Deb's back at Karen's Café. I guess they did decide to go into a partnership. I mean, hell, the only reason Deb didn't want to work was because of Nathan, and, well, his emancipation has kind of left her with some time on her hands. Anyway, she's wiping down the countertops with abandon. Karen jokes, "If the countertops get any cleaner we're not going to need plates." Deb snaps out of her reverie and apologizes. Then she says, "How terrible of a mother am I that my son wants to divorce me?" Karen insists, "Deb, you're not Mommie Dearest." Moira's hair looks cute; it's all curly. I just watched her in The Safety of Objects and she did a really good job. I know I've slammed her in these pages before, but Moira adds a certain something to this show…an unnamed quality, I can't quite put my finger on it…oh, yeah, she doesn't suck ass like some of the other quasi-parents with teenagers in the land of The WB. That's right, Joey's sister Bessie. I'm looking at you. Anyway. Enough of living in the past; Karen continues, "Nathan's hurt, but he'll forgive you. It's just going to take some time." And in a moment of non-subtle television "irony," and I use that word with caution, the King of Hurt comes through the door.
Deb looks surprised to see Keith in there. He just wants a cup of coffee. Awkward hellos are passed around like they contain the Ebola virus. Keith puts his money on the counter as Deb says, "We haven't seen you in a while." Keith lies and tells them he's been pretty busy at work. Man, he lurvs Karen. You can tell just by the way he looks at her. Keith takes the cup of coffee, thanks Deb, and says, "Karen." Just before he turns to leave, Karen calls him back: "Why don't you come by some night for dinner, like we used to." He smiles and asks if tomorrow night would be good. Karen smiles and says okay. Now when Keith leaves, he's on cloud nine. Finally, something's going his way. But hell, we know that can't last, because that old dog's been kicked so many times when he's down, he doesn't know what up is anymore. Deb turns around and gives Karen a look. Karen smiles and says, "Baby steps."
Faux-Sherry, the Booster Mom, comes in, saying she's "so happy" she's found two Booster Moms in the same place. Did everyone in town have a baby when they were, like, twelve? This woman looks like she's about twenty-two. Anyway, blah Judy Johnson, blah backed out of The Classic, blah the last minute, blah needs a chaperone blah. Deb says quietly, "I have a meeting with my attorney. I can't cancel." Faux-Sherry whisper-gossips, "I heard about you and Dan. How awful." Deb just gives her a look. Soon, Deb's not going to talk at all; she'll just be glancing around, giving everyone looks. Faux-Sherry turns to Karen and asks her about her trip to Italy. Without pausing for a breath, she launches right into how the Booster Moms have missed Karen at the Silent Auction, the Bake Sale, and the Pancake Breakfast. Okay, okay, Karen gets the hint. And somewhere, way up in space, Keith's cosmic aura gets a great big kick in the ass. There's not going to be a dinner "like they used to" this weekend, unfortunately.