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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Contest Entry · #1569400
A story containing 23 sitcom titles
Roseanne knew that Everybody Loves Raymond and those were just the Facts of Life, but they’d become Perfect Strangers to each other lately. She wondered what happened to the Good Times, the Wonder Years. She remembered those Happy Days when it was just the two of them. They’d spent quiet evenings on the beach lying on the sand next to a bon fire until early morning. They had romantic dinners in fancy restaurants. But that was before they were Married…with Children.

These days, Raymond spent most of his waking hours at The Office. All he talked about was Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Roseanne was getting sick of even the sound of her name. Raymond would talk about how Mary saved this big account, or how Mary always knew how to smooth over ruffled feathers with a client. Roseanne was beginning to think that Three’s Company. She knew it was time to Get Smart and was contemplating filing for divorce in Night Court. Then she heard Raymond’s car in the driveway. She realized that she’d left the hospital three hours ago, but was still brooding at the kitchen table in her Scrubs.

Make Room for Daddy,” he yelled, coming through the door with his arms loaded with packages. “Where are My Three Sons?”

“What is all of this?” Roseanne was lifted into the air and spun around by her husband. The old fire was back in his eyes as he kissed her firmly on the lips.

“I did it, Rosie! I got the promotion!” Alf, their golden retriever, cam bounding from the living room and almost knocked the couple over. Raymond bent down to fluff the fur of his red-ish head. He didn’t even seem to notice, or care, that Alf was full of mud from the garden.

“Promotion?” Roseanne had no idea he was up for a promotion.

“That’s what I’ve been talking about. Mary Hartman is taking over my job, so I’m being promoted.”

“Oh.” Roseanne sank back to her chair. “Mary Hartman again.”

Raymond looked at her for a moment, then laughed. “Mary?” He laughed harder. “Mary Hartman? I wish you could meet her. I mean, she’s a nice lady and, you know, Diff’rent Strokes for different folks and all… but she’s definitely not…” he tried to stifle another laugh.

“I don’t see what’s so funny, Ray.” Roseanne’s face was starting to blush. “She’s all I’ve heard about for three months.”

Raymond tried to hug Roseanne, but she pulled away.

“Honey, please. Let me explain.” Ray followed her as she turned her back and went to the kitchen window. “Remember? I told you about three months ago that I’d be training someone to take my job? Don’t you remember that night at Cheers when we went out to celebrate?”

Roseanne thought back, feeling somewhat foolish. “But, you talk about her all the time. And you’re never home.” She turned to face him. “I mean, what would you think if you were me?”

“Baby, I know we’ve been going through some Growing Pains lately with Bart getting ready to go off to college and Harold going into high school next year. I know we haven’t had much time together.”

“It’s like we have no Family Ties anymore,” Roseanne added.

“But we do. We do. And I did this more for you and the boys than I did it for myself.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ll be working from home three days a week with this new position. I’ll be able to help out around here. I won’t have to miss anymore games or rehearsals or whatever else the kids need.”

“Will we be able to go out together? To Cheers? Like we did in the old days?” Roseanne’s eyes lit up.

“Do you promise to remember if we have a conversation there?”

Yes, Dear,” Roseanne could feel her face flush.

Raymond reached into his pocket and pulled out a diamond necklace. He put his arms around her to fasten it behind her back. It seemed their marriage had been Saved by the Bell.

Word Count: 677
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