Lily, a single woman.
Delores, her mother.
Raquel, a lesbian.
Susan, a married woman.
Place: An apartment.
(There’s a comfy couch, a coffee table, a couple of chairs. At Rise: Lily is nervously arranging things on her coffee table. A knock on her door. She breathes deeply and calms herself and then crosses to the door.)
Lily: Who is it?
Raquel: (Off): Justin Timberlake. Who do you think it is? Open the door. (Lily opens the door.) What do you mean who is it? You text me five minutes ago and told me to come across the hall because you have exciting news to tell me. So tell me.
Lily: Come in and sit down.
Raquel: (Enters as Lily closes the door): Oh, it’s that kind of news. (Sits) Okay, tell me.
Lily: Why are you in such a rush? When I text you I asked if you had time to see me and you said you did so I asked you to come over.
Raquel: Yeah so? I’m seeing. I’m over. Tell me already.
Lily: Coffee? Would you like a cup of coffee? A cup of coffee would be good!
Raquel: I don’t want coffee.
Lily: Tea? How about some tea? Tea with lemon? Do you like tea with lemon?
Raquel: I don’t want any tea or lemon or coffee or anything. Just tell me already!
Lily: Okay my news. Well my news is and it’s really big news. It’s something I’ve wanted for years–
Lily: I’m (knock on the door) going to get that. (At the door) Who is it? (We hear mumbling and crying behind the door.) Who? (Louder mumbling and crying behind the door. Lily knows who is it and opens the door. It’s Susan who is holding a box of Kleenex and using it to dry her eyes as she continues to cry.)
Lily: Come on in, Susan.
(Susan enters and sniffles her way to a chair and attempts to say something but it is unintelligible underneath her tears.)
Lily: Raquel, you know Susan.
Raquel: Sure. Good to see you again, Sue. It’s nice to see your smiling face. What did he do this time?
Susan: (Through the tears) He (gulp) left (gulp) me. (Bursts into tears.)
Raquel: Uh-huh. Hey, Lily, you got a raincoat I can borrow?
Lily: Raquel, Susan is going through a bad time and she’s very upset.
Raquel: What? You think I got the eyesight of Stevie Wonder? But she’s doing more than crying. Too bad you don’t have a front lawn. She’s a living sprinkler system.
Lily: (Gently): Now, Susan, stop crying. (Susan starts to slow down) I’m sure Guy will come back someday.
Raquel: Who’s Guy?
Lily: Her husband.
Raquel: You mean the short fat guy with the bald head and glasses and that mole on his face so next to him Quisimodo looks hot? That’s what she’s crying about? If you ask me, you’re well rid of him.
Susan: Well I’m not asking you. I’m asking me and I want him to come back. I love him.
Raquel: Why? The last time I saw him was last Christmas at your party, Lily. He’s so short I kept putting my drink on his bald head. I thought it was a coaster.
Lily: You’re not helping.
Raquel: Ok. Look, Susan, if you’re upset than as your friend I am upset too.
Susan: Do you mean it?
Raquel: Not really. (Susan starts to wail.) If you promise to stop crying I mean it. Will you stop crying? (Susan nods.) Then I mean it. (Susan stops.)
Susan: We spent all those years together. Twenty years of my life with that man. Twenty whole years and now they’re gone. What am I going to do?
Raquel: Find someone tall with hair.
Lily: Look, Susan, I know you’re upset about Guy leaving and I sympathize with what you are going through–
Susan: Why would you sympathize? You’ve never been married. You’ve never even wanted to get married. Either of you.
Raquel: What are you talking about? I’m married.
Susan: I mean to a man.
Raquel: Well no I never wanted to do that. I don’t get the attraction. Women’s bodies are a thing of beauty but men? They got that thing hanging between their legs and they treat it like a roller coaster. Going up going down going up going down. Disgusting. And then they play with it like it’s a toy from Target.
