by Sheila Cronin from the October 15, 2012 issue
In a Nutshell: Doug and LeAnne's marriage is crumbling. They hold a garage sale to get rid of their stuff. They each foil a possible sale because the item was one that was important to the other and realize maybe they can work things out after all.
Observations: This is a plot that you don't see often in Woman's World--the troubled marriage story. I think it's because this is difficult to pull off. Perhaps it's personal though. My parents divorced and it deeply affected me. I had harbored hopes for a long time that they would get back together, but they never did. As a result, I think I'm more cynical about this type of story.
I didn't quite believe that Doug and LeAnne were going to succeed. LeAnne seemed negative to me. When someone buys the clock, she mutters "Good riddance." Then when she sees Doug chatting with customers, she thinks, "When had he last paid her any real attention?" Doug seemed a little snippy when he said, "I need some help over here."
True, the author showed LeAnne refusing to sell the painting that was special to Doug. That was a nice gesture. In the same vein, the hero sold the boom box because of the look of pain on LeAnne's face, but in my opinion, the look of pain was because of the music, not the box. Lastly, the couple have a moment agreeing that they always shared the same taste. Hm. Sharing taste is not the basis for a strong marriage. I realize that this is only the catalyst that makes them realize they should give it another go, but, cynical me, I thought it a bit weak.
I also thought the ending felt tacked on. A good inch and a half of space was dedicated to the exchange between their neighbors.
But again, I can be a tough audience with these types of stories, and obviously Woman's World liked it enough to publish it.
Photo by Eastlaketimes (cc)