The interesting thing about the strip in which Connie mistranslates Molly’s angry comment that if she can’t spend the time out she wanted to spend, she’ll just stay home to mean she just wanted to make a melodramatic jerk of herself is that Connie could have salvaged herself as a step-mother if she hadn’t blundered her way into looking like a villain. Had she told Molly that she knew that her dad said that going out on a school night in the middle of winter was not on the table and let it end there, she would have demonstrated that she was not just That Woman Dad Married by alluding to the fact that she and Greg formed a united front. Instead, she acted like a glorified baby-sitter arbitrarily imposing inconsistent rules and thus rendering it almost impossible to respect or accept her.
Worse still, Connie seems to have been the vector for a rather foolish belief that hampers how the Pattersons see the world. As I’ve said before, I’ve always believed that when Lynn had Greg and Connie carry on about the dark place Molly went to, it meant that Greg was quite unwilling to accept the idea that she blamed herself for the collapse of his first marriage. Since he’s what P J O’Rourke calls a regular dumb guy from the sticks, he made the stupid mistake of thinking “It would make no sense at all for Molly to believe that she had anything to do with my marital woes therefore she can’t believe it.” Greg passed the Brainfart Virus to Connie and she gave it to the Pattersaints and we end up looking at a bunch of morons who have the temerity to look down on messed-up kids who actually do blame themselves.