Becoming Donna Reed

Season 1: Episode 24 – Boys Will Be Boys

I am giving you the synopsis, lesson, and then going off an a tangent about Halloween. It’s that time of year, it’s my blog, and I am just crazy like that.


The episode opens in the office of  The Penfield Academy for Boys. David is there with The Major. The Major is calling Donna. David has been bit by a dog and their normal doctor is away. The Major arranges to have David brought in to see Alex. While The Major is on the phone, another boy can be seen silencing David. As the they are leaving, the boy threatens David not to squeal.

David and the Major arrive at Alex’s office. Alex examines the boy and prepares to give him a tetanus shot. David is terrified of the shot. To calm him down, Jeff tells him he can spend the weekend and go to a ball game if he allows Alex to give him the shot. David receives the shot.

Donna and Alex review their plans and remember they have to go to a dinner. They reluctantly agree to leave Jeff and David home alone. They leave them strict instructions to go to bed at 9:00. When they leave the boys are contentedly watching a western on TV.

A commercial comes on for a candy bar and that makes the boys hungry. They go into the kitchen and find a cake Donna made that is supposed to last the entire weekend, They bring the cake into the living room with them. The show ends and it’s bedtime. They decide to check out the first few moments of the next show, a gritty crime drama. They are soon sucked into the program as they continue to nibble cake. The show portrays gangster types who are leaning on an informant. He finally squeals and they let him go. Upon leaving the apartment he is gunned down by those he ratted on.

The boys hear Donna and Alex approaching. They turn of the TV and run upstairs. Donna and Alex enter and they note the nearly decimated cake and still-warm TV. They go up and check on the boys who are pretending to be fast asleep. They exit and Jeff tells David that he better not squeal.

David has a nightmare that replays the TV program except now the informant, Donna and Alex are pressing him for information, and he is gunned down by Jeff and the boy from school. He awakes to David’s alarm clock. Jeff gives him another remind to keep his mouth shut. The boys decide t go score some points by making breakfast. On their way downstairs they are intercepted by Donna. She asks if they’ve brushed their teeth. David says he doesn’t have a toothbrush and Donna detains him to find him one. Jeff goes downstairs alone.

David is moved by how sweet Donna and Alex are to him. He asks them which is worse, squealing or lying? Donna, unable to give a better answer, tells him to do what his conscience tells him.

Donna and Alex meet Jeff downstairs. They know the breakfast is a cover-up. Mary comes in and asks what is wrong with David. He is sitting alone ask his conscience what to do. Jeff, now on the spot, confesses everything. David comes in and claims responsibility for both the previous night and putting ants into The Major’s bed at school.

Donna and Alex thank the boys for coming clean and allow them to go to the ballgame.


Neither a squealer nor a liar be.


I am going to completely ignore the lesson on this post and step away from my own format. I need a tangent. To me, the most delightful part of this episode was David’s nightmare. It was wonderful to see Donna and Alex dressed as a gangster and his moll. It reminded me of Halloween.

I love Halloween. I am a functioning adult, but I still adore dressing up for the occasion. I can’t help it, it is just too much fun to become a different person for a night. It is deliciously liberating.

A wise friend once declared that there are only four categories of Halloween costumes for women: scary, funny, slutty, or pretty. She contends that every Halloween costume fits one of these categories and every person tends to favor one of these categories more than the others. I have to say that, where I am concerned, she is right. I favor the pretty costume. I have made forays into funny and even slutty (I have a weakness for fishnets), but I usually tend to come back to costumes that are pretty. Part of this may be my inability to do a truly va-va-voom costume. Even if my intent is to be provocative, I tend to come off as cute. This may be because I am petite, but I have seen other petite women pull off sexy, or it may be because my face is about as wholesome as you can get. I think I actually pulled off slutty once, but it took a wig, lots of fake lashes, and red vinyl pantsuit cut very low. It also took a stomach bug and many months of power-yoga. It was an awful lot of work.

I guess, even on Halloween, we can’t truly escape who we are, but it’s still fun to try. I attempt to be the femme fatale, but I am really the MGM ingenue, a Jackie – not a Marilyn. I have never been the women who walks into the room to the collective gasps of the assembled menfolk. I am not that mysterious, aloof, or dangerous. I smile too readily and laugh too easily to be the seductress.

I have many more Halloweens ahead of me, many more chances to be different characters. Right now, I am feeling nostalgic for Halloweens past. Warren, NH, the lovely town I used to live in, will always be my ideal setting Halloween. It has it all: crackling leaves, dark skies, crisp air, and the most fun-loving people you will ever meet. Warren is a town that does Halloween well, at least in our circle friends. I will always wish I was there when All Hallow’s Eve comes around.

I wish you all a BOO-tiful Halloween. May your inner diva come out and party for a night.