A Day in the Married Life


5:30 am


The buzzing of the clock was almost more than Daria could bear. How loud was the alarm on that thing anyway? Trying to focus enough to find the off button, she figured a scoreboard buzzer installed under the bed would be less annoying. Eventually her vision was clear enough that she finally managed to reach out and turn off the noisemaker that so rudely interrupted her dream.


5:47 am


Daria was suddenly brought into the world of the awake when Trent quickly pulled the covers off the bed and she felt a blast of cold air shoot up the back of her nightgown. This action was enough that any drowsiness was eliminated instantly. Turning to look at her husband, she shot him an evil glance.


“Why did you do that?”


As Trent finished buttoning his shirt he looked at his wife and smiled. “You were the one who told me not to let you sleep late today.”


Walking over to the closet, he started inspecting neckties. “Plus you seemed to be enjoying your dream a little too much.” As he pulled his choice around his collar, he asked, “Who’s Tom anyway?”


That was the switch that made Daria remember her dream. Looking at Trent, she smiled. “Yea that was one goofy dream. We were all in high school.”


“Even me?” Trent asked.


Daria shook her head. “Nope. You were older... and in a band.”


Trent laughed at the thought. “That’s rich. The next thing you’re going to say is you were a writer or something.”


Her eyes grew as big as the frames of the glasses she had just put on. “How did you know that!?”


Turning to look at her, Trent said, “You mean you were? Whoa. That’s kinda freaky. You’ll have to tell me about this one.”


Smiling at him, she said, “Maybe later.” Holding out her hand, she commanded him, “Help me get up.”


Trent shook his head. “No way. You’re pregnant, not an invalid. You can get up by yourself.”


Shooting him another evil look, she said, “You’re as responsible for this as I am. Now you get over here and do your part.”


Figuring he’d irritated her enough, he said, “Yes Maam.” and went over to lend his wife a hand.


6:12 am


Daria sat at the table eating her cereal as Trent read the paper. Looking at the clock on the microwave, she cleared her throat.


“It’s my turn isn’t it?”


Without ever moving the paper, Trent said, “Yep.”


Sighing. She slid her chair back and got up. Walking down the hallway, she stopped outside a door. Opening it, she went inside and walked over to the bed. Looking down at the mass hidden under the sheets, she waited a second before shaking it.


“Wake up.”


After a few seconds with no reaction, she repeated the process with more enthusiasm.


“Andrea! Get up now!”


A head slowly appeared from under the blankets and glared at her.


“Okay. Okay. I’m awake. You’ve done your duty Mom. You can go back to breakfast now.”


Daria shook her head. “No way young lady. We’re not going to have a repeat of Monday. I want you up and out of bed this instant.”


Reluctantly, Andrea threw back the covers and sat up. “Okay. Geez. You’re worse than Sandi ever was.”


Daria hated it when she said that. Trent and Sandi divorced when Andrea was only three. Ever since that time Sandi only had occasional contact with her daughter. For the first few years she and Trent were married Daria tried to keep an open attitude about Sandi but that all changed when she invited her to Andrea’s eighth birthday party. When she told Sandi when and where it was, Sandi’s only reply was she didn’t want anything with her biggest mistake. While Daria never told Andrea the truth hoping Sandi’s attitude would eventually change, it still hurt her when Andrea compared her to Sandi in any negative way. Daria understood it was just Andrea trying to be rebellious but it still hurt.      


Putting her hands on her hips, Daria said, “That may well be. But you’re not going to be late for school again if I have anything to say about it.”


Suddenly, a wave of nausea swept over her. Looking at Andrea, she said, “Get your clothes together. I’ll be in the bathroom for a few minutes. When I come out, I want to see you waiting to take a shower.”


Not giving Andrea time to reply, Daria ran into the hallway hoping she could beat nature.


7:04 am


Daria was putting her dishes into the washer when Andrea came into the kitchen. Looking up, she said, “Well you did make it after all. You look good.”


She hoped that sounded sincere. Daria wasn’t overly fond of the goth look but, realizing it was just a phase, she had come to accept it. Actually that was not exactly true. She accepted the makeup and the clothes but the nose ring still made her a little woozy. Knowing that too would eventually pass she grudgingly accepted her stepdaughter’s new look.


