1) "Cousin John was friendly and easy-going, and Fiona liked him from the start. His wife Elly - that was another story."
2) "She seem(ed) to think that Fiona was there to be some kind of slave. She also turned out to be a neat freak, who had an insane number of picky rules and obsessed over every little bit of dirt or mess in the house. The kids had learned the same fussy ways, too. Fiona did her best to get along with everyone, but it was hard work getting the Pattersons to loosen up so that she and Beaumont could be comfortable."
3) "It didn't surprise Fiona when Elly started getting snippy. She didn't have the guts to tell Fiona straight out that she wanted her to leave, of course. Nice woman never did. They just pasted on their phoney smiles and got someone else to do their dirty work.
Sure enough, Cousin John started hinting to Fiona about getting a job and moving out. She could tell he hated doing it, that it wasn't his idea, he was just acting on orders. She didn't really care much whether she stayed or went. It wasn't much fun living in a place where there was a fuss over every scratch on the furniture or cigarette butt in the sink. But it bugged her to let Elly get away with being so manipulative.:
Granted, she doesn't know about the howling loon squealing about cigarette smoke or prowling cats who suck life out of babies but, yeah, she makes a good case for Elly being a high-strung pain in the ass. We got a good look at Elly from the perspective of someone she wasn't trying to impress and it wasn't flattering.
The reason that I mention this is that in a year's time, we're going to meet up with someone who also has a poor opinion of our hero and also has a good reason: Molly Thomas. It would be bad enough to be uprooted from her home and have to listen to weeeeeeak as water Connie howl about wild animals because the stupid, gutless nincompoop expected to storm in, take over their lives and expect instant obedience and adoration despite not actually giving a photon in a solar wind about the children she wants to be Insta-Mom to if Connie didn't have someone in her corner telling Molly that she's an ungrateful jerk who should be glad to have Connie treat her like a space Nazi bent on spreading chaos and anarchy.
The interesting thing is that, as one could expect, Molly and Connie eventually do build some sort of connection somewhere between Deanna talking about marriages for heart and for family and Liz wondering who's guiding her destiny. This, as I've said, is because Molly recognizes Connie for what she is and has learned to stop resenting the delusional nitwit. Connie seems Hell-bent on proving herself to a dead man that he was wrong to treat her the way he did and she can't change because doing so would mean having to admit that the peace of mind she sacrificed just wasn't worth it and that would be awful so Mol is gonna let it slide. The thing is that she's still going to kind of resent Elly Patterson for enabling Connie for so long. Every time it looks as if her step-mom is going to clue in and realize that no, she wasn't really tough or loving or fair or firm or kind or anything like that, there's that old bat who runs around shouting her head off over every little thing dragging her down again.