A variety of stories read over a long period of time from a variety of sources.
The Girls in their Summer Dresses, Irwin Shaw. Michael and Frances are a young married couple in New York City, and in many respects they’re a sweet duo. They make romantic plans, they joke and banter easily. But Michael cannot stop looking at other women and Frances cannot ignore it. Even when she brings it up he does not stop; when she tells him how it makes her feel he hushes and soothes her. Their plans deteriorate. They drink brandy at a bar. Michael is honest and lays out why he looks at women: he wants them, all of them. He even admits he might make a move on another woman. Forlorn, Frances asks if Michael will at least keep his opinions to himself, and he agrees. They attempt to move on with their plans for the day, but a coldness has settled over their relationship.
Nothing so much happens in this story, but over the course of a short walk and a conversation we see a sweet relationship irreparably fractured, essentially by a man who has a flaw and decides to combine honesty and inflexibility rather than, say, attempt to rein himself in, or at least respect his wife’s feelings. The way he also ogles his wife in the final paragraph, eyeing up her legs as she walks away from him, speaks volumes.