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I'M, LIKE, GAY OR SOMETHING: The Coming Out Episode of DARIA
by Susanne "SusieDyke" Casey

Charles Emerson Ruttheimer III awoke one Friday morning during summer vacation, with an
inspiration he'd never experienced before. Opening his eyes, surrounded by images of Daria
Morgendorffer dancing through his brain, the love he had long possessed for her finally overtook
him.
As he dressed, he thought to himself, "Now I know what I have to do to win Daria...I FINALLY
know what to do!"

At breakfast, Charles Ruttheimer II noticed a glow about his son that he had never seen.
"Chucky, you look like you just lost your virtue to the Heavenly Host," Charles joked---he and
his son were always big buddies. "You still chasin' all the girls at the high school?"
Chuck replied, "No, Dad, it's finally hit me," he said. "I've grown tired of chasing after the
odd piece of ass...I think I've finally found the perfect girl. Someone I can grow old with,
someone I can have children with...someone I'd like to eventually marry. Trouble is, she
doesn't even know I'm alive."
Charles' interest was piqued. "Have you, now?" he asked. "It ain't that Brittany girl, is it?"

Chuck laughed. "No, no, Dad, this is someone much deeper, someone so much more than an
airheaded little bimbo," he said softly, pondering his Eggs Benedict. "I'm talking about my
ultimate dream girl, my soulmate..."
"Well, Chucky, who IS she? Don't keep me in suspense!" Charles said.
"Maybe I can help you out..."
"I thought you'd never ask," Chuck said, producing the Lawndale High School 1999 yearbook.
Flipping the pages, Chuck stopped at Daria's photo.
"There she is, Dad!" Chuck chuckled. "Daria Morgendorffer...the girl of my dreams."
Charles looked at Daria's picture. "Daria Morgendorffer, huh? She's sure pretty for a brain,"
Charles then said, smiling. "So happens I know her father...and ain't you friendly with her
sister Quinn?"
"Friendly? Dad, Quinn's been trying to fix me up with Daria since they moved here!" Chuck
replied.
After breakfast, father and son started for the family's electronics firm. "Chucky, I'm gonna
call the Morgendorffers to join us for lunch," Charles then said. "You want us to let Daria in
on it?"
"No, I want her to be surprised," Chuck then said. "What say we just invite Jake, Helen and
Quinn?"
"Deal!" Charles replied, high-fiving his son.

Jake Morgendorffer was about to settle into another week of depressing, health-induced
unemployment when he got the call. "Hello? Yes, this is Jake Morgendorffer," he said, "who is
this?"
"Jake, this here's Charles Ruttheimer II at Ruttheimer Electronics," Charles said on the other
line. "I'd like to talk to you this afternoon about a job in my firm...something very
high-up..."
"A JOB?!? Mr. Ruttheimer, are you SERIOUS?!?" Jake exclaimed.
"As a damn judge, ol' buddy," Charles said with a hearty, friendly laugh. "Why don't you bring
your wife and your girl Quinn over, too? My boy Chuck's gonna join us...it's at the Lawndale
Country Club restaurant, in a half-hour..."
"What about my oldest girl, Daria?" Jake then asked.
"I have some business regarding her, too...but she doesn't need to know about it just yet. Just
bring Helen and Quinn, and Chucky and I'll lay it all out for ya," Charles said sweetly.
Jake looked at his watch. It was 11:30. "Mr. Ruttheimer, you've got yourself a DEAL! See you
then!" Jake said excitedly.
Charles smiled, "Okay, Jake, see you then."
For the first time in many months, Jake was happy, which surprised his wife Helen. "Jake,
what's going on? You know the doctor doesn't want you to overexert yourself," she said.
"Helen, that was Charles Ruttheimer II from Ruttheimer Electronics! He's invited us to
lunch...he wants to offer me a job!" Jake exclaimed.
"A JOB?!? Doing what?" Helen asked.
"It's a high-up position, but he couldn't tell me over the phone!" he said. "He wants to make
the offer over lunch at the Lawndale Country Club---and he wants to discuss something regarding
Daria, too!"
"Shouldn't Daria go with us?"
"No, just Quinn. Mr. Ruttheimer said there was a surprise for Daria, and that she shouldn't
know about it yet."
Helen mused, "Well, it's just as well---Daria's at that Jane Lane's again. I swear, Jake, she's
spending too much time with that girl."
"QUINN!" Jake called out. "Put on your best dress! We've been invited to lunch with the
Ruttheimers!"
"Already there, Dad, believe it or not," Quinn replied as she bounded down the stairs. She had
on the robin's-egg blue column dress she'd worn to the Summer Dance two weeks earlier, right
down to the matching platform sandals. "Where's Daria?"
"At Jane's," Helen replied.
"Figures," Quinn grumbled. "I think it's unnatural that Daria spends nearly all her time over
there. Don't you think it's high time she got interested in boys?"
"She has a point, Jake," Helen said.
"I wonder why Mr. Ruttheimer wants to discuss her?" Jake thought to himself.

