Cupid à la Carte (Henry)

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Cupid à la Carte
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man named Jeff Peters falls in love with a waitress named Mame Dugan, but she refuses to marry any man because she associates them with food. However, after being stranded together during a flood, Mame realizes her mistake and expresses her willingness to be with Jeff.

Jeff Peters, a traveling salesman, reflects on his experiences with women and their desires. He recalls a time when he stayed in Guthrie, Oklahoma and frequented a restaurant tent run by the Dugan family. There, he meets Mame Dugan, a lively and fun waitress.

Mame Dugan — waitress; independent, fun-loving, and initially averse to marriage.

Jeff becomes infatuated with her and spends a lot of time at the restaurant, even though Mame has made it clear that she has no interest in marrying a man.

‘Jeff,’ she says, ‘I’m sorry you spoke. I like you as well as any of them, but there isn’t a man in the world I’d ever marry, and there never will be.'

Another man named Ed Collier also becomes interested in Mame and they both compete for her attention.

Ed Collier — fellow salesman; competitor for Mame's affection; resourceful, desperate.

However, Mame reveals that she has no desire to marry any man because she associates them with eating, which she finds unappealing. Jeff continues to pursue Mame, but she remains firm in her decision. Eventually, Jeff and Mame find themselves stranded in a flooded river bottom and hungry. They fantasize about all the food they would like to eat and realize that their perspectives on eating have changed. Mame confesses her feelings for Jeff and they decide to be together.