out exactly what sort of equality and fairness Elly had in mind when she was threatening to call Marian.
We start with the older of the two women threatened with (as Lynn will no doubt put it if she allows the reload to reach past the birth of the evil little picky-faced Martian princess who destroyed Elly’s last chance at a career) ‘merely’ cohabiting: Deanna. As I’ve said far too many times before, Mike’s comments about it being a new age and worries about the legality of a double wedding meant less than zero to Deanna. She was better than every woman who lowered and humiliated herself by not having the solidity and stability of marriage. That being said, she didn’t mind punishing her mother for the made-up sins of ambition, kick-starting a lazy husband into being more than some shmuck running a hardware store and being an active and involved presence in her life by threatening her with the terrifying spectre of living in the disgraceful state that evil bohemians like Phil and Eric subjected innocents like Liz and Georgia to.
This brings us to something annoying that a lot of us noticed: most of why Liz had to deal with a boat-load of crap after she left home was her defying all that was right and true and merely living together with evil athlete Eric. The point of the rather tepid morality play was that Liz was punished for disregarding her parents’ (read ‘Elly’s’) moral code and ignoring their (her) concerns by having her true love slip through her fingers and end up in the hands of an evil (Franco-Ontarian) enchantress who does evil (ballroom) dances. You and I might not see that not marrying Assthony right out of university and having to raise an evil, scary and threatening career woman’s evil, scary and threatening child as a punishment for anything or two college kids playing house as being especially wrong but you and I are not members of Kool-Aid Nation. They see the Settlepocalypse not as we see it but as Lynn wants them to see it. We see Liz ruining her life by marrying a clone of her dreary arsewipe of a father. They and Lynn see it as her redemption.
By having Deanna waggle her ass like a snotty third-grader taunting someone who’s been punished for a minor transgression when discussing people who live together and by subjecting Liz to a melodrama that would have been thought of as hackneyed and stupid by the people who came up with the Hays Code, Lynn demonstrates very clearly that the real message of the last arc was not “Phil can do this but I can’t so the world is unfair” but “Phil isn’t agreeing that he should obey ME and not live together. That’s unfair because I’m the older sister and he must listen to ME!!!!” This, of course, leads us to contemplate the last of the knowns that Marian wanted to not know; simply put, she did not want to realize that Elly thought of herself as Phil's third parent. She never wanted to admit that if she made a child another child's primary caregiver, the older one would expect to be treated like a parent.