Trent Lane Sr. called his son to the side as they prepared to take Mystik Spiral out of town for
the weekend, leaving Jane to watch the house with her best friend, Daria. "Say, Trent, I notice
you kinda like Daria, don't'cha?" he asked.
"Yeah, Dad, I do, but she's way outta my league," Trent admitted.
"I see that," Trent Sr. replied kindly. "Think she and Jane make a cute couple?"
"Dad, c'mon, I didn't say that," Trent protested weakly.
"I know, but I sense it," Trent Sr. continued. "I don't have a problem with it, if there IS
something there...it just seems to me Janie's been trying to fix you up with Daria for nothing."

"Janie just doesn't want to face it, that's all," Trent then said. "Daria's a great girl...I'd
do anything for her...but I know she and I aren't meant to be. And I think Janie's goin'
through the motions, too..."
"You think Janie likes Daria more than she'll admit?"
"I don't think, Dad...I know it. And I think I'd better bring Janie down to Earth, to help her
see that loving her own sex is okay."
After a long pause, Trent Sr. said, "Okay, son, I agree with you. But be gentle with her...she
won't know how to react if you just blurt out, 'Hey, sis, I know you love Daria and she loves
you.' In fact, she'll have one mother of a panic attack!"
"Tell me about it," Trent mused, going back to help Jesse and the guys with their packing.
"It's not good for her to hold her feelings in, and the same goes for Daria."

At the Lawndale Country Club restaurant, the maitre'd greeted Jake, Helen and Quinn the minute
they arrived. "Ah, you must be the Morgendorffer party...Mr. Ruttheimer and his son have been
expecting you," he said, leading them to the Ruttheimers' table.
"Quinn! Great to see you!" Chuck called out as the Morgendorffers approached the table,
reaching over to hug his one true friend in Lawndale.
"Hi, Chuck," Quinn grinned, remembering not to call him "Upchuck" in front of his father. "I
see you've not lost your golden touch."
"Jake, Helen, it's a pleasure to see you," Charles smiled, shaking their hands. When they all
sat down to lunch, Charles laid out the job offer...a full Vice Presidency with Ruttheimer
Electronics, right down to a cushy private office, secretary, personal assistant, $3.5
million-a-year salary, the works, meaning Helen could declare early retirement from her law
firm...and that Jake, if he chose, could also retire in 5 years. Jake could hardly believe his
ears.
"Me...Vice President of Ruttheimer Electronics?" Jake asked in wonderment.
"Effective immediately, Jake," Charles beamed, presenting him with the documents.
"Early retirement?" Helen asked.
"If you so choose," Chuck chimed in. "Just think, Mrs. Morgendorffer, you could finally leave
the rat race and spend more time with your lovely, lovely girls..."
"Sounds tempting, Mr. Ruttheimer..." Jake began.
"'Mr. Ruttheimer's' my daddy, Jake...call me Charles," Charles then said.
"Okay, Charles," Jake replied. "This does sound tempting...I dunno..."
"Jake, this is the opportunity of a lifetime!" Charles said. "You won't have the hassles and
the stresses you had as a mere advertising consultant, before you had your heart attack...this
won't put any extraneous pressure on your heart, I promise you."
"Are you sure, Charles?" Helen asked.
"Tell y'all what, why don't the three of you spend the weekend with us at our place on Lawndale
Lake?" offered Charles. "Everything will be at your disposal..."
"What about Daria?" Jake finally asked.
"Oh, there's a fringe benefit comin' her way," Charles said, grinning from ear-to-ear. "My
Chucky's got something he's been meaning to ask you..."
After a nervous sip from his glass of Citra, Chuck finally spilled the beans. "Mr. and Mrs.
Morgendorffer, this was, in a way, a motive for my father offering you all a better life, but an
honorable one," Chuck said shakily. "I'd...I'd like to date Daria."
Jake dropped his fork into his Greek salad. "You do?" he asked.
Helen's jaw dropped. "Chuck, are you serious?" she chimed in.
Quinn's eyes lit up. "What took you so long to ask?" she piped up.
"Believe me, I didn't know of any other way of asking you," Chuck admitted. "But Mr. and Mrs.
Morgendorffer...Quinn...I've loved Daria ever since you all first moved to Lawndale, and nothing
would make me happier than to win her heart..."
Jake laughed. "Chuck Ruttheimer, you have NOTHING to apologize for!" he beamed, shaking Chuck's
hand. "Of COURSE you can date Daria!"
"We can't think of anyone more perfect for her than you," Helen added. "If this means
anything...welcome to our family!"
"So this weekend's on?" Charles asked.
"It certainly is," Jake exulted. "No time like the present to get to know my Daria's potential
new boyfriend better!"

