The Wedding Date: A Play in 3 Acts
For your reading pleasure, I offer up the following 3 Act play based loosely on a true story. Some exaggerations were made for dramatic purposes, but the basic story is true. A surprising amount of dialogue is verbatim. Enjoy!
The Wedding Date
(But not this Wedding Date. No “escorts” were harmed in the making of this production.)
Set up: Our story takes place three days after a third date between the lead character and a potential suitor. Things are swimming along okay and tentative plans to “do this again” were discussed but negotiations stalled when both parties realized that every weekend between now and June is booked. At parting, they decided to, “check in next week and figure something out.”
M– um, you know this person already I think. To be played by Joanna Garcia of Privileged because she can be alternately confident and horribly awkward.
(also… I wear lots of cardigans)
Friend #1- Well meaning and well dressed blond. Enthusiastic, bubbly, and optimistic. To be played by the cute drunk friend of Norah’s in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
Friend #2 – Sensible and straight-talking brunette dressed in power suits and heels that could kill a man. Angry feminist at times but happily married. To be played by Sophia Bush of One Tree Hill.
(see how she multi-tasks in a power bitch world?)
Critter Pants – The male suitor. Given name due to propensity to wear pants with small animals patterned on them for special occasions. To be played by John Krasinski from The Office because the male suitor also watches The Office and this seems fitting.
Inner Monologue- the alternating confident and neurotic psyche of M. Only M can hear this voice. To be played by Anne Hathaway mostly because I heard her read a book on tape once and I liked it.
Act 1:We open on M and Friend #1 lounging on sofas in a dimly lit condo. As they talk, they take turns eating Cadbury Mini Eggs (usually a good portent of things to come). Two rowdy schnauzers take turns chasing one another around the small space. The girls appear not to notice when the dogs careen around the corners and bite at each other’s ankles.
Friend #1: When will you see him again?
M: (Absently pushing dog fricassee away from ankles)Hmm.. I don’t know. We’re both pretty busy for the next few weekends, so it’s hard to find a time. Maybe a week night?
Friend #1 : (looking skeptical) I guess. What about that wedding you have next weekend? Don’t you have a plus one?
M: Yeah, but it’s weird. It’s my family. Don’t you think that’s kind of weird? To invite someone to a family wedding after 3 dates?
Friend #1: (who is married and therefore has skewed perception of reality) No, it will be so fun! And going out on the weekend is different than going out on a week night! You have GOT to ask him!
M: (looking askance and in worried tone) I don’t know… doesn’t it seem like it’s a lot of pressure? Or like a big step or something?
Friend #1: (looking shocked with mouth hanging open and wine glass nearly splashing on sofa) No! Just make it all casual like, “Oh, I just happen to have this plus one.” It will be so fun! Just ask him! You have to! Oh my god, M, do it!
M: (compulsively eating a handful of Mini Eggs) Uh… okay. I’ll think about it.
Act 2: M sits alone on her sofa in the same condo, two nights later. Inner Monologue is seen to the side of the stage dressed all in black and sitting on a stool, suggesting that she is present but not seen. Only one schnauzer is in the condo tonight and she is eying a bowl of Cadbury Eggs with nougat sitting on an end table. M is watching Gossip Girland eating take-out sushi in the manner of one completely satisfied and unburdened by serious thought. There is a sense of foreboding in the air.
* Cell phone rings*
M: (pausing Gossip Girl and smiling at the name on caller ID) Critter Pants! Hi!
Critter Pants: (off stage and invisible to M) Hi! Just returning your call…
Inner Monologue: (sitting up straight and clapping her hands a little) Ah! The time has come! Ease into the conversation, dearest. Be cool.
(Inane chit chat follows for a few minutes. Talk amongst yourselves. Maybe you could discuss why M thought it was okay to leave a bowl of Cadbury Eggs unattended around her dog.)
M: (twisting hair around finger and batting eyes, hoping this will leak into her voice and sound alluring over the phone) So, anyway, I wanted to ask you if you want to go to a wedding with me this weekend. I have a plus one, and it could be fun. There will be an open bar, a band… might be a little weird because my cousin is getting married and my family will be there, but they’re okay. Would you like to go with me?
Inner Monologue: Excellent work, old girl! You sound downright breezy, and not Monica Geller’s version of breezy! All is going according to plan! You should thank your friend later for this idea!
Critter Pants: Uh… that is kinda weird. With your family being there.
