Mike and Carol had been married for three years. Mike was uxorious. Carol was gravid. Mike and Carol’s life together was good.
Their daily hypocoristic exchange was sweet but dumb: “baby” and “sweetie.” Despite their college education, they failed to ever come up with anything more exciting.
The couple that lived next door were Jim and Jem and their little guy Jam. Jim and Jem called each other and Jam “baby” and “sweetie.” The wall that divided their homes was paper-thin, and they too failed to come up with anything more exciting to call each other.
Jim and Jem wanted more babies. They were determined to be a proper cete, but it was hard with their full-time jobs as astronauts.
Mike joked to Carol that Jim and Jem would probably name their other kids after other condiments that are delicious on bread like "Marmalade" or "Peanut Butter" or "Mustard" or branch off into different flavors of jam like "Strawberry Jam." Baby Jam would be "Jam (original)," though what that flavor actually is was unclear.
It was when Mike said stupid things like this that Carol wished she had abulia. At least there would be a disorder that would force her to have to sit around while Mike spewed verbal vomit like this. The worst part about it was that she really liked "Jam" as a baby name, or maybe it was because she was constantly craving jam on any warm food now: cheese pizza, mushroom soup, dirty rice . . . fried chicken.
She didn't dare tell Mike to shut up though. Carol was a people pleaser, and she never wanted to upset anyone, let alone Mike. It wasn't Carol's fault that she was a people pleaser. Her mom made sure that Carol was a legatee of two things: a yacht named "Valgus," which looked like a tugboat and was named after her grandfather's valgus knee (he liked the name), and being a people pleaser.
While it may be peccant to wish for something so debilitating as abulia, was it really so much worse to be a people pleaser and detest it? Anyway, it was her legacy to be a people pleaser, and there was no point now in fighting it.
Carol looked down at the book of baby names that she was browsing through when Mike told her his joke--she hadn't gotten to the x, y, or z sections yet.