The problem is that Elly didn't and doesn't see a festering sore on the buttocks of humanity when she thinks of the wretched little delinquent. She continues to see a misunderstood little fellow who'd be wonderful company if her closed-minded daughter would get off of her high horse and give the criminally insane and congenitally stupid a chance. This is, sadly, an instance of yet another axiom by which we may know, understand, fear, hate and avoid the Patterson family:
Foob Fact Forty-Four: By and large, the Pattersons tend to be terrible judges of character owing to a distinct lack of curiosity as to motives.
This is why Elly doesn't understand that people were not going to line up to visit a hot mess who made school a more oppressive place to be. It's why Liz thinks that Therese yearns to see her die alone and unloved. It's why Mike thought that Liz was plotting his destruction. It's why April thought that Becky should have been thrilled to wham away at a tambourine so a dumb kid could go on an ego trip. It's why John is at odds with a family he can't be asked to get to know. It's also why it took him so damned long to figure out that Ted's mother is mostly why he was a bachelor so damned long.
The interesting thing about this is that it's all leading to a fact that would rattle the Pattersons to their bones if they knew it. I'll get to that fact after I tell you about the worst question you can ask a Patterson.