Mrs. Klein had been the bane of his existence from second grade through fifth.

–Simon about Mrs. Klein, Angels Twice Descending

Ellen Klein was Simon's old Hebrew school teacher.


Some time during Simon's second grade, he somehow became the cause of Mrs. Klein's wig accidentally wounding up in a pigeon's nest while on a playground. Simon had feared her since, believing that she was intent on ruining his life, because of incidences like when Ellen threw out his Pokémon cards, though Simon's mother believed that she was being nice and trying to get him to pay attention and that Ellen threw the cards out because Simon had been trading them for "kiddish wine".

Years later, Ellen's daughter wed her girlfriend, who was Catholic. Ellen couldn't accept her daughter's new wife and refused to go to the wedding, then proceeded to wear mourning clothes afterwards, telling others "that her daughter might as well be dead." Elaine later told Simon this story, and he felt that his point about Ellen was proven right after all. Meanwhile, Elaine compared this to her feelings about being a mother, that she believed that a mother should love her child unconditionally.


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