The living room was quiet. Marge Simpson threw little sympathetic glances over her tea cup at her daughter. Lisa insisted she was fine; Marge knew that Nelson's absence bothered her.
"Tell me about it, honey," she pleaded.
Lisa shook her head. "It's alright, Mom. It's not Nelson's fault. When I married him, I knew he wasn't perfect." She paused. "But I married him anyway. A woman's gotta do what she's gotta do."
Marge smiled tightly. "I'm proud of you, Lisa. But I'm also devestated to see your life turning out like this."
Lisa returned the strained smile, and shrugged listlessly. "I'm gonna go make sure Maggie's okay with the babies." She put down her cup and stood up from the couch. Marge watched her head towards the stairs.
Marge saw so much of herself in her daughter; her mind was cast back to her own youth, where she'd dreamed of becoming an artist, just as Lisa had dreamed of college. Unfortunately, life sometimes decided that you couldn't have your dreams, and throws you a completely different one.
And although Marge would never have given up motherhood for anything, she was heartbroken to see Lisa being put into the same cycle.
She thought of her husband back before they'd been married. She wondered what would have happened if she'd never become pregnant. Would she still have stayed with Homer? And would he have been able to cope on his own?
Marge sighed and stopped the thoughts from going through her head. Of course she'd have married Homer. But not because "a woman's gotta do what she's gotta do"; but because he was sweet and he cared about her and she loved him.
Maybe Nelson Muntz had a different side to him, other than his reckless immaturity. Maybe Lisa brought it out in him. Or maybe she saw things in him that weren't there.
The doorbell rang. Marge passed by the stairs to get to it, hearing Maggie's voice telling Lisa all about school and her friends.
"Have you got that, Mom?!" Bart shouted from the kitchen.
"Yes, dear!" she called back before she opened the door.
And standing on the doorstep with black sacks under his eyes, swaying a little as he tried to remain upright, his clothes dirty, with leaves sticking out his bedraggled mop of hair, was Nelson Muntz.
And he said something that Marge hadn't heard for a long, long time.
"Hi, Mrs. Simpson. Is Lisa in?"