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Though her husband has been dead for 10 years, Mrs. Taggart continues to celebrate her wedding anniversary and thus tighten her hold on her three grown sons. The family gathers for the latest annual dinner party, to which the youngest son, Tom, brings his fiancée, Shirley Blair, who is already pregnant by him. After contemptuously ridiculing Shirley because of her large ears, Mrs. Taggart learns that her second son, Terry, wants to emigrate to Canada with his wife, Karen, before their sixth child is born. Coldly reminding Terry that while still a boy he popped out one of her eyes with an air pistol, Mrs. Taggart dismisses the matter and summons her third son, Henry, from his upstairs bedroom. A transvestite, Henry's periodic stealing of lingerie from neighborhood washlines is indulged by Mrs. Taggart to assure his remaining by her side. Unfortunately, however, Henry has borrowed Terry's car for one of his washline raids, and the police have a report of the license plate number. Mrs. Taggart blackmails Terry into giving up going to Canada by threatening to have Henry committed or to allow the police to believe that Terry is the transvestite for whom the police are searching. When the rebellious Tom and Shirley try to defy Mrs. Taggart by making love in her bed, they find her glass eye under a pillow--a shock so severe that Shirley almost has a miscarriage. Incensed by this final outrage, Tom, Shirley, Terry, and Karen storm out of the house, while Henry retreats to the sanctuary of his bedroom. Undaunted, Mrs. Taggart telephones her lawyer and instructs him to inform the emigration authorities that she holds an unpaid debt from Terry. Satisfied that there will be another anniversary party next year, Mrs. Taggart raises her glass to toast the portrait of her late husband.