HOME – LIVING ROOM
you think I’m going to up and quit my job at the radio station,
you’ve gone and lost your mind!” Stephanie snapped angrily as
she glared at her husband. “I
can’t even believe that you’d ask me to do that.
You know how much
this means to me.”
“I’m not saying you have to do
it right this second, honey,” Patterson said softly in a metered
and even tone as he slowly motioned with his hands in an attempt
to calm her down and prevent her from becoming even more agitated.
“If you want to keep working on this radio serial until
you have the baby, that’s fine, but after the baby’s
“After the baby’s born, once
Dr. Hardy says it’s all right, I have every intention of going
back to work. There’s
simply no reason why I can’t.”
“Of course there’s no reason
why you can’t; I just don’t know why you’d want to.
You getting that role on that radio serial was just a fluke
anyway. You only took
the job because you needed some way to support yourself after your
mother died. Now that
we’re married, there’s really no reason why you have to work.
I only let you because I knew it would give you something
else to do with your time while I was taking this summer class.”
“You only let
me?” Stephanie felt
her blood pressure start to rise and she threw her shoulders back
as she instinctively prepared for a fight.
“The baby will be here before we
know it – whether we’re ready for it or not – and I don’t
see how it’s even conceivable that you’ll have the time to
take care of both a newborn and Todd and keep up a regular job.”
Patterson had continued on without
even noticing, let alone acknowledging, his wife’s strong
reactions to what he was saying.
“First of all, Patterson,” she
finally spoke up, unable to listen to any more and remain silent,
“No one let’s me do anything.”
honey, you know what I mean. I’m
just trying to point out that we’re married now – I’m your
husband – that gives me certain responsibilities which include
providing for my wife and family.
You should’ve have to work.”
“I don’t have
to work!” she snapped. “I
want to work!
I enjoy it! Besides,
it’s not as if you
actually have job. We’re
living off the trust fund your parents left for you and Todd.”
“That’s only while I’m still
in school,” he reminded. “As
soon as I make it through medical school….”
“And that’s how far away?
If I can do something – anything
– to help out with the money, then I should!”
“No, Paddy, you listen to me.”
She took a step back and inhaled deeply in an attempt to
calm herself down. “I’ve
never been good at anything in my entire life besides flirting
with boys. When Momma
died, I didn’t have one single usable skill to support myself
until Mr. Lowell hired me to be on this radio show.
But you know what, Paddy?
I’m good at it! I’m
actually good at it! And
I enjoy it! I’m not
willing to give that up.”
“I understand that, but…”
“Fall will be here before you
know it,” she continued on without giving Patterson a chance to
divert her train of thought. “Todd
will be starting school. The
Fall term will be starting up for you, too.
That’ll leave me here all by myself for most of the day
with nobody else but Mrs.
She paused and scrunched up her nose in disgust.
“I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how much I look
forward to that.
I’m not even on the air for 15 minutes a day – and not
every day at that – and I’m only out of the house four, five
hours at the most on the days I am
on the air.”
“But once the baby comes in the
“I’ll take a suitable and
responsible maternity leave,” she nodded in agreement.
“But when the time comes, I’m going back to work at the
station. If I had to
be stuck here in the house with the baby and Mrs. Oliver looking
over my shoulder all day, every day, I think I’d lose my mind
without something else to do.”
“Well, perhaps if you took up a
hobby like needlepoint,” Patterson shot back in retort.
don’t know how to do needlepoint.”
“I could always ask Lorraine to
come over and teach….”
Stephanie’s eyes grew wide and
she recoiled as if she’d just been physically slapped.
“Like hell you’ll have that
woman come over here and show me anything!”
Stephanie snatched up her purse and pushed her way past
Patterson as she headed for the front door.
“If you wanted a wife who had all the simple, mundane
hobbies that Lorraine has, perhaps you should’ve married her
instead of me!”
“Now, Stephanie, I didn’t
“I’m not discussing this with
you anymore right now. Because
of you, I’m late for the station and I can just imagine what
Norma is telling Mr. Lowell about me!”
As Stephanie slammed the front door
behind her, the sound echoed throughout the house, forcing
Patterson to quickly realize that, perhaps, he might have handled
that entire situation just a tad better.