Cut to all four people just wasting their pie by staring at it. This blatant pastry neglect just breaks my heart. Bruce breaks the ice by asking, "So, you don't know anybody your own age?" and Doug concedes that it's a fair question. He calmly and maturely starts stating his case with, "I'm 24, Laurie's 17 --" "Mom was 16 when you guys got married," Laurie interrupts, and you can see Doug recalibrating. "I'm 24, and I apparently enjoy dating girls who act like they're ten. Oh God." Susan tries to play peacemaker by pointing out that Laurie's spiking libido has prompted a few positive side effects like community activism and good grades. Bruce asks, "How hard can it be to get good grades if you're dating the teacher?" Laurie spoils for another fight, but Doug has on his big-boy pants, and he says, "Mr. Miller, you feel she's too young to be dating someone like me, and I respect that. I do. I fought the idea myself. But I care about her, and at some point, I realized Laurie's capable of making her own choices, and I respect that too." Well, Susan's moved. Bruce, not so much.
We cut back to the world's most excruciating dinner party -- I have a knot in my stomach from all of the tension, and I'm not even there -- and the Deckers make a very hasty retreat. They also fall off the monogamy wagon. (Trina: "Do you think Anthony and Michelle are available? I think it's time for us to step out of the penalty box.") I'm not sure Janet would be so pleased to know that her hostessing has that effect on people.
Susan is seeing Laurie off with a wishy-washy, "I can see why you like him ... see you tomorrow night." Really? Really? The woman who became a mother at sixteen is busy sending her teenaged daughter off for an overnight with the older boyfriend? Why? Because becoming a mother before you're legally able to vote worked out so well for her? "Oh, well, dear, I just want you to have everything I had: shotgun wedding, hardscrabble early years, empty materialism trying to fill the gaping hole in the middle of my emotional landscape, self-destructive crushes on men it would be a bad idea to pursue ..." How have Susan and Bruce managed to raise kids who are not bigger monsters is one of God's private mysteries if this little misadventure is any indication of their parenting skills. Anyway, Laurie then hits her apex on the smug-and-irritating line graph, lecturing her mother with, "Life is short. Be happy now." Susan replies, "Sometimes life is long, Laurie." "Even more reason," Laurie says. Oh my God, just leave already. Then there's almost a scene with Laurie and Bruce, but he just hands over some money and stammers, "If you need something." Laurie hugs him, then drives off with Doug. Susan and Bruce watch them leave, all "Aww! Our little girl's about to repeat our mistakes!"