Donna is dressed up and hosting a dinner party for two of Alex’s colleagues and their wives. The settle down to eat and everyone praises Donna on the food and the decor. The other ladies begin complaining that they are always interrupted during dinner by their husbands’ patients. They talk about how angry they get. Alex remarks that Donna always handles interruptions gracefully. The others all praise her cool and calm.
The phone rings and Alex is called away. Donna sees him off and he tells her how sweet she is. She returns to her guests who continue to lavish compliments upon her. Alex returns. The others tell him how wonderful Donna has been. However, some of the compliments, like telling Donna she looks good no matter how many times she wears the same dress, seem laced with arsenic.
After dinner Donna tells Alex she is tired of being called sweet. He promises never to use the word again.
The next morning Donna goes to Mary’s room. Clothes are strewn everywhere and Mary lets Donna know that she needs a new cardigan. Donna tells her to clean her room and Mary says she’ll do it later. Then Mary tells Donna she is the best mother and so much nicer and sweeter than the others. Donna leaves, the room stays a mess.
Downstairs Jeff asks Donna for money. Donna reminds him he owes her money and has not completed his chores. Jeff tells Donna how much better she is than his friends’ mothers. He tells he about a necklace he wants to by for her. Donna tells him not to waste his money on something like that and lends him the money he wanted.
Donna realizes she has been had by her children.
She goes in to see Alex and he tells her they have been invited to a gathering at a senior doctor’s on Tuesday. She reminds him they have theater tickets that night. He reminds her of how important his job is and she relents.
Max, the laundryman, comes by with the cleaning. He helps himself to a cold drink and chats with Donna. He compliments her and tells her she’s his favorite customer. She sees that he forgot her gray dress, she had hoped to wear it that night. He tells her how hard it would be to go get it. She tells him not to bother. On his way out he thanks her for being so sweet. She snaps and follows him outside. She yells and tells him she needs the dress today.
She goes to Mary and tells her to clean her room immediately. She yells and tells her she will not have any new clothes. She yells at Jeff and tells him to do is chores and repay her the money she gave him. She tells Alex she wants to go to the play, not the dinner.
The kids go to Alex to see what is wrong with Donna. He tells them to be patient.
The next morning Mary is cleaning her room. Donna asks her about her plans and she reports she intends to stay home and clean the blinds. Jeff is doing yard work and asks Donna if he should paint the gate. Alex tells Donna he cancelled dinner and they are going to the play. Everyone is doing what she asked, but the warmth and easiness are gone
Max comes by with the cleaning and is very formal and polite. Donna apologizes and they talk. He tells her that you can’t be something you are not.
She buys Mary a cardigan, puts Jeff’s money back in his piggy-bank, and makes Alex’s favorite dinner. She tells Alex they will go to the dinner. He tells her no, they will go to the play. He doesn’t want anyone thinking she’s sweet. She tells him, “What’s wrong with being sweet?” They embrace.