Me: (gaping like goldfish and freezing in mid-hair twirl) Uh, yeah, I mean, I guess it would be…
Inner Monologue: (sputtering in derailed silence)
Me: (in overly bright voice) Yeah, you’re totally right. It might be weird, but I was just thinking it could be kind of different and I usually end up at these things alone and thought it could be fun to have a date for once…
Inner Monologue: (face palm)
Me: (rushes to continue with increasingly high pitched voice)…. But you know, it would be okay I think. It’s not like anyone will ask you your intentions or anything.
Critter Pants: (laughs good-naturedly or nervously… hard to tell) My intentions? That’s funny.
Inner Monologue: (perking up a bit) You got him to laugh! Come on, you can turn this around!
Me: (eyes darting from side to side as if looking for dignity to seize) So, yeah, I guess it is kind of weird. Um.. I don’t…
Critter Pants: Yeah, a little weird. But thanks for asking. Uh, can I get back to you tomorrow?
Inner Monologue: A simple “No” would suffice here. Actually, a lie about other plans would be better. Just put us out of our misery. Like Old Yeller. Having to “get back to us” suggests you need to think about this, which is understandable, but makes us feel icky.
Me: ( hiding face in hands and therefore missing dog creeping toward bowl on end table) You know what? Don’t even worry about it. I feel weird about asking now. It’s so not a big deal. Just thought it might be fun.
Inner Monologue: (crossing arms and turning away from M violently) Fool! It’s too late to un-invite!
Critter Pants: Uh, yeah, I mean, I just need to check my schedule. Sometimes I commit to 5 things at once, and I just need to check first.
Inner Monologue: (rolling eyes) Likely story. But thanks for trying to be smooth.
M: (now with face completely obscured as head is buried in crease of sofa) Yeah, okay. That’s cool.
Critter Pants: I’ll call you tomorrow.
Me: (Keeping voice neutral with some effort) Okay, bye.
M hits ” End Call” button with slightly too much force and flings cell phone down on sofa. She lets out a shriek and looks downstage at Inner Monologue who just shakes her head sadly. M then notices the schnauzer sitting with a piece of colored tin foil between her paws, licking her chops. M notices a Cadbury Egg is missing.
Me: (swooping down on schnauzer with a crazed light in her eyes) Seriously? Are you kidding me?
Act 3: M sits on same sofa, an hour later. Schnauzer is now licking the carpet where the errant Cadbury Egg once was. M is eyeing the schnauzer speculatively, waiting for signs of explosive diarrhea and has a cell phone pinned to her ear. We join her mid-conversation with Friend #2, who is off stage.
M: (gesturing wildly with free hand) …and then he said, “That’s kind of weird.” That’s what he said. He said it was “kind of weird.” I knew I shouldn’t have asked!
Friend #2: (Yelling to husband) Do you think that’s weird? A girl asking you to go to a family wedding after 3 dates? (garbled voice in background) He says it can be a big step but not necessarily weird. Also, he’s mad at you for not replying to his twitter about wearing seersucker pants.
M: (rolling eyes) But it was weird, wasn’t it?? I knew it was weird and I did it anyway.
Friend #2: (in a tone of one who is about to get fired up and write an angry letter to someone) No! You asked in a casual way! It was completely cute. You were right! He was too blunt! That’s the problem here. He’s rude. Why are boys so rude? Men! We should lock all of them in underground bunkers and take them out only for breeding purposes.
M: (thoughtfully and envisioning a group of men in a chain gang heading back underground after a ritual mating ceremony) I don’t know. But I don’t think he meant to be rude. I think he was being honest. I think that’s just how he is, which may not be bad. And he did laugh at my joke…
Friend #2: (huffing a little) Maybe. I dont’ know. But you shouldn’t feel bad. He should be so lucky! He hurt your feelings. I will cut him.
M: ( sitting up straighter on her sofa) This is why we are friends. Okay, my dog looks shifty. I should go.
Friend #2: (in less militant tone) So call me and tell me what he says!
M: Of course, bye!
M leans back on her sofa, feeling slightly silly for even discussing this at all but also unable to stop herself from obsessing a little because her instincts were right the first time. But then again, so what? It’s not like she’s asking what they should name their children or suggesting they go on a vacation together. Whatever. She’s just proposing free drinks and some dancing with her family.
Right. With her family.
Sigh. Why is dating so hard?
If you are curious, Critter Pants will not be attending a wedding with M. Not anytime soon anyway. For the record, he was very nice and honest about the whole thing and this play is purely my effort to alleviate some of my own embarrassment by making fun of myself. Things are not so dramatic in real life.