CHARLES AND DORIS HAD BEEN MARRIED FOR ABOUT ten years, and for them it seemed like ten years too long. When Charles came home, he would slip in the back door, and his wife would be working in the kitchen. She was always surprised to see him, and would say, "Oh, are you home already?" He said it always sounded like what she really meant was, "Don't tell me you're home already." And he always felt as though he'd done something wrong just by coming home.
Then he would go and greet his children, but it always seemed that he stepped between them and the TV set at the wrong moment. The only one who seemed happy to see him was his little dog, Susie. So he would pick up the dog and go outside and pet her. Charles felt like stomping his feet and saying, "Doesn't anybody care? Isn't anybody glad to see me?" But he was a gentleman, so he didn't stomp his feet. He just let these moments pass. But the resentment grew.