Tuesday, September 9, 2008

His and Hers

A Play in Two Acts

By Melanie Lynne Hauser

Act 1

Melanie, packing to leave on an overnight business trip:

Running back and forth between closet and full-length mirror (inconveniently located in the boys’ bathroom, requiring much stepping over discarded Q-tips and globs of toothpaste), she tries on various combinations of outfits: the black denim skirt and the mauve-and-black camisole, the camel jacket, the dark blue denim jacket, the white skirt, the camisole again, now the black wrap shirt, repeating the above combinations with both the black boots and the mauve ankle boots. Finally she decides on two combinations, decides to bring a pair of jeans and a nice sweater just in case, runs downstairs, irons everything, brings it back up, but doesn’t put it in huge suitcase just yet. Now to think about the makeup: Is mascara necessary? Decides that yes, it is. How about lipstick? Yes, but she’s not sure which kind. And don’t forget the moisturizer(s)! Everything goes into a separate makeup bag. She packs the curling iron, the flatiron, all the hair care products (approximate weight: 100 pounds). Oops! Forgot about purses! Need appropriate purses. BUT — must also have a briefcase to carry around laptop. So she tosses two purses into the suitcase and decides to carry the briefcase separately. OH! This IS a business trip, isn’t it? Don’t forget the business cards, postcards, a couple of copies of book. (She can't locate business cards at first, though; eventually they're discovered holding up the uneven leg of an end table in the living room.) She then goes back and tries on outfits — this time with different bras, to see if silhouettes change significantly. (They do.) Then Melanie wonders if control top pantyhose is necessary; tries everything on once more, this time with control top pantyhose, and decides it’s definitely necessary for one outfit, but not for the other. Throws pantyhose into suitcase. She wonders if she’ll have time to exercise; decides she’d rather be safe than sorry, so packs exercise shoes, shorts and shirt. Also socks. Don’t forget underwear! But — is underwear necessary for control top pantyhose outfit? She decides that it’s not. But takes an extra pair anyway.

Entire scene takes approximately two and a half hours to enact.

Act 2

Her husband, packing to leave on a week-long business trip:

He digs around in dirty clothes hamper, removes a pair of unnatural fiber pants guaranteed never to wrinkle, sniffs the crotch, thinks a moment, shrugs, throws them in teeny tiny little gym bag. He grabs two of the approximately five thousand blue long-sleeved Oxford collar shirts in his closet (also made of unnatural, wrinkle-proof fiber), wads them up, puts them in bag. Throws one of two thousand blue striped ties in for good measure. Tosses in mini shampoo he stole from the last hotel stay, zips everything up, grabs computer bag and is good to go.

Entire scene takes approximately three minutes.

End of play.


Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Ack, this is describing my house exactly this morning. Except for the control tops. Not that I don't need them, I do. I just have reached a point where I say "screw it."

Barb McKone said...

I am cracking up. And I want you to know, I got a little stuck in your post on the mauve ankle boots. Couldn't stop thinking about them. You have mauve ankle boots? You are my new wardrobe idol. You are the COOLEST.