Andrea looked back at Daria. “Thanks.”


Sitting at the table, she asked, “What’s for breakfast?”


Reaching into the cabinet, Daria took out two packets and tossed them on the table.


“You have your choice. Grits or apple-cinnamon oatmeal.”


Staring at Daria, Andrea said, “Thanks. It’s good to know you’re so concerned with my well being.”


Slowly sliding into the chair, Daria smiled at her. “I try to do my part.” Finally getting comfortable, she continued.


“When you’re done, don’t forget to put your bowl in the dishwasher. Now hurry up. Your ride will be here soon.”


Andrea got up and started making her oatmeal.


7:14 am


Trent walked into the kitchen putting on his coat. Standing up to help him straighten out the collar, Daria asked, “Aren’t you taking lunch today?”


“Nah.” Trent said, “I have an early meeting. I’ll grab something after it lets out. It’ll get me out of the office and let me unwind a little.”


“Gotcha.” Giving him a quick kiss, Daria said, “Well have a good day.”


“I will. Thanks.” Walking over to Andrea, Trent kissed his daughter on the cheek. “Bye honey. Have a good day at school.”


Kissing him back, she said, “Okay dad. Bye.”


Trent went into the garage.


7:27 am


Hearing the horn, Daria peeked through the window. Seeing the car waiting at the curb, she shouted.


“Andrea! Your ride is here.”


As Andrea opened the front door, she looked at Daria.


“Bye Mom.”


“Bye Andrea. Did you forget your lunch too?”


Shaking her head, Andrea said, “No. Remember, it’s Wednesday. They’re serving tacos today.”


“Oh right.” Daria said. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out a dollar and gave it to her.


“Here. Have seconds.”


Just then, Kevin honked once more. Looking up, Daria saw Brittany roll down the window.


Waving at Daria, she said, “Hi Mrs. Lane.”


Daria waved back. “Hey Brittany.”


Brittany was a sweet girl but Daria could live without her perkiness today. Looking at Andrea, she said, “Hurry up before she says anything else.” Giving Andrea her pack, she continued.


“Have a good day.”


Andrea smiled. “I will, and thanks for lunch. Bye.”




Standing there long enough to see the car drive off, Daria closed the door and decided it was time to get to work. Going down the hallway, she opened the door to the glorified walk-in closet of a bedroom that was now her office. Sitting at the desk, she opened the notebook and pressed the on switch. As she waited for it to finish booting up she began sorting through the stack of folders.


10:48 am


The ringing phone was just what Daria needed. She had been concentrating for hours. The call broke the monotony of her task. Picking up the receiver, she said, “Hello?”


“Oh hi Trent.”


“Your meeting ended earlier than you thought?”


Daria listened to Trent’s proposal. “Sure, I can meet you for lunch. Where?”


“That sounds nice. I’ll meet you there in about forty-five minutes. I just need to finish something and then I’ll leave.”


“Okay then. Love you. Bye.”


Hanging up the phone, Daria started putting the finishing touches on her report.


11:32 am


When Daria made to the restaurant, Trent was already seated. After she got to the table, he went over and helped her sit down.


Looking up at him, Daria said, “Thanks.”


The waitress came over and took their order. After she left they discussed their mornings and what their afternoons would be like. Eventually Trent told her he would be coming home later. Monique had scheduled another meeting and he couldn’t get out of it. Daria said it was okay since she would have to pick Andrea up late from school and run a few errands. She said she would try to have something easy to make for dinner. All she needed was for him to call before he left so she could have it ready by the time he got home. After promising he would he changed the subject.


“So tell me about this dream you had.”


Daria proceeded to relay the events as they happened. The more he heard the more amused he became. It seemed she had included everyone she ever knew in this fantasy even Monique. Eventually she finished. Looking at her he smiled.


“That was some dream alright. The hormones must be working overtime for you now.”


Looking him directly in the eyes, Daria said, “Not funny.” Relaxing a little she smiled.


“Have you ever considered growing a goatee?”


Trent chuckled. “Yea, right. Why don’t I just get some tattoos as well?”


3:49 pm


Daria looked at the clock and realized she had better get going. Andrea’s meeting would be letting out in a few minutes and she was her ride home. Grabbing the keys, she went to the garage and got in the minivan.


