Fiction

Laundry List by Robert S Dunn

Laundry List, a monologue 

CHARACTER: NANCY. 30’s. HOUSEWIFE AND MOTHER

SCENE

SETTING: The kitchen of a family home. It is clean from regular maintenance, but has not had a thorough “spring cleaning” in some time.

AT RISE: NANCY is at the sink, doing dishes. She is wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt. Her hair is up, but coming undone. She looks tired. 

NANCY

You know what, Phillip? I would like a parade! Yeah, I really would. With floats and…and…and banners, and marching horses because you can never have too many marching horses in a parade, can you, Phillip? And I want the banners to say, “Thank You, Nancy!” right in the middle, surrounded by red, white, and blue. And I want our kids up on the floats, waving and saying, “Thanks, Mom, we couldn’t have made it to school without you!” And while we’re at it, let’s have another float for those PTA moms and their bake sale last month. “We know we sprung it on you at the last minute and guilt tripped you into making those 150 cupcakes for us, and they were the only thing that sold, and we never actually thanked you for it, so we hope this makes up for it. Go Nancy! Whoo!” What about throwing in an “I’m Sorry” float for your mother for last Thanksgiving and her, “Well, it was okay, just not what I would’ve done,” bullshit. Let’s not forget your boss’ wife lording her self-righteousness over everyone at the Christmas party about how she had the time and the energy to clean her thirty-five hundred square foot house and cook her immaculate 5 course meal for all of HER husbands’ employees, when we all god damn know she catered the fucking thing. And did I say anything? No, I didn’t; I held my tongue.

And lastly, you, Phillip. You could be the Grand Marshal, and drive up in your big, white car, and get out, and walk up to me, and get down on one knee, and say “Thank you, Nancy, for being there for our children and my career and my family and my needs and for never thinking of yourself, because why would you? What do you have to look forward to tomorrow except the same bullshit you dragged yourself through for the last 10 years?” [Pause] I supported you through grad school. I supported you when you started your career. I supported you when you wanted to quit and start your own company. I did it all for you; all for us. When is it my turn, Phillip? When do I get the chance to show the world all of the amazing things that I want to do? When can I be the C.E.O of Yahoo or run for Congress? It’s not that I don’t love you or our children; I do. I just thought my life would be more than P.T.A. meetings and soccer games. So, yes, Phillip. I would like a parade. I would like that very much. 

END


Photo by Patrick Gillespie on Unsplash