I apologize for any sort of delay in the arrival of this look at Connie’s life before Lynn’s problematic memory and love of schmalz and Harlequin novels made her channel Superboy Prime and punch history. I’ve just needed to look back at the pre-retcon source material.
Of course, it wasn’t too terribly long before cracks started to appear in Connie’s ‘perfect’ marriage to the ‘ideal’ man. While Marie wanted to press the issue, Joe knew enough about his youngest to realize how the only thing they could do was be there when things came crashing down. After all, it was going to be bad enough watching Annie “the human potato” Nichols make her inevitable ill-informed comment about how Connie had driven away a man who seemed to live to find fault with her and wasn’t really husband or father material to begin with. It saddened him to know that what he’d expected was coming to pass. No matter how much she tried to reinvent herself to hold his (worthless) attention, nothing was good enough for Pete “Itchy Feet” Landry. It also didn’t feel all that good to be right about becoming a father be the reason he gave for running off. This is why he’d let Elly Patterson do the only good turn he could remember giving Connie by trying to reassure her that good ol’Pete just didn’t have the iron to be a husband. Since he knew that his saying that would go wrong, it was clearly best to let someone she’d actually believe tell Connie that.
He also knew that it would be a questionable idea to suggest that she move closer to her work and the local scene instead of being stuck with the total lack of viable male options on tap in the wilds. Since he still wanted some sort of relationship with his youngest, he knew that it would be foolish to have her retreat back home despite the lack of viable male options and the horrible possibility that the fretful paranoid married to the oaf of a dentist would take charge of her love life. That, he was sure, would lead to worse Hell than she could get into on her own owing to the Patterson woman being a crazy idiot who didn’t know how the world worked. I mean, she got Connie to sever her ties with the few friends festering twit Pete didn’t make her give up because she’d convinced her that what normal people would see as “holding their peace because they don’t know WHAT to do about a situation they hate but don’t want to make worse” with “cheering Pete on as he alley-catted around like a swine.” She’d also prevailed upon her to make the most baffling decision ever: changing Lawrence’s surname to “Poirier” after the annulment proceedings proceeded on the loopy basis that since her marriage never happened, Pete didn’t deserve to have his son have his surname.
It was thus with a certain amount of dread that Connie chirpily announced she’d found a for-real love with some dullard house-sitting for that peevish moron Elly Patterson. He’d had to endure the “for the first time, I’m in love and this time for sure” with Pete and wasn’t looking forward to having a white version of the same gutless wonder who only fitfully remembered what alimony and child support payments were. Oh, Ted McWhatever loved the idea of being a dad but not so much being a husband. The same bleating about freedom Pete spewed came out of Ted’s lips as well. Well, him and Elly’s freaky beatnik kid brother Phil who, for some reason, tagged in as Connie’s for-real love on a monthly basis. This sort of roller-coaster ride seemed to bid fair to last until Lawrence went to University only to be interrupted when one of Ted’s off-duty cycles collided with Phil’s pre-engagement to an audiologist. Good thing that Connie found out about a swell opportunity to really use the degree she’d worked for far away from the need for that doughy idiot Elly to live vicariously through her. That way, she wouldn’t have to endure sympathy from one idiot and scorn from someone far worse off. It took her a while to finally grow up but he felt for sure that she’d cured herself of the baffling suggestibility that put a lie to her claim of being a self-sufficient, take-charge kind of woman. Granted, Thunder Bay was about a day’s train ride away but, hey, if that’s where she could finally be happy, whatever. It wasn’t as if Milborough were some sort of Arcadia! Besides, spending his remaining years headed there for the Holidays would be a pleasant way to pass the last part of December.