Dear Diary,

Daddy took us to see Lady and the Tramp today. The dog kissing was funny.

Me and Daddy liked it but Mommy said it was scary.

Good night, Patricia


1955

"Birdie birdie in the sky, why'd you do that in my eye? Birdie birdie in the sky, gee, I'm glad that cows don't fly!" Patricia chanted brazenly, the hem of her dress bouncing as she played with a jump rope until her ankles were sore.

"Patricia, what did I tell you about running?" Her mother Irene scolded the moment that she came barging back into the house to do something more relaxing. "We can't have you bump into something and bruise that face."

"Sorry, ma..." Patricia apologized as she slowed down to a lazy shuffle, the sound of which tested Irene's patience.

"Mother. You must call me mother."

"Sorry, mother."

"Good. You may do as you please now."

Patricia smiled before trudging upstairs to her large bedroom, that contained a pretty bookshelf, dollhouse and countless other toys meant for young girls.

Pampered child that she was, none of these presents from her parents seemed interesting anymore. She travelled across the room instead and pulled open the bedside drawer, so that she could conjure up some lively melodrama with her numerous frilly socks.


John Beaumont surprised her and Irene with three tickets to see Lady and the Tramp upon returning home from work that night.

Patricia's excitement was so great that she simply couldn't keep still while asking her father for more information.

"How did you get them, Daddy? Did you pay a lot?"

"I bought them at the theater. They didn't cost much at all."

"Can...can we go tonight?!"

"Calm down, sweetie. Your mother's already made dinner, so we'll go tomorrow instead...right Irene?"

"Whatever you say, man of the house..." Irene replied with an irritated look on her face.

"Tomorrow it is, then." John announced with ease as he turned back to Patricia. "Remember, be an extra good girl and listen to your mother when she says you need a bath. Promise?"

"Promise." Patricia agreed while nodding. John smiled and extended his little finger so that they could make a pinky deal, a ritual that never failed to make Irene roll her eyes in disgust.

Once the good news was well and truly out of the way, Irene emphasized the need for them to say Grace like good Christians.

Patricia missed the cue to close her eyes and tried unsuccessfully to mumble along with her parents, before John gave permission for them to begin eating.


"Frightful movie. How could a fine lady fall in love with a mongrel and even bear his children? I don't care if they were just dogs...it-" Irene ranted as she sat beside John and remained oblivious to Patricia's bewildered expression.

"Darling, you're being hysterical. It's a Disney film, it's pure fantasy."

"Fantasy? Think of all the children who will believe that it's acceptable!"

"Mother..." Patricia whimpered quietly, despite being unable to understand what her parents had said.

"Irene, look on the bright side. You need only read the news to know how badly such marriages end. Lady will most certainly learn a hard lesson..."