The interesting thing about Elly’s ‘career’ as Children’s Programme Coordinator isn’t that her title isn’t a fancy way of saying “glorified baby-sitter with delusions of grandeur”. It also isn’t that Elly is so ignorant and stupid, she conflated getting paid with having a salaried position. The interesting thing is that we’re about to deal with the public face of Elly Patterson who loves and understands children. Public Elly, you see, would never assume that other people’s children are trying to destroy her ability to express herself and turn her into a useless housewife who grins like an idiot as she dusts armchairs, bakes cookies and fails to realize that she’ll die and not be especially missed. This means that Public Elly is seen as a much more sympathetic character than Real Freaking Elly. It’s also a safe bet that the vast majority of people only know of the Public Elly who loves to read and not the private Elly who isn’t especially a reader.
What makes this sort of tragic is that Elly isn’t aware this is happening or can happen. Take, as an example, the time she got the face with the smile on it. She’s probably still trying to figure out that there was a public Kortney who treated her with respect and a real Kortney who saw her as a sucker to be exploited. It just doesn’t make sense that people can do something like that because she never did anything like that. It's like how she never misrepresented herself as being an enthusiastic homemaker when she and John were courting.