Swingtown

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Express Your (Most Authentic) Self

Tom picks that moment to walk through the door. There are a few stilted hellos, and then Luke lopes off to get a shower. Tom gives Trina a "The hell?" look, and Trina explains, "We had a late night last night, reminiscing. I think he had one too many." Tom, who is being shot in, like, Wrinkle Filter or something because it's like he's aged in dog years from the last episode, just sort of smiles tiredly at Trina. Susan senses the awkwardness in the air and flees.

We then cut to Laurie giving a tepid and stilted speech in front of her class. "Is that it, Laurie?" hot Teacher Doug asks. It sure is, she tells him. Ignoring the Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP! vibes she's radiating, Teacher Doug reminds her, "The assignment was to draw from philosophers we've studied and from experiences in your own life." Before Laurie can point out that experiences in her own life include things like "Pulled an all-nighter at the library with teacher," "Invited teacher over to my house for romantic dinner a deux" and "brought teacher a doughnut really late at night," Teacher Doug is off and reminding the class "the subject of this exam is authentic self expression. So when you're up here, I want you to really express yourselves. Laurie, why don't you take another stab at it?" Laurie takes a pass.

And now, the scene that made me wonder, "Why bother with a job?" Roger is valiantly laying out his case for getting a raise or a promotion -- he's exceeded his sales quotas for the last six quarters straight, he's got the track record, he's got the experience. And his boss agrees: Roger does a great job. Unfortunately, times are tough at Mutual of Omaha, the boss man is under pressure to cut costs and pare back staff, and now that he knows Roger's itching for more money (as opposed to being desperate enough to do more work for the same money ... well, it's been a good dozen years, and good luck with your future endeavors, Roger.

Bruce comes home to find Susan in the living room, brooding on more damn wallpaper samples. Honestly, if I had just spent all day working my ass off and I came home to my partner kicking back with a drink and going glassy-eyed over red floral patterns, I'd be signing them up for volunteer work too. Or perhaps just leaving the classifieds out with ads like "WORK TROUT FISHING IN ALASKA" circled.

Then again, if I were married to Bruce, perhaps I'd take the lounge-on-the-couch situation as hazard pay, as he immediately gripes over the Thompsons' attendance at the charity 'do, and responds to news of Tom and Trina's attendance with "As far as I'm concerned, the Deckers and the Thompsons cancel each other out." Then Bruce comments on Susan's delay in picking a wallpaper pattern. She holds up an Art Nouveau-by-way-of-the-Seventies swatch and says, "I'm trying to decide which one expresses my authentic self. What do you think?" Bruce laughs and says, "Your authentic self? Honey, I have no idea what that is." Oh, Bruce, that statement is so true on so many levels.

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Swingtown

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