- Why does a daugher she raised to seek out the best in everything buy second hand goods for her children?
- Why did she live in a series of rathole apartments?
- Why is she treading water financially when she was brought up to be careful with her money?
- Why does the bright, cheerful young woman who went to Honduras look like a carbon copy of the shouting idiot she calls a mother-in-law?
All these horrible questions have a horrible answer: the selfish creep she'd married is draining the life out of her. As far as Mira can see, the daydreaming slacker sits on his fat ass pretending that he's a big time author thereby forcing Deanna to wear herself out to support him. This, to her, is a terrible thing because she could have married a better man and had a better life. The only real problem with that line of reasoning is that Deanna wants to do this. She, for reasons that make sense to her, refuses the life her mother had planned for her. Not for her the understanding that Mom thinks that she has to be twice as good as everyone else just to be accepted. Everything we know about Deanna tells us that she wants nothing to do with the overly-structured life her mother values. She's willing to endure a few minor inconveniences in the name of a slower life. She clearly thinks that once things settle down, she'll have the quiet, tidy life she thinks that the Pattersons have. To sum up, she knows she can do the things her Mom wants her to, she just doesn't want to.
This sort of contrasts her with her role model, Elly. As we've seen over the years, our hero complains non-stop about the potential she's wasting raising children and cleaning house. What's more, Jim was always right in there mourning the loss of the great contribution she made to society, always seemingly ready to blame John and his selfish habit of keeping his child from excelling for her constant unhappiness. He, too, would do so in vain because Elly was not really serious about wanting her degree. She wanted a husband, kids and a home to care for and she wanted to complain about having them because she's only happy when she's upset and getting everyone else wound up. I remember most of the strips from the early years and she wasn't talking about her great work never being accomplished. She wanted to hear adult voices that talked about things she might care about and that was that.