Later that evening, Daria went back home to get some extra things for the weekend at Jane's. To
her surprise, she didn't receive the usual static from her family about her "unnatural"
attachment to Jane...
"If they only knew how I really feel," Daria thought to herself. "Jane doesn't even know...oh,
God, I wish I could tell her! I wish I had the words to tell her how much she really means to
me, how much I really love her!"
As she went out the door, Jake stopped her. "Daria, wait!" he said, gently grabbing her
shoulder. "I forgot to give you this."
Before Daria could speak, her father gave her $500 for the weekend. "Dad, what IS this?" she
asked. "Have you been going to the casino again? When do you want it back?"
"I don't, just take it," he said, making up a fib as he went along. "I got a $10,000 advance
for my next job, and your mother and I are going out of town to celebrate!"
"What about Quinn?" she then asked, growing suspicious.
"She's having a slumber party with her Fashion Club friends---and I gave her the same amount,"
he replied. "This could mean a new beginning for our family."
"Dad, are you all right?" Daria asked. "You usually give me $50 for the weekend..."
"I can't tell you right now," Jake said. "It's a surprise...I'll tell you when we get back, all
right?"
"Well, okay," Daria replied, shaking her head as she left. Once she was out of view, Jake
breathed a sigh of relief.
"Did she buy it?" Helen asked.
"Surprisingly, yes," Jake said. "But it's all in the name of true love---all in the name of her
new man!"
"'New man' is right," Quinn chuckled. "And I'm soooooo glad it's Upchuck...he's been like a
brother to me since we moved to Lawndale."
"And if all goes well, he may be your brother by marriage in a few years, Quinn," Helen replied.

"C'mon, everybody, join me!" Jake laughed as Quinn and Helen joined him in a celebratory
song-and-dance:
"DARIA'S DATING UPCHUCK!!! DARIA'S DATING UPCHUCK!!! DARIA'S DATING UPCHUCK!! DARIA'S DATING
UPCHUCK!!!"

"Trent, you need to have your head examined," Jane Lane protested when her brother finally
talked to her. "You and Daria are made for each other, and you know it!"
"No, Janie, we're not," Trent interrupted. "I know it in my heart, I'm NOT the right person for
her!"
"That doesn't mean she's interested in someone else," she replied. "Just give her time...she'll
come around."
"She won't, sis," Trent said, bracing himself for what was to come. "My point is, Daria
Morgendorffer is a wonderful girl, a great friend, but she's not in love with me...she's in love
with YOU!"
Those words cut Jane to the quick, even more so because Trent was telling the truth. "Stop
it!" she wept. "I don't want to hear it!"
"Janie, please, you HAVE TO!!!" Trent argued, sympathetically gripping her arms. "Look at me,
Janie, please! I wouldn't be saying this if it weren't true...I know Daria's a lesbian, and
that she loves you...and I know, deep down, you love her."
"NO! It isn't TRUE!!!" Jane sobbed, afraid to face the truth.
"Yes, it IS!!!" Trent scolded, shaking sense into her. "She loves you, and by God, YOU LOVE
HER!!!"
Finally, Jane dried her eyes, still weeping. "She's never said anything," she said. "She's
always acted like she liked you..."
"She's afraid to face it, just like you are," Trent replied gently. "But I'll tell you this...I
think it's so damn cool."
"You do?"
"Yes...to tell you the truth, I envy you two. I think you're so perfect together."
Jane's tears gave way to a smile of inner peace. "I do love her, you know," she finally
admitted. "But how do I tell her?"
"You'll know, Janie, you'll know," Trent smiled back. "Now c'mon, Dad wants to take us all out
when Daria gets here."