Susan: Well I’m sorry we can’t all be lesbians like you.
Raquel: You say lesbians like it’s a bad thing.
Lily: I’m sure Susan doesn’t mean it that way.
Susan: No I don’t mean it in a derogatory way. It’s just not something that I could do that’s all.
Raquel: Well have you ever tried to have sex with a woman?
Susan: No, of course not. Have you ever tried having you know sex with a man?
Susan: Well how was it?
Raquel: I’m a gay woman in bed with a man. You do the math.
Lily: Listen everyone I know you’re both going through things–
Raquel: I’m not going through anything. Maria and I are completely happy.
Lily: Well okay then, Susan, I know you and Guy are going through a bad time but I didn’t call you both here to discuss that. I called you here as my two closest friends to tell you my news. (They both look expectantly at her.) I’m (knock on the door) going to get that. (She crosses to the door.) Who is it?
Delores: (Off): It’s your Mother. (Lily opens the door and she enters.) I hope this is important. I had to reschedule my pedicure. Hello girls.
Raquel: (O.L.):Hi, Delores.
Susan: (O.L.): Hello, Mrs. Daniels.
Delores: (Looks around): What? Nothing to eat?
Lily: I can get you something if you want it.
Delores: No, I’m fine. All I’ve had today is a bottled water and a Trisket but I’ll live. What’s with all the tissues?
Raquel: Don’t ask unless you got an umbrella handy.
Susan: I’ve been crying.
Delores: I can see that. What is it now?
Lily: Mom, please.
Delores: What? I’m not allowed to ask a question in my own daughter’s apartment? This is your apartment, isn’t it? (Lily nods. Dryly) I love it but I’ll love it more when you decorate it. Now what is this all about? Quick. Mai Ling is waiting.
Lily: Please, Mom, sit. (Delores sits.) Well, um, my news is, and it’s something I’ve wanted for years and I’m very excited about it. (They look at her expectantly.) I’m–
Raquel: No one else is knocking at the door. Tell us!
Lily: I’m Pregnant!
(A Beat. They rise.)
Susan: (Crying): I’m so happy for you.
Delores: Lily, darling, that’s wonderful. I’ll now be a Grandmother. Me? A Grandmother and at my age. Can you believe that?
Delores: You’re an evil person, Raquel. Who’s the lucky man, darling? It is Richard?
Lily: No, Mother, it isn’t Richard.
Delores: Are you sure?
Lily: Yes, Mother, I’m sure.
Delores: All right. You don’t have to be testy about it. If you say it isn’t Richard’s then it isn’t Richard’s although I don’t understand why it couldn’t be. Richard is a darling. Handsome, intelligent, virile, rich and–
Lily: Married. Richard is married, Mother. Six months ago.
Delores: Well if you’re going to let a little thing like that stand in your way. Richard adored you. You know he did.
Lily: Well if adored me so much, Mother, then why at our engagement party did I catch him screwing the party planner?
Delores: (Waves her hand): Oh, that. Men have needs. Deep, lustful needs that sometimes they have to resolve at the moment. You were preoccupied thanking everyone for coming–
Raquel: And the party planner was thanking Richard for the same thing.
Delores: All right. So it’s not Richard’s. Then whose is it? I didn’t know you were seeing someone else. Not that you have to tell me. After all, I’m only your Mother.
Lily: I’m not seeing anyone else.
Susan: (O.L.): Then how did you get pregnant?
Delores: (O.L.): Immaculate conception?
Raquel: (O.L.): There has to be someone.
Lily: Not necessarily.
Raquel: Hold it. I think I know how.
Delores: I’m starting to think I do too and I don’t like it.
Susan: How? How?
Delores: Tell me you didn’t, Lily!
Raquel: Did you?
Susan: Did she what? Did she what?
Lily: Yes I did.
Raquel: Wow. I can’t believe it!
Delores: Oh my God!
