The reason that I see a connection when I remember that in the flashback to Elly's doomed crush on this older boy who saw her as an adhesive and ridiculous annoyance who just got in his way like a love-struck moron who couldn't see that he was maybe spoken for that she kind of looks like a smaller version of the bulbous-nosed, screeching irritant we know and loathe. This reminds me of a point I wanted to make a while back. It seems to me that Lynn has given me proof that at some point in Elly's childhood, the following conversation happened:
Marian: Doctor, will Elly's broken nose affect her later in life? Will she still be pretty?
Doctor Feldgrau: There is a remote chance that it could end up swelling up to a degree thirty years from now but that's less important than the functional damage.
Jim: How do you mean?
Doctor Feldgrau: She managed to injure it in such a way that it's severely reduced her ability to taste her food. From now on, everything is going to taste like styrofoam packing peanuts. She doesn't have any ambitions to be a great chef, does she?
Doctor Feldgrau: With her inability to taste anything and her being a high-strung little thing, she'll have to be taught to cook the most basic foods or her family will be in for a lot of bad-tasting meals. No experimentation, just the Canadian Holy Trinity of Meat and Two Veg.
after Elly's first skating lesson at the age of five resulted in her falling down and breaking her nose. She might well have blocked the memory out but she can't block out her fear of a repeat performance nor can she shake the childlike belief that once she gets hurt, she can never recover or heal. She'll just be in pain forever and ever and ever and always be hurt and the leg will always be broken because bones take time to knit and pain meds take time to kick in and a five year old kid can't wrap her head around that fact.
As I said back then, it seems to me that Elly's blunted sense of smell and taste make her wonder why her family wants to stab her in her great big heart by not cleaning up their plates or why they slather ketchup all over everything she cooks because they claim that one food somehow tastes better than another when experience teaches her that everything tastes the same. It also makes her wonder what the big deal is with all of these sugar cereals and all that junk food that her children only eat to spite her and imply something insane and stupid and evil and mother-hating and wrong about how they long for food that doesn't taste or smell awful.
That being said, I should think that at some point, possibly when Jim moved in, Elly's inability to be able to smell anything but the strongest aromas or taste anything that isn't overpowering would have been revealed to a family that finally figured it out why they had to eat crappy meals. Once Elly finally figured out why she was afraid of ice skating (because she can't remember taking a header when she was five) and blood (there was so much of it) and why she has something not in common with those around her, she probably had to grudgingly accept the fact that her lack of a sense of taste might just have constituted a problem. Not, of course, that she would have apologized. If anything, they should apologize to her for being mean and cruel and unfair to her for not knowing something she didn't know either. They should also admit that anything that scares her is a very bad thing that no one should be interested in because the fossilized fears of a five year old should hobble them as much as it does the sixty-something woman she is now.