Phyllis' husband, Lars, suddenly dies only to leave Phyllis and her daughter Bess with no money. Desperate, they move to San Francisco to live with Lars' mother Audrey and her new husband Jonathan Dexter. At a reception for Lars' friends, Phyllis meets her new boss Julie Erskine, owner of Erskine Photography. Phyllis later discovers that Julie dated Lars at the same time he was dating her and he proposed to Julie first.
Bess goes away on a weekend ski trip. Phyllis makes a phone call to Bess' room to see how she is doing only to find someone else answer the phone, a young man. Phyllis is worried that Bess is no longer her innocent daughter.
An old friend of Lars is in town to discuss some business with Phyllis. However, he is more interested in Phyllis fpr reasons other than business.
Mother Dexter is upset that Phyllis and Bess have stolen her guest bedroom, so Phyllis decides to move out on her own. Her new apartment, however, is a total dump.
Phyllis writes to her friend Mary Richards to tell her all about her new life and how hard it was when she first started working.
Phyllis has always regretted that she never finished her piano recital as a child because she froze on stage. She decides to take lessons again, she discovers that she is the only adult in the children's class.
All of Phyllis' belongings arrive from Minneapolis and clutters the house--literally. Phyllis decides to have a garage sale, but has trouble letting go of her things.
Phyllis is going to go on a double date with Julie, for the first time since Lars died and is nervous about getting into the routine again.
Phyllis feels that she does not really ""know"" Bess. First, she tries to go out with Bess to a dance club and when that doesn't work. Then, she gets an insane idea of staying up all night and having them tell all kinds of secrets about themselves.
Audrey is upset when she learns that Jonathan had an affair on his first wife while he was in the service. She feels that if he's done it once, he'll do it again. She decides to leave him, only to move next door to Phyllis' room. Jonathan must tell her he loves her because he never has.
Phyllis must try to comfort Julie after she sees her boyfriend with another woman.
Phyllis finds her self all alone when Bess is gone for the weekend and the Dexter's go on vacation. She must try to entertain herself for the entire weekend with no one else around.
Bess announces her plans to marry. Phyllis invites the boy's parents over only to discover that they are little people and must deal with her discomfort throughout the evening.
The photo studio is in financial trouble and Phyllis tries to land an account for the company but fails. Jonathan decides to invest some money into the business.
Phyllis meets a medium at the studio and discusses the afterlife. Audrey, by chance, meets him and invites him over to have a seance to contact Lars.
Phyllis meets a wealthy business tycoon named Harry Loomis who proposes to her.
Phyllis believes that the reason Sally (Judith Lowry) is so grouchy is because she has nothing to do in life. First Phyllis tries to put her in the workforce by getting her a job at the studio. That was a big mistake. Then, Phyllis tries to fix her up with a date.
Phyllis falls in love with a tennis player who just happens to be married.
Bess has finally had it with her mother and feels she has no privacy. Thus, Bess moves out and Phyllis must go after her and convince her to return home.
Phyllis' old lawyer friend Jerome returns to San Francisco with his new young bride.
Leo gets depressed and takes some of Audrey's pills (which happen to be no more than placebos.)
Jonathan's brother comes to visit and Phyllis must become a middleman between sibling rivalry.
Audrey's niece, a recent widow, comes to visit, and Phyllis must try to comfort her since she is too a widow.