Over dinner, Daria engaged Trent in some light banter, but couldn't keep her mind off of Jane.
"Trent can't possibly know...could he?" she thought to herself. "Jane's so beautiful...I just
want to shout it out that I love her, but I can't right now...if not now, when?"
Jane's thoughts were racing in equal time. "When'll be the time to tell Daria how I feel? God,
I want to kiss her...how'll she react? Will she really feel the same way, or will she run?"
After dinner, the group returned to the Lane home, where Jane and Daria saw Trent Sr. and Mystik
Spiral off as they headed to L.A. for the Alternathrash Battle Royale.
Meanwhile, Jake, Helen and Quinn had already arrived at the Ruttheimers' Lawndale Lake retreat,
and were settling into their sumptuous guest quarters. In Quinn's room, she and Chuck were
poring over pictures of Daria she had brought, as well as some bridal magazines Helen purchased
on the way.
"I know this is putting the cart before the horse," Chuck said, "but I'm already dreaming of my
wedding day...and dreaming of your sister becoming my wife."
"Don't sweat it, Upchuck," Quinn giggled, giving him a playful punch on the arm. "I'll be glad
to help you two get together...at least now, we know it's gonna happen!"
"At last, at long last," he replied dreamily, dancing about the room with one of the pictures of
Daria and singing a few bars from a more recent Prince song. "'Could Daria be...the most
beautiful girl in the world?'"
"Upchuck!" Quinn giggled. "Stop, you're killing me!"
"'It's plain to see...Dar's the reason that God made a girl...oh, yes, she is...'"

Saturday morning arrived, but neither Daria nor Jane had slept the entire night. "Today, she'll
know," they each thought as they prepared to go out for breakfast.
Jane wasn't surprised when Daria wanted to have breakfast at a small, gay-owned-and-operated
restaurant. Nor was Daria surprised when Jane decided to visit a few gay and lesbian bookstores
and businesses. With some of the money Jake had given her, Daria bought Chastity Bono's "Family
Outing" and a video of the film "Claire of the Moon," while Jane bought a couple of copies of
GIRLFRIENDS and OUT, as well as a book detailing the history of the gay-rights movement.
Before going home, they also grabbed copies of several gay and lesbian newsletters, then stopped
for cappuccino at the same restaurant they'd gone to for breakfast. Jane studied Daria with new
eyes as they looked over their books.
"Some summer reading, huh, Daria?" she asked nervously.
"Uh, you could call it that," Daria replied. "I could say the same about what you've got."
"Oh...heh-heh...I'm doing my senior research paper on the Stonewall riots," Jane fibbed, knowing
Daria would catch her lie.
Daria set down her book. "Jane, who are we kidding?" she asked. "Surely you must have
suspected something when I picked up 'Claire of the Moon'..."
"Suspected? Uh, not at all...what do you think I'm suspecting?" Jane replied.
"That I'm gay," Daria began, "...which I am."
"You are? Well, I guess that makes two of us," Jane finally admitted. "I've been holding out
on you, too...I've been trying to fix you up with Trent all this time so I wouldn't face up
about being gay, either..."
"That's not all we've been keeping from each other, Jane," Daria said softly, leaning closer to
Jane. As nature took its course, Daria tilted Jane's face up to hers and kissed her for the
first time, the waves of long held-back love and devotion overtaking them at last. Jane closed
her eyes and enjoyed Daria's kiss, the fullness of her lips crushing against her own, the
softness of her tongue making her dizzy as she cupped Daria's face in her hands.
Finally, realizing where they were, Daria readjusted her glasses and finished her coffee. "Feel
like going back to that bookstore?" she asked. "There's a great lesbian sex book..."
"Feel like testing it out, huh?" Jane smiled. "Lead the way, lover."

It was a wonderful weekend for Daria and Jane as they explored the deepest realms of their
newfound love, spending most of the time in bed. Between bouts of marathon lovemaking, they
ordered pizza and Chinese takeout in most of the time. Late Sunday night, Trent Sr. called to
check on the girls, and was happily surprised to discover that his theory about them had been
correct. "I KNEW you girls were nuts about each other!" he exclaimed cheerfully.
"So you're not upset?" Jane asked, wondering if her father had his eggs in one basket.
"Upset? Well, I would've liked to have seen you with a guy," he said, "but you are who you are,
Janie, and I'm not going to judge you. In face, I love you for it! Who knows...maybe you and
Daria'll get married one of these days!"
"I sure hope so, Dad," Jane beamed, gazing at Daria on the other pillow. "I love her so
much..."
"And I love you, sweetie," Daria chimed in. "Trick is, how do I tell my parents?"
Trent Sr. heard what Daria said, and asked to speak to her. "Daria, I know you're worried about
what Jake and Helen might think, but like I told Janie, you are who you are," he said
reassuringly. "I certainly won't judge you for loving her...in fact, I feel like I've gained
another daughter."
"Thanks, Mr. Lane, you've made me feel better," Daria smiled. "Or should I call you 'Dad' from
now on?"
"If you want, but what say we wait about that until you and Janie decide to get married?"
"Whatever you say, Mr. Lane...we'll see you when you get back from L.A.."
After Trent Sr. got off the phone, Daria and Jane were interrupted by another call---this time,
from Daria's parents. "Daria," Jake said, "I hope you don't mind being by yourself for this
week...your mother and I have decided to stay at the Couples' Retreat for the week instead of
just the weekend."
"No, I don't mind at all," Daria replied. "Have you told Quinn?"
"We just got off the phone with her," Jake lied. "We've sent you each a Western Union note for
another $500 to get you through, okay?"
"Well, okay, Dad, if you and Mom think it's best," Daria said, once again buying Jake's lie.
After the call, Daria got a worried look on her face.
"What's wrong, babe?" Jane asked, kissing all over Daria's face.
"I'm still kinda worried about coming out to them," Daria admitted. "I'm also wondering what
they're up to."
"How do you figure?"
"Well, Dad usually gives me $50 for the weekend, right? Suddenly, this weekend, he gave me
$500...now he's sending me another $500 through Western Union because he and Mom are gonna be
gone all week. That isn't like them...but at least we'll be able to eat out."
A devilish gleam flashed in Jane's eyes. "Speaking of eating out," Jane finally said as she
clambered back on top of Daria to resume their lovemaking. Everything was in their favor,
especially since Mystik Spiral and Trent Sr. had decided to spend the rest of the week in L.A..