Susan: Can’t believe what? Oh my God what?
Lily: Well I’ve wanted to have a child for a long time and I knew I had to do it now or never. I’m not dating anyone and so it seemed like the only option.
Delores: The only opt–that’s ridiculous.
Raquel: Good for you.
Delores: As her friend how can you say that?
Raquel: Because it is good for her. She wants to have a baby and now she’s going to have one. I’m happy for you, Lily.
Delores: Happy for her? I need a drink. Where’s the vodka?
Lily: Now really, Mother–
Susan: (Frustration): WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU ALL TALKING ABOUT?
Lily: Oh, Susan, I’m going to have a baby.
Susan: I know that but who’s the father?
Delores: (Taking out the vodka bottle and pouring herself a large glass of it): Hell if she knows.
Lily: Really, Mother, I thought you would be happy for me but I should have known better.
Delores: Yes. You really should have.
Susan: Don’t start all this again. Tell me what’s going on.
Raquel: Lily’s got pregnant by a sperm donor.
Susan: (Smiling): Oh! (Disgusting face) Oh!
Delores: Exactly. Thank you, Susan! At least there’s someone who agrees with me. Really, Lily, how could you do it? What am I supposed to say to my friends when they find out you’re pregnant and ask me who the father is? (Smiling) Oh, my daughter doesn’t believe in anything as foolish as finding a man and marrying him and then getting pregnant. No! She got knocked up at a sperm bank.
Lily: This is why I didn’t want to tell you. You always make everything be about you.
Delores: Well isn’t it?
Lily: No, Mother, it isn’t. This is about me. I want to have a child and I’m going to have a child and if you can’t be happy for me than so be it.
Delores: I didn’t say I’m not happy for you. I don’t understand why you felt the need to do it this way. There are plenty of men who will be more than happy to be a dating a beautiful, successful woman such as you even if you don’t know what to do with your hair.
Lily: This isn’t about my hair, Mother.
Delores: No it certainly isn’t and I hope for your sake it isn’t about your clothes. Do you actually wear that in public?
Lily: Yes I do. What’s wrong with it?
Delores: Nothing. If you want to look like that no wonder a man isn’t around.
Lily: A man isn’t around, Mother, because I don’t want one to be around. I choose to live my own life and be my own person. I don’t need a man to complete me.
Raquel: Here, here! I don’t need a man to complete me either.
Delores: Of course you don’t you’re gay. Lily isn’t gay. Susan isn’t gay and I’m not gay and I need a man and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Don’t you need a man, Susan? (Susan bursts into tears.) What did I say?
Lily: (To Susan): There’s more Kleenex in my bathroom. (Susan exits crying.) Susan’s husband has left her.
Lily: Susan’s husband Guy has left her.
Delores: No I heard you I can’t believe it. Isn’t she married to that garden gnome with the thing on his face?
Raquel: That’s the one.
Delores: And he’s leaving her? (Susan enters with Kleenex and sniffling) He’s leaving you? He’s leaving you!
Susan: (She nods) We were sitting at breakfast. Well actually I was sitting and then when he came into the kitchen I helped him up to his chair and put him on the phone book that way we can look in each other’s eyes otherwise he’s always looking up. I said to him what I always say, “Good morning, darling” but he didn’t say it back and he always says it back (as if her mouth is full) “Good morning, darling” because he’s eating his Rice Crispi’s and a little always shouts out of his mouth onto the table-cloth. Then I get up from the table and get him his glass of orange juice and his slice of toast with jam and give it to him and then when he’s done eating his breakfast–
Delores: You burp him?
Raquel: You turn him over and powder his ass?
Susan: No. We always tell each other how much we love each other but this time…this time…he told me he was leaving me for someone else.
Raquel: Who? Snow White is dead.
Delores: No! Names. I want the name of the woman or man or goat that would want him.
