Simple Summaries

Regards at Home

Richard Yates

Simple Summary by Sarah Frank

• Characters: Dan Rosenthal and Bill Grove

o Hired at a company and sharing a cubicle

o Dan Rosenthal's job = design and illustrate a magazine

o Bill/narrator’s job = write and edit the copy for the magazine

• They talk a lot and Dan is able to work while talking but Bill really isn’t

• Dan went to a fancy school called Cooper Union

• “I'd done poorly in high school, the Army had assessed my IQ, at 109, and I didn't want the risk of further failure.” (military, not college)

o Says he had to care for his mom

• Dan asks if the GI bill would cover a dependent mother since it covers dependents, to which Bill realizes he should have thought of that

• “I had better watch my mouth around Dan Rosenthal from now on.”

• Bill’s past

o “All through childhood I had admired the way [my mother] made light of money troubles”

o Bill had a girlfriend named Eileen and she didn’t get along with Bill’s mom

o Eileen and Bill broke up

o Bill then asked Eileen to marry him (???)

• Dan speaks very highly of his family

• Dan wanted to move out but then his dad passes : ( he starts smoking and being a bit unhinged

• Bill says to Eileen “Dan Rosenthal? I think he's getting into practice for being an old man."

• Bill about Eileen: “We had been married at ages we both now considered too young, and for reasons we both now considered inadequate.”

• Eileen got an acting scholarship but “she'd decided to turn down the scholarship. Going to school at night was too tiring after a full day's work.”

o Bill says she can quit her job and he can take care of her

o Never resolved the argument

o Might’ve split but Eileen was pregnant

• Dan asked Bill: "How can you be a father when you still look like a son?"

• “when I brought Dan Rosenthal into the house and upstairs that afternoon, I found I was doing my best to slouch and mumble and squint for him”

• Bill admits he stopped working on his novel

• Bill about Dan: “"Ever since his father died he's been acting sort of as if his mother were his wife. And he's got a younger brother, seven or eight years younger, and now he acts as if the brother were their son."”

• Bill wants to apply to a school in order to keep writing and asked Dan to recommend him

o Dan obliges

• “If he disliked me then, and I think he probably did, it wasn't a thing he allowed to show.”

• Every night they walked out together and Dan would say “regards at home”

• “Dan came home with me for dinner several times dur6663ing the next few months, and Eileen soon discovered he could make her laugh”

o BUT BILL CAN’T so Bill is jealous

• “Dan brought along one of his Cooper Union friends, an impeccably courteous young man named Jerry, who in turn brought a lovely, dead-silent girl.”

o Jerry then marries this girl

• Dan says he wishes he was getting married

• Bill’s mom got hired!

• “Then our daughter was born. Dan Rosenthal paid a surprise visit to Eileen in the hospital afterwards, bringing flowers, and that made her blush. I”

• Dan thinks his brother Phil could get into Harvard with a scholarship (?) and he does

• Dan says he thinks it’s crazy that everyone is into psychotherapy now

• Bill is sick and tired all spring

o Advanced tuberculosis diagnosis

o He gets disability money

• Eileen says they should just say F it and go to Paris

• “the deeper she settled into her monologue the farther she allowed her knees to move apart, with a forearm on each one, until the shadowy pouch of her underpants was visible to all guests”

• “Dan Rosenthal was the first to leave”

o “"Do me a favor," he said again. "Don't piss it all away."”

• MAIN IDEA: “I had everything he must ever have wanted—everything he'd resigned himself, since his father's death, never to wish for again. I had luck, time, opportunity, a young girl for a wife, and a child of my own.”