(Original Publication Date, 10 October 1990)
Panel 1: Carol does the splayed-out hands gesture of horrified consternation when she says that Keith is obsessed with his pumpkin and was never like this before. This makes of her another middle-aged drab who regards a harmless male eccentricity as being 100% exactly forsaking her for someone or something else.
Panel 2: As she pours of coffee, she tells Elly that all of his time is taken up with his garden (when it could and should be spent doing something "better"). Elly says that John is the same way with his trains.
Panel 3: Everything was normal until John turned forty and then for some baffling reason that is probably hating his wife and not lamenting growing old because only poooooor women fear the advancing years, everything changed. Carol hints at having the same blindness to her husband's needs and says that when Keith turned forty, something snapped.
Panel 4: She proves that she doesn't understand men worth a hot God-damn when she says it was probably the elastic in his shorts. Having a shrill nitwit diss her hubby for a stupid reason when he's walking by delights Elly so much, she does the Sticky-Out Tongue Laugh Of Malice.
Summary: It took me years to figure out what other cartoon character Elly reminds me of: Robin from Teen Titans Go. He too is an angry egomaniac who insists that the other Titans focus non-stop on his bottomless neuroses while finding their emotional needs a baffling irrelevance that is a burden to him because it takes away from them having to listen to the stream of angry bullshit spewing from his mouth.
Also, Mike is right to believe that Elly has started to see happiness as a horrifying threat. Her waking mind sees quirky hobbies as a threat to her marriage because they lead away from her. Her sleeping mind sees having fun as a reminder that she's stupidly pissing her life away joylessly doing unrewarding chores no one expected of her until she started doing them because she conned herself into thinking she had to.
Finally, we have to contend with the fact that another character is trying to tell Elly that she envies her. Connie wants another baby. Carol wants to have sex with her husband. Elly is baffled by their envy. Lather, rinse and regurgitate.