Marian McAlpin, a recent college graduate, works for Seymour Surveys, a marketing research company. One hot summer day she and her roommate, Ainsley Tewce, visit Clara and Joe Bates, who live nearby and have two small children. Clara is seven months pregnant, and her house is in disarray. She sits languidly in the garden, holding a baby, while Joe cooks dinner and changes the babies’ diapers. Later, Ainsley tells Marian that she has decided to have a child. Although she does not want to get married, she plans to find an appropriate man to father the child. Marian tries unsuccessfully to dissuade her.
Working the next day, Marian conducts a door-to-door survey about a proposed advertisement for Moose Beer. One person...
(The entire section is 946 words.)