Back at the Ruttheimers' lakefront estate, the Ruttheimers and the Morgendorffers launched
Operation Matchmaker.
"Here's the layout of Daria's room," Helen said. "Padded gray walls, yicky brown carpet and
bedding, plain Army bed, 'Sick Sad World' posters, everything." Helen then produced pictures of
Daria's room, placing them on top of the blueprints.
"I'm no decorator, Mrs. Morgendorffer, but I'm telling you right now that's all gotta go," Chuck
said, poring over the pictures of Daria's room. "C'mon upstairs, I want to show you what Quinn
and I have done since yesterday morning.."
The group followed Chuck into his room, where he and Quinn had been redecorating and had kept
everyone out. Chuck had been sleeping on the floor of his father's room until he and Quinn were
done. When they stepped inside, they were all amazed.
"Voila!" Chuck exulted, showing them all in. The childish rock band, pinup girl, and Ferrari
posters had given way to a more tasteful theme...similar to his father's room, but covered with
picture after picture of Daria. Some photos, some pencil sketches that Chuck had done over the
weekend, all tastefully arranged on his walls and on his dresser. This gave them the
inspiration they had been looking for.

Since the Lanes lived far across town, closer to the gay district than the Morgendorffers, Daria
and Jane were unaware that Daria's room was being transformed in a way neither of them could
ever imagine. The psycho-ward wall padding and the drab brown carpet were torn straight off,
the plain bedding, desk, drawers, chair, and Army bed were taken to Goodwill. As Jake and
Charles painted the walls, ceiling and door in romantic Laura Ashley colors and laid out a new,
frothy, pale-pink carpet, Helen, Quinn and Chuck raided Pier 1 Imports, Ikea, and Pottery Barn
to find some new bedroom furniture and accessories. Chuck found a romantic, pale oak bedroom
suite at Pottery Barn, while Quinn selected pastel curtains and bedding at Ikea to match the new
color scheme. Not to be outdone, Helen found a new mattress at Heilig Meyers, then went to Pier
1 for several pewter picture frames---all the better to house pictures of Chuck---and also
selected varying sizes of vanilla candles, mulberry potpourri, and coordinating candleholders
and potpourri dishes to further romanticize Daria's room.
Once the paint was dry and the carpet was lain out, the Ruttheimers and the Morgendorffers
arranged the new furniture in their proper places. Charles, Jake and Chuck assembled the bed,
then dropped in the new mattress; Quinn and Helen made the bed, then helped the men arrange the
rest of the furniture; finally, Helen, Chuck and Quinn gave Jake and Charles a break to finish
things up. Finally, the potpourri in the dishes, the candles arranged, the pictures of Chuck
all over the room...the Ruttheimers and the Morgendorffers basked in the glow of a job well
done.
"I hope Daria loves it," Chuck said with a tired, but happy look on his face. "I'd do anything
for her."
"I know, son," Jake grinned, giving Chuck a friendly slap on the back. "I know."
"Well, y'all, what say we go back to the lake before the surprise gets spoiled?" Charles then
said. "Daria might get suspicious."
"Great idea," Helen agreed.