4:03 pm


When Daria pulled up in front of Lawndale High, Andrea opened the passenger door and got in. As she buckled up, Daria asked, “Hey. How was science club?”


Turning to look at Daria, Andrea said, “Okay I guess. I just wish the guys would listen to some of my ideas from time to time.”


Smiling, Daria said, “It was like that when I was in the club too. What you have to do is scare them into listening to you.”


Gesturing at what she was wearing, Andrea asked, “This isn’t scary enough for them?”


Shaking her head, Daria smiled.


“Not that kind of scary. Look at what they wear. You need to spook them mentally. Figure out what makes them tick and beat them at their own game.”


Andrea was amazed when Daria spoke like that. “Wow. Grandma Helen really has had an influence on you.”


Daria shrugged. “At least I was able to avoid the lawyer gene.”


Chuckling, Andrea said, “I guess.” Noticing they weren’t headed back to the house, she asked, “Where are we going?”


“Oh. Amy called yesterday and asked me to pick Quinn up from ballet class. I said I would.”


Crossing her arms, Andrea got a serious look on her face.


“Well she’s riding in the back this time.”


Shaking her head, Daria said, “Whatever you decide. That’s between you two.”


4:19 pm


After parking in front of the studio, Daria slid out and started to shut her door. As she did she noticed Andrea hadn’t budged.


“Aren’t you coming in?”


Shaking her head, Andrea looked at her.


“I told you. She’s not getting this seat. I’ll wait here.”


Daria nodded. “Whatever you say. We’ll be out in a minute.”


Going inside, she stood next to the office. Peeking in, she saw Angie.




Looking up, Angie said, “Hey Daria. Quinn said you were coming to get her.”


“Yea. Are they ready?”


“Yep. The class ended a few minutes ago. Now they’re just playing. Come in and sit down for a second.”


Smiling, Daria said, “Thanks but I need to get going. Mind if I go into the studio to get her?”


Angie shook her head. “Of course not.” Pausing to get her breath, she said, “Before you do though I need to ask a favor.”


Daria eyed her suspiciously.




“Principal DeMartino pressured me into chaperoning Tiffany and her class on their field trip to the museum Saturday morning. Do you think you could teach my adult class?”


This was unexpected. Daria looked at her for a few seconds. Finally she spoke.


“I don’t know.” Patting her stomach, she continued, “I’m not really that flexible right now. I mean this will make it tough for me to reach the barre.”


Shaking her head, Angie looked Daria in the eyes. “You don’t have to participate. Just teach. Oh, and make sure nobody pulls anything.”


Sighing, Daria said, “Let me think about it. I’ll let you know tomorrow.”


Angie smiled. “Sure. Thanks.”


Just then an alarm sounded. Rushing to the door, Angie shouted, “Tiffany!”


Tiffany and Quinn ran over. Looking up at Angie, she said, “Yes Mother.”


“What’s going on?”


Turning to look at the back of the studio, Tiffany said, “Oh. Stacy got upset and ran out through the emergency exit again.”


Closing her eyes, Angie said, “Damn. Where are those keys?”


Fumbling around her desk drawer, she pulled out a ring and rushed out of the office. Daria, Quinn, and Tiffany all stood there and watched her as she shut off the noise. A minute later she returned, still upset but a little calmer.


“Now I need to let the security company know we’re alright.” Looking up at Daria, she said, “You will call me tomorrow. Right?”


Daria nodded. “Yes. Bye.” Turning to look at Quinn she asked, “Do you have everything?”


Quinn nodded. “Yea.” Looking in the office she saw Angie on the phone. Waving, she said, “Bye Ms. Li. See you next week.”


Angie waved back.


Outside, Daria got in the van. Quinn looked in at the front seat then slid the door open and got in the back.


Andrea turned around. Grinning, she said, “Hey Quinn.”


Emotionless, Quinn returned the greeting, “Hey Andrea.”


4:38 pm


Daria pulled up at the gate. The guard instantly recognized her and let her through. A few blocks later, she parked in the driveway of Amy’s house. As Quinn gathered her things, Daria turned around.


“Okay here we are. Tell your mom I’ll call her tomorrow.”


