Ruth is on the phone with George, saying she won't be "home" for a few days and making sure he has enough food in the house. As she finishes up, Sarah comes down the stairs and asks, "Was I frothing like an idiot last night?" Well, yeah. She blames the red wine, and says she doesn't even remember what she said. "You were blaming yourself," says Ruth. Now Sarah remembers. "I don't know why I do that. It's so narcissistic, you know." Ruth smirks a little at that. You can totally tell she's thinking, Asked and answered. Sarah continues, "I am the asshole at the center of the universe," and continues on a philosophical little close-talk about the vastness of the universe until a bunch of Sarah's and Fiona's friends come in. One of them is a woman who I think ended up getting a bunch of Bettina's lines because Kathy Bates was sick during the filming of this episode. So I'm just going to call her Bet-two-na. She introduces everyone, including Susie Bright, "the feminist sex writer." Who is of course being played by feminist sex writer Susie Bright. "You don't have to introduce me that way," says Susie Bright. Nate comes in, and Ruth says, "Nate, honey, come meet Susie Bright." They shake hands. "She's a sex writer," adds Ruth. Heh. While the other ladies unpack hippie groceries, Sarah says Bettina will be there after she finishes up at Costco, "Buying hummus by the metric ton." Bet-two-na asks for the whole story, mentioning that she heard that Fiona didn't even want to go on the hike: "Someone pushed her into it?" Sarah's philosophical armor seems to weaken a little at this.
While walking down to the basement, Nate does a good-husband thing, which is to immediately call Brenda and ask if she knows who Susie Bright is. Brenda's naturally a big fan. Of Susie Bright's, I mean, not of Nate's. Nate comments that "there's a bunch of women over here just whooping it up. One of those 'Our Dead Friend Would Have Wanted Us to Be Happy So Let's Make Her Funeral An Excuse For A Big Sloppy Party' deals." You'd think Nate would have a catchier name for that by now. Brenda asks if she can join them, and Nate guesses she just wants to meet Susie Bright. "And get away from Mr. Chenowith, who's here again," she whispers as her brother walks by and yoinks a snack right out of her hand. At this point, Nate's paused outside the door to the Body Shop, which he enters after he gets off the phone. "Whoa," he says at the sight of Fiona laid out on the table, naked from the waist up and sporting a fashionable Y incision. "Yep, first woman you ever slept with," David remarks. Rico's surprised to hear it. "Bet you never thought you'd see her naked again," David says, in the soft tone of a man who can't resist making a tasteless comment even though he knows it's tasteless. Rico feels no such constraints, however, and asks Nate, "How'd she hold up? What's the difference on her twenty years later?" Nate glares at Rico, then answers, "In case you haven't noticed, she's all bruised and busted up, you fucking idiot." And he draws the sheet up over Fiona's face while David looks at Rico like, "That was kind of tasteless, dude."
It's 2:20 at Claire's office, going by the clock on the wall. Claire's Perky Cubemate asks, "May I hug you?" "Okay," Claire whispers nervously. The Cubemate gets up, walks around, and hugs Claire while she's still in her chair. She says this was her after-school job years ago, "and I just fell in love with the place. The Monday after I graduated from college, I came back and I said, 'Put me to work!' It really is very special." Claire just stares unhappily, sitting like an old woman with her hand braced against her lower back until Cubemate says, "What's the matter, Claire? Is it Kirsten? Is she being a butt?" Heh. No, it turns out that it's Claire's pantyhose, which apparently she's never worn before, and thus isn't used to having her torso constricted. Cubemate asks if she's tried a different brand. Claire says it's not the brand; they're all the same (no pantyhose commercials this week, at least). "I don't understand how having your legs sheathed in this like smooth plastic Barbie leg, like, encased in a sausage casing would help you do your job better." She also points out the inherent sexism of the regulation. "Men have to wear ties," Cubemate says. Claire: "Right, but they don't suffocate you. And it's not on their penis." Since I've never worn pantyhose (and haven't worn a tie in quite a while either), I'm not really in a position to tell Claire to shut up. I'm fully prepared to agree that pantyhose are a fairly ridiculous social construction. But of course it's not about the pantyhose; the pantyhose are just a metaphor for the stifling atmosphere of a nine-to-five job, which of course Claire's never had before. At 21. So shut up, Claire. "I'm gonna go wash out some mugs," says Temporarily Less Perky Cubemate.