The week seemed to go by in a flash, and Jane and Daria wished it hadn't ended so soon. Mystik
Spiral had won the Alternathrash Battle Royale, and had stayed in L.A. for a few days to secure
their new record deal with Interscope, and when they got home, the Lane house was rocked with a
wild celebration.
"Let me be the first to toast Mystik Spiral," Daria said, hefting her glass of diet Coke. "You
guys really beat the odds, and I'm so proud of you...to the guys!!!"
After the first toast, Trent lifted his bottle of beer. "To my sister Janie and the love of her
life...Daria," Trent began. "You two will have a tough row to hoe, but you'll always be in the
hearts of the Lane family, as well as Mystik Spiral. In fact, Dad and I have written a song for
the both of you..."
"Aw, Trent," Jane giggled, half-embarrassed, half-thrilled.
"Daria, maybe this'll give you the extra courage you need to come out to your folks," Trent Sr.
added, picking up his guitar. "We've called this one...'Dar and Janie.' I hope you'll like
it."
Trent Sr. began to play, giving Trent the cue to sing:

"Dar and Janie, two different girls
Each deep in love with the other
For so long afraid to face the love
they share,
When they're not the only ones...
Walk through your fears, O my sisters
Don't be afraid to show your pride
Because you fell in love with your own
gender
Doesn't mean others have to make you run
and hide...
Kick open the closet doors
Show the world just who you are
Being lesbians won't end your lives...
Your love only begins who you are..."

As Trent sang, the beautiful lyrics reduced both Jane and Daria to tears...and steeled Daria's
resolve to come out of the closet.

Before returning home Friday afternoon to greet her family, Daria and Jane agreed that they
would come out to Jake, Helen and Quinn Saturday night. Jane would come over on Saturday, like
always, but instead of merely hanging out, they would be on a date.
"I know it's prickly to do this tonight, so let's wait 'til tomorrow, okay?" Jane said as she
saw Daria off. "I won't be wearing my usual get-up, either...I'll have on that cute black
outfit and heels..."
"Jane, you're making me horny," Daria joked.
"I know," Jane replied as they moved in for their parting kiss. "I love you."
"I love you, too," Daria smiled. "See you tomorrow?"
"I'll be there with bells on," Jane called out as Daria walked home.
When she arrived, Jake, Helen and Quinn all greeted her at the door. "Daria, how was your
week?" Quinn asked, trying to keep a straight face. Daria saw through it immediately.
"Okay, family, what have you been up to?" Daria demanded.
"Well, Daria, we have a surprise for you," Jake began.
"Let me guess. There was no Couples' Retreat, and Quinn didn't stay with her Fashion Club
friends all week," Daria rightly suspected.
"Uh, no, but even better," Helen piped up. "Tell her, Jake."
"Daria...say hello to the new Senior Vice-President of Ruttheimer Electronics!" Jake
exclaimed. "This means our family is SET FOR LIFE!"
"It also means this is the latest attempt to start me dating Upchuck, if I'm not mistaken,"
Daria thought to herself in disgust. "I've got half a mind to come out of the closet right now,
but I have to keep my promise to Jane."
"Come on upstairs, Daria, we've got another surprise for you," Quinn squealed. "We redecorated
your room while you were at that Jane Lane person's house!"
"You redecorated MY ROOM?!?" Daria exclaimed angrily. "My PRIVATE THINK TANK?!?"
"Go on, Daria, look and see," Helen insisted.
They all went upstairs, where Daria was confronted by a Laura Ashley nightmare. Baby-pink
carpet, pale-yellow ceiling, icy-blue walls and door...new, feminine bed, vanity, desk, clusters
of candles, dishes of potpourri...and worst of all---just as she suspected---picture upon
picture of Upchuck gracing her walls, drawers and desk.
"WHAT IN GOD'S NAME HAVE YOU DONE?!?" Daria screamed.
"We knew you'd like it," Jake beamed.
"That nice Chuck Ruttheimer and his father even helped us with the redecorating," Helen added.
"We got rid of those horrible wall pads and everything, especially those pictures of that Lane
girl---!"
"But why, besides the obvious? I mean, HOW DARE YOU?!?" Daria raged.
Her family held their ground.
"Face facts, Daria, your sister Quinn has had all kinds of boyfriends, while you---YOU have yet
to experience the joys of true love," Jake explained. "Furthermore, Chuck Ruttheimer has been
interested in you ever since we moved to Lawndale!"
"We feel you've been spending entirely too much time with Jane Lane, and not enough time with
Chuck," Helen added. "So we don't want you hanging around her anymore, understand?"
"You sold me out," Daria finally said. "You actually agreed to a job at Ruttheimer Electronics
in exchange for Upchuck becoming my boyfriend when I'm not even interested. What about my
happiness? Doesn't that matter to you?"
"First of all, we DIDN'T sell you out," Jake interjected. "Second of all, I would advise you to
stop calling him 'Upchuck'---it's tasteless and downright rude of you to address your new
boyfriend in that manner!"
"But I don't want---!" Daria began, only to be cut off.
"Daria, your happiness is more than important to us," Helen continued.
"And once you start going out with that nice Chuck Ruttheimer, and stop hanging out with Jane
Lane, your happiness will be complete."
"In other words, Daria," Quinn began, to be joined by Jake and Helen,
"IT'S TIME YOU HAD A MAN!!!!!!!!!"
Overwhelmed with rage, Daria broke into a dead run out of the house and straight back to Jane's.