Quinn looked up from her activities. “You won’t have to.”




Pointing out the window, Quinn said, “There she is.”


Sure enough, when Daria looked out, there was Amy. Rolling down the window she said. “Hey.”


Amy smiled. “Hey Sis. Thanks for bringing Quinn home.”


“It was no problem.”


“Well I appreciate it anyway. Would you like to come in for a minute?”


Shaking her head, Daria gave Amy a brief smile.


“Thanks but I really need to get going.”


Getting a sad look on her face, Amy said, “But I need you to come in. I have something for the baby.”


Pulling the handle, Daria got out of the car. “Well that’s different. Lead the way.” Turning to look in the car she said, “Andrea you’re coming in too.”


It was then Amy noticed Andrea in the front seat. “Hey Andrea.”


“Hi.” Andrea said.


When they got in the house, Quinn immediately ran upstairs while the other three went into the living room. After they were all comfortable, Amy reached beside the chair and gave Daria a small package.


“Here you go. I saw it and couldn’t resist.”


Taking the package, Daria said, “Thanks.” and proceeded to unwrap the box. When she finally got it open, she pulled out a tiny pair of designer overalls and a little shirt. Holding it up, she said, “Wow. This is nice.”


Looking at her older sister, she said,  “I appreciate this but you really didn’t need to.”


Amy smiled. “I know but I saw it and immediately thought about my nephew.”


Putting it back in the box, Daria gave her a brief smile. “Well it’s nice of you. Thanks. Of course he can’t wear it for a few months after he gets here. I hope you don’t mind.”


“I understand. Have you two decided on a name yet?”


Daria shook her head. “No. Not yet.” Looking down she put her hand on her stomach again. “We still have two months. We should figure it out by then.”


As she looked down she noticed the time. “Oh Andrea. We have to go. It’s later than I thought.” Looking at her sister, she spoke again.


“I hate to run but I need to get to the office before Eric leaves. Thanks for the outfit. I’ll call you tomorrow.”


Amy said, “I understand. Drive careful.”


A few minutes later, Daria was waiting for the guard to raise the gate.




Daria pulled up and grabbed her files. Looking at Andrea she said, “I’ll be just a minute. Do you want to come inside or wait here?”


Picking up her history book, she faked studying. “I’ll wait here.”


“Okay. Just keep the doors locked until I get back.” Daria said, and shut the door. Once inside, Charles saw her running toward the elevator and pressed the hold button. When Daria was inside she said, “Thanks Chuck.”


In a smooth voice, Charles said, “My pleasure senorita. I’ve missed seeing your beauty grace this drab structure.”


“Creep.” Daria thought, Out loud, she said, “Well since I’ve been able to work at home I only come in a few hours a week.”


“Well I hope you will miss us enough to try to make your visits more frequent.”


In her mind she said, “Only if it’s to throw you out of your office window.” Speaking up, she looked at him, then at her stomach. “Well it depends on when I have him.”


Charles smiled. “Ah yes. The joyous event.”


Before he could continue, the elevator stopped at Daria’s floor. “Well Chuck. This is where I have to get off. Nice seeing you.” Not giving him a chance to reply she rushed to the office to meet with Eric.


Sticking her head in the door, she said. “Hey.”


Looking up, Eric smiled. “Hello stranger. I thought you weren’t going to show up today.” Pointing at the chair he said, “Come in and get some weight off your feet.”


As she entered the office, Eric went over and got the stack of folders from her. “Here let me take those off your hands.”


After they both were seated he finally looked at the pile. “Wow. Did you do all these today?”


Nodding, Daria said, “Today, and the night before. I seem to really work better from home. Less distractions I guess.”


Looking at the contents of one of the folders, Eric agreed. “I’ll say. You’ve always done great work but if this is what you do from home we might have to consider making this a permanent thing.”


Daria’s eyes got big. “Really?”


Eric leaned back in his chair. “We’ll see what we can do.”


“Thanks.” Looking at a pile of folders on the edge of the desk, Daria asked, “I guess that’s the next batch.”


Eric nodded. “Yes.”


“Okay. I hate to rush but I need to get home.” Going over to get the files, she said, “I’ll have these to you by Friday afternoon.”


