After Bresnahan has left Gopher Prairie, Carol becomes especially sensitive to all the things she finds ugly about her husband. She doesn't bother to act happy when he has his gross friends over for a poker night.
Once the poker guys have left, Carol has a huge fight with Will. She calls his friends disgusting and rude, while he says he's sick of his friends not wanting to come over because Carol is so judgmental.
Over time, Carol decides that what she really wants is a room of her own. She begins to use a spare room as her place of escape. She also starts sleeping in this room and away from Will.
Will seems to sense Carol's dissatisfaction, because one night he tells her he's thinking of building a new house. Carol thinks of this new house as a way to make her mark on the beauty of Gopher Prairie, but she's crushed to realize that Will wants a house that'll look just like anyone else's.
After ten days, the thought of the new house is forgotten because Carol loses interest.
Carol thinks she would like to take a trip East to New York. Will thinks it's a good idea at first, but then he backs off when he feels like he's too busy with work.
Instead, Will takes Carol to a street fair in another middle-of-nowhere prairie town. They stay with a man named Calibree, and even when Carol tries to participate in the conversation, the men talk about other things she doesn't understand.
Carol tries to get Will to ride a merry-go-round with her at the street fair, but nothing doing: Will isn't into it. Once again, Carol goes from feeling young to feeling old.