Lily: Mom, please…
Delores: Don’t Mom please me! Susan, he thinks he is leaving you but you are leaving him, do you understand? Look at you, Susan, you’re (takes a real look at Susan for the first time and sees a sniveling, badly dressed woman whose hair is pinned back and face is plain. To Lily. Quietly): Help!
Lily: Susan, you are a bright, attractive, intelligent–
Lily: Woman who could get any man she wants. Isn’t that right, Mom?
Delores: No. (Susan starts to cry again.) I mean in time if we do something with her hair and put make up on her face and she lost some weight and she got a personality and then (beat) maybe.
Lily: So what you’re saying is if Susan becomes a completely different person she can maybe get another man?
Delores: That’s it.
Lily: That’s a lousy thing to say, Mother.
Delores: I can’t help it if the truth is lousy, Lily, and don’t tell me the truth isn’t lousy. I was married to your Father for thirty years. I know lousy.
Lily: Mom, what are you saying?
Delores: I’m saying your Father was a wonderful provider. He gave us the best home, clothes, money, Country Club memberships but the truth is he was lousy in bed and I ought to know? I was there sort of.
Lily: Sort of?
Delores: Your Father suffered from premature ejaculation and I suffered right along with him. It was the worst. Why do you think we only had one child? It’s a miracle I ever got pregnant.
Raquel: But you stayed with him for thirty years?
Delores: Of course I did. He was a wonderful man other than that.
Raquel: So it didn’t matter?
Delores: It mattered like hell but then I found someone who could take care of that for me.
Lily: Mother, are you saying there was someone else?
Delores: Remember your Uncle Bob?
Lily: Father’s brother? That Uncle Bob? You had sex with Uncle Bob?
Delores: No. I didn’t have sex with Uncle Bob. I had sex with Uncle Bob’s Japanese gardener. It was wonderful. He had such gentle firm loving hands. Hirohito.
Lily: Hirohito? Didn’t he come that summer I turned eighteen and planted the Japanese garden for us?
Raquel: I guess he planted more than the garden.
Delores: He was lovely man and he planted a beautiful garden. When the summer was over he went back to Japan. I never saw him again.
Susan: At least you had a beautiful Japanese garden.
Delores: Yes and I will always remember that summer. (To Lily) What are you looking so shocked for? I have a right to have a sex life. I know your Father is dead but I’m not.
Lily: Are you seeing someone now?
Delores: Yes. I have a male friend.
Delores: He’s not a companion, Lily. He’s my friend. You’ve met him. Hal.
Lily: Hal? Eighty year old Hal?
Delores: He’s not eighty. He’s seventy-nine and a half and he takes Viagra so he’s good to go if you know what I mean. How dare you look at me like that. You’re knocked up from a sperm bank!
Lily: Yes I am and happy to be so.
Delores: Bully for you but why, Lily?
Lily: Because, Mother, I have discovered that men are obsolete.
Raquel: From your mouth to Ellen DeGeneres’s ears.
Delores: Just what does that mean?
Lily: Well look at the world we live in today. Women are lawyers, doctors, construction workers, dentists, bankers. We can do everything a man can and we can give birth now that there are sperm banks. We can do it all. So who needs a man?
Delores: (Raises her hand): I do. I enjoy taking the bath, getting dressed, blowing out my hair, getting my nails done on my toes and my fingers, putting on my make up. I enjoy making myself beautiful for a man and I enjoy it when he shows his appreciation not only in the bedroom but taking me out to dinner or to a movie and showing me off. Call me selfish and vain but I need a man. Which reminds me I have a date tonight with Hal and I still have to get my nails done. Goodbye girls and, Lily, call me. (She exits.)
Raquel: Well I gotta go too. Maria will be home soon and expect dinner. Congrats, Lily. See you later, Susan. (She exits.)
Lily: So what do you think, Susan? Do you need a man to make you happy even though in this world we can do everything ourselves? (Susan nods.) Me too.