(Strip Number 1376, Original Publication Date, 28 November 1988)
Panel 1: “I know why Michael’s mad”. If she goes with “mad=crazy” or “mad=angry”, it works either way. While Martha is absolutely correct, what we have here is the plot device when someone jumps to a conclusion that turns out to be the right answer even when there is no evidence that should lead the person to that conclusion. Clearly Martha should consider a job as a professional literary detective. In order for Martha to be correct, it also means that Michael was extremely offended by Martha’s action and yet did nothing about it. Well he did nothing but sulk, scream and tear up her note to him, in other words, act like a passive aggressive Patterson.
Panel 2: Martha suddenly realizes she broke her sacred promise to Michael. In the meantime I am distracted by the big space between Martha and her friends. I am going to guess Lynn believed Martha’s repetition of “I promised!” would run a little longer. Perhaps she had planned for Martha say it a few more times and then realized that twice was enough. Once would have worked for me.
Panel 3: Martha genuinely doesn’t seem to understand why she broke that promise and she also says, “anyways” (plural). Fortunately for her Janet explains that by making the promise to Michael she was effectively breaking a promise she had already made to her friends (and implies that she should have never made that promise to Michael in the first place.)
Panel 4: Janet goes cross-armed and judgmental as she reminds Martha of her other promise. In the meantime, Megan says nothing, because she knows that she has to wait until February before she gets to speak. She just goes a little slant-eyed to get her point across.
Summary: Will Martha do as Michael did and fail to confront him about what she has learned, and just sulk while screaming and tearing up notes? Will Martha learn to stop making promises and start saying things like, “I’ll try to do that, but I am not promising anything”? Or will Martha take more abuse from Michael until he finally relents and agrees to forgive her?