"Daria, what's wrong?" Jane asked when she found a weeping Daria on her doorstep.
"I can't believe they did this! I can't believe it!" Daria sobbed.
"Did what?" Jane replied. "C'mon in and tell me what happened."

Once Daria was inside, she told Jane everything. "Oh, my God," Jane grumbled. "Jake's working
for Upchuck's dad, and got you roped into dating Upchuck?"
"They've even arranged my 'first date' with him for tomorrow night," Daria wept, dabbing away
tears with a Kleenex. "That's when you and I are going on our date, too!"
"And we're STILL going on our date," Jane reassured her, holding her as she continued crying.
"I'll just act like I'm seeing you and Upchuck off, then we'll come out to them."
"They won't understand," Daria smile through their tears, "but it's worth a shot. Let's do it!"


When Daria returned home, she didn't let on what she was planning, nor that she had been back to
Jane's. As far as Jake, Helen and Quinn knew, she was trying to let it sink in that she owed
Jake for landing the job with Ruttheimer Electronics, and the only way to make everyone happy
was if she started dating Chuck.
That night, surrounded by the pastel walls and the pictures of Chuck, Daria didn't have an easy
night's sleep. Tomorrow, Helen and Quinn would be taking her to Quinn's favorite boutiques at
the mall to pick out some "appropriate" outfits for her dates with Chuck...already they were
planning their wedding. But Daria had other plans.
"Quinn's not gonna get a brother, that's for sure," she thought as she drifted off to sleep, her
thoughts remaining with Jane.

Saturday was an even worse nightmare than the new color scheme of her bedroom as Helen and Quinn
dragged Daria to The Gap, The Limited, Fashion Internationale, and the Paul Mitchell salon for
the full treatment. "If this is what Quinn goes through to get a damn man," Daria thought, "I'm
glad I'm dating a woman."
By the time they were through, Daria looked like a bigger-boobed, bespectacled version of
Quinn. In a way, she didn't mind...whether they liked it or not, she wasn't going through this
hassle for Chuck.


At the Lane house, Jane paced nervously in her new pantsuit and matching high-heels. "Thank God
Dad, Trent and the guys are going over there with me," she thought, "I sure as Hell couldn't
make the walk in these shoes."
Trent Sr. noticed her concern. "Janie, you're making me dizzy," he said. "We won't be at
Daria's for another 2 hours."
"I know, Dad," Jane replied. "I'm worried about Daria, about what she told me last night. With
the Ruttheimers and the Morgendorffers in the same roof when we get there, it could get ugly."
"You won't be by yourself," Trent Sr. reminded her. "And besides, Daria's family's gonna have
to deal with it sooner or later."
"What if Daria's parents disown her?" she then asked.
Trent Sr. stood up, walked up to his eldest daughter, and gave her a hug. "Then I guess I've
gained another daughter sooner than I expected," he replied. "Daria will always be welcome in
this house."