Standing up, Eric brushed her hands away from the stack. “Don’t try to carry those. You shouldn’t strain yourself. Let me help.”


Daria was amazed. “Thanks.”


“My pleasure.” Eric said. Pressing a button, he paged for an intern to take the pile out to her van.


5:26 pm


Pulling out of the parking lot, Daria stopped at a traffic light. As she waited for the signal to turn green, she heard Andrea.






“It’s getting late. What are we going to do for dinner?”


Looking at the clock on the dashboard, she realized it was later than she thought. Both she and Trent would be so late supper would be a long time coming if she didn’t think of something and quick.


Handing Andrea the phone, she said, “Call him.”


As Daria started driving again, Andrea smiled and dialed the number. A few rings later she spoke.


“Hey Mack. Is Uncle Artie there?”




Andrea patiently waited until she heard a familiar voice.


“Hey Uncle Artie.”


“Yea the usual.”


“Cool. We’ll be there in about fifteen minutes. Is that too soon?”


Andrea laughed. “Thanks. Bye” Closing the phone she looked at Daria.


 “He said they’ll be ready by the time we get there.”


Daria turned onto another road. “That’s nice. What was so funny?”


Andrea shrugged. “Nothing really. He just makes me laugh.”


Daria smiled to herself. She really liked Artie. He was goofy as all get out but unlike her mother, who wanted nothing to do with Andrea, Sandi’s brother adored his niece. That’s the main reason Daria always had Andrea order the pizza. Whenever she ordered a pie it never failed to have more toppings than it the specs allowed. She used to feel guilty about using Artie and Andrea like that but eventually realized it was Artie’s small way of letting Andrea know that at least one person on that side of the family still loved her.


5:44 pm


Daria pulled up to the window at Rocket Pizza. She always though the idea of a drive through pizza restaurant shaped like a flying saucer was idiotic but after all these years the ugly thing had become a local icon. Rolling down her window, she heard a familiar voice.




Looking out the window, she smiled. “Hi Artie.”


Andrea unbuckled her seatbelt and leaned over Daria. “Hey Uncle Artie.”


Artie grinned at his niece. “Hi.”


Just then an employee tapped him on the shoulder and pointed at something. Artie picked up the boxes and handed them to Daria who passed them to Andrea who proceeded to put them between the front seats then buckled herself back in.


“I’m sorry but I can’t talk right now. Minor emergency.” As he looked at something out of their view, he said. “That’ll be $12.86.”


Daria handed him the money and got her change. Before she rolled the window up, she said, “Thanks. Bye.”


Andrea leaned over and waved. “Bye.”


Artie smiled at the pair and turned to take care of the problem.


When they were back on the road, Daria asked, “What did we get?”


Andrea lifted the cover of both boxes and peeked inside. “The usual. Ooh, and a double order of breadsticks!”


Reaching inside, Andrea grabbed one of the sticks. Hearing what she was doing, Daria spoke up.


“Andrea! I can’t believe you.”


Bowing her head, Andrea said, “Sorry.” then reached down and got a breadstick for Daria.




6:17 pm


Trent walked through the door to see Andrea putting plates on the table.


“Hey kid.”


Andrea stopped and looked at him.


“Hi Dad.”


Noticing the boxes on the countertop, he said, “So you visited Artie again.”


Andrea chuckled. “You could say that.”


Smiling, he said, “I just did.” Pausing long enough for his daughter to roll her eyes, he finally had enough of waiting and spoke again.


“So where’s Daria?”


“She’s in the bathroom again.”


Trent nodded. “Ah. Gotcha. How long until everything’s ready?”


Going to the cabinet, Andrea got out three glasses. “Just long enough for me to put ice in these and get you two sitting down.”


Giving his daughter a quick smile, he said, “Cool. Just give me a few minutes to change. I don’t want to get sauce on these pants.”


“Take your time.” Andrea said. “Mom’s gonna be a while.”


6:42 pm


All three sat at the table looking at the last two slices. None of them could bring themselves to eat any more. Finally Daria got up and started gathering the dishes. Trent immediately stood up and took the plates out of her hands.


“It’s my turn. You did the breakfast dishes.”


Daria smiled. “If you insist.”


“I do. You go in the other room and rest now.”


“Okay. Thanks.”