When the time came, Jane, Trent, Trent Sr., and Trent's bandmates loaded up in their new
Cadillac Escalade and drove over to the Morgendorffer house. Charles and Chuck had already
arrived, and were waiting downstairs for Daria. Jane and the others parked the Escalade and
walked up to the front door, where Helen greeted them.
"Jane! It's so nice to see you," Helen said condescendingly. "Won't you come in?"
"I'm just here to see Daria off," Jane lied. "She ready yet?"
"She should be, I don't know what's keeping her," Helen replied. The Lanes and the rest of
Mystik Spiral entered the house, and Quinn immediately got suspicious.
"Uh-oh," she thought, "there goes Daria and Upchuck's date!"
Quinn was so right. Daria soon arrived downstairs, sporting the new, softer hairdo and
makeover, and one of the new outfits that had been bought earlier in the day: A pale green
slipdress, hose, a white lace jacket, clunky but sexy black heels, silver earrings, and the dead
giveaway of her true intentions...a silver neckchain with a double-female charm on it.
Before anyone could speak, Daria ignored Chuck and went straight to Jane. "Hi," she said
sweetly, "ready to go?"
"When you are," Jane replied, kissing Daria's cheek. This immediately raised Jake's blood
pressure.
"Daria Adrian Morgendorffer, what the Hell do you think you're DOING?!?" he demanded. "You're
supposed to be going out with Chuck Ruttheimer!"
"Your father's right, Daria, what is the MEANING OF THIS?!?" Helen chimed in.
Facing down the Ruttheimers and her own family, but backed up by the Lanes and Mystik Spiral,
Daria held her ground. "Mom, Dad, Quinn, Mr. Ruttheimer, UPCHUCK...for your information, Jane
Lane IS my DATE!!!" she answered. "Dad, you had no right doing what you did, sacrificing my
happiness for the sake of a better job! It's time I had a man? I don't think so!"
"Is that so, Jake?" Charles demanded.
"S-she doesn't mean it!...Do you?" Jake stammered.
"Every word," Daria said. "To borrow some verbage from our former neighbors in Highland, Texas,
everybody...I'm, like, gay or something! Now if you'll all excuse us, Miss Lane and I have a
date...good night!"
As Daria left with Jane and the others, Chuck saw all hopes of winning her heart dashed to bits,
and crumbled to the sofa in tears.
"So...I guess I won't be getting the job now, will I?" Jake shuddered.
Charles thought about it. "Jake, the job is still yours," he said kindly, slapping Jake on the
back. "Sure I'm heartbroke because your Daria didn't take to my Chuck, but think a minute.
When Daria saw that Lane girl, I could see the love between them, and how happy they were...and
son, that's all that matters."
Jake was in shock. "Really?" he replied. "I hoped Daria and Chuck---!"
"There'll be other girls for Chuck," Charles interrupted. "Still friends...Mr. Senior
Vice-President?"
Jake smiled. "Still friends, Mr. CEO!" he exulted as they shook hands.
"You know, I'm beginning to wonder if we didn't misjudge Jane," Helen mused. "I don't fully
understand it, but they're a perfect fit...que sera sera."
In the living room, Quinn walked up to Chuck, taking in how vulnerable he really was...and
feeling her love for him grow as she did. "Chuck, you heard what your dad said, there'll be
other girls," she offered. "If I'd known about my sister being a lesbian, I wouldn't have egged
you on about wanting to date her..."
Feeling her own resolve crumbling, Quinn could not stop the tears from falling. "And for what
it's worth," she sobbed, "...oh, Upchuck, I'm just as devastated as you are!"
Quinn joined Chuck on the sofa, and they held each other in their grief and their tears.
Suddenly, it occurred to Chuck that maybe he'd loved the wrong Morgendorffer sister when the
right one had been under his nose all along...his best friend Quinn.

When Daria returned from her date with Jane, Jake, Helen, and Quinn were waiting.
"H-how was your date?" Helen asked.
"It was wonderful," Daria began, the remorse in her voice, "but I guess I cost Dad his new job."

"That's where you're wrong, kiddo," Jake replied. "I start my job at Ruttheimer Electronics
Monday morning."
"Are you still the Senior Vice President?" Daria asked.
"I sure am," Jake said. "Listen, Daria, we've been thinking it over, and...well, we owe you an
apology."
"We mistakenly thought that if you found the right man, you'd finally be happy," Helen
continued. "We thought Jane Lane was the wrong person for you to be around...but after seeing
you two together tonight, going on your date, well...we realized that you'd found that true,
all-abiding love with her. We don't like it, we don't understand it, but you're still our
daughter and sister...and we love you so much."
"Guys, I love you, too," Daria smiled. "What about Upchuck?"
"You'd better ask your sister about that," Jake smiled back.
"Quinn? What happened?" Daria asked.
"Chuck and I went on our first date tonight, after you left," Quinn sighed, her smile ten miles
wide. "He's been the one for me all along, and sis, I owe it all to you."
That was music to Daria's ears. "What about all the Upchuck pictures you plastered all over my
room?" she then asked.
"All gone," Helen said. "And it's your bedtime, so you'd better scamper if you're gonna go out
with Jane anymore!"

Daria went upstairs and turned on her light. Sure enough, the pictures of Chuck were
gone...replaced by pictures of Jane. A rainbow flag was displayed on one wall, framed by two
erotic Judy Francesconi posters. On the ceiling, over her bed, was a 30-year Stonewall
commemorative poster. Her copy of "Family Outing" was joined by other gay and lesbian books.
One stood out in particular...a book on gay marriage.
On her nightstand was a card from Chuck. He had written, "I'm sorry for all the pain I might
have caused you, and I hope we can be friends. Who knows? Quinn and I might join you and Jane
one of these days for a double-wedding! Your buddy, Chuck."
Daria changed into her nightshirt and turned in for the night. She was thinking, as always, of
Jane...and of their wedding day.

THE END.