Trent turned his attention to Andrea. “Now do you have any homework?”


Andrea nodded. “A little.”


“Well go get started.”


Putting her napkin down, Andrea got up and said, “Yes Sir.”


After both women were out of the kitchen, Trent sat back down and ate another slice before getting back to work.


8:37 pm


Daria was once again at her desk typing away on her notebook when Trent stuck his head in.


“Are you working now?”


Looking up, Daria nodded. “Well there was nothing else to do. This will get me a little further ahead in the morning. I’m almost done. How did the study session go?”


Trent shrugged. “Okay. I know she’s a brilliant girl. I just can’t understand why trig is giving her so much trouble.”


Turning the chair to face him, Daria shifted her weight to be a little more comfortable. “Well everyone has a weakness. Remember I had problems with english class when I was in high school.”


Smiling, Trent said, “Not really. Remember I graduated before you even moved here.”


Wadding up a ball of paper, Daria threw it at him. “Smartass. Go watch some tv. I’ll be there in a few minutes. I just want to finish this.”




As Trent left the room, Daria turned her attention back to the computer.


9:25 pm


Lying with her head on the pillow, Daria smiled and closed her eyes.


“Oh that felt so good.”


Moving one foot out of the way, Trent picked up the other one and started rubbing between the toes.


“We aim to please.”


Daria opened her eyes and looked at Trent. “Well your aim is perfect.”


As he continued the foot massage, he asked, “So are you going to do it?”


“Do what?”


“Teach the class Saturday?”


“I guess I will. Angie’s been a friend for years. It’s the least I can do.”


“Well do me a favor and don’t overdo it. Okay?”


Opening her eyes and looking at him again, she said, “I’ll behave. Just do me a favor.”


Trent looked at her. “What?’


“Tell Jane if she shows up for class with a camera I’ll kill her.”


Grinning, Trent asked, “Is that a problem?”


Daria glared at him. “You have to ask? I swore off spandex until after he’s born. I want no record of me wearing it until after then.”


Putting the foot down, Trent leaned over and kissed Daria. “It doesn’t matter. I love the way you look. You’re as beautiful now as you ever were.”


Wrapping her arms around him she smiled. “I love you.”


Hugging back, Trent said, “I love you too.”


Letting go, Daria propped herself on her elbows. “But that doesn’t mean I’m showing up at the studio in anything smaller than my biggest t-shirt.”


Trent smiled at her. “If it bothers you that much you need to tell Jane not to bring a camera. She’s your friend.”


“Yea. I plan to.” Daria said. “But she’s your sister. A threat from both of us just might work.”


Laughing, Trent said, “I’ll do what I can.”


“Thanks.” Daria said. Lifting her foot again, she said. “You never finished this one.”


10:38 pm


Daria stuck her head into Andrea’s room.




Andrea turned her attention from the screen to look at her.


“Still doing homework?” Daria asked.


“Nah. I finished a little while ago. I’m playing now.”


Daria nodded slightly. “Okay well don’t stay up too late. You still have two more days of school this week.”


Giving Daria her “It’s obvious” look, Andrea said. “Okay.”


“Well I’m turning in. Trent will be in soon to say goodnight.”


Andrea said, “Okay goodnight.”


“Goodnight.” Daria said, and shut the door.


10:57 pm


Pressing the button on the remote, Daria turned down the volume. Looking over at Trent, she said, “Hey.”


After no reply she poked him in the side. “Wake up.”


The jab was enough to get his attention. Rolling over he looked at Daria. “What is it?”


Looking down at him, she asked, “What do you think about the name Ted?”


Shifting slightly so he was more comfortable, he said, “Not much. Where did you come up with that one?”


Daria shrugged. “It just popped in my head.”


“Well I’m not to keen on that one. We still have a while. We can surely figure something out by then.”


Taking his hand, Daria put it on her stomach. “I guess. But time is running out.”


Trent propped himself up with his other arm. “We’ll have a name soon. I know we will.”


Looking at him, Daria said, “I know.” Picking up the remote again, she turned off the tv.


Leaning over, she gave Trent a quick kiss. “Well goodnight.”




Daria rolled over, set her glasses on the nightstand and turned off the lamp.


The End


As always, Daria belongs to MTV. This was written for my amusement.