Matching Up Mabel by Lou Clyde
Setting: Becky's kitchen.
At Rise: Sue enters Becky's kitchen. Becky is sitting at the
kitchen table with her hands holding her head. There are 2 glasses of
SUE: What's up Becks? You sounded really upset on the phone.
(Takes a seat at the table.)
BECKY: (Looks up dejectedly) My life as I know it is over.
SUE: What are you talking about? (Takes one of the glasses.)
BECKY: My Mother in Law.
SUE: What about her?
BECKY: She's moving in with us.
SUE: Oh, boy. Why?
BECKY: She wants to get away from Buffalo winters.
SUE: Can't say that I blame her.
BECKY: What a wimp! It's not like she lives in a tent. She has a
house. With heat.
SUE: Aren't Buffalo winters hard?
SUE: Yes, they are, Becky! They get tons of snow. I've seen it on
The Weather Channel. Plus, she's like 80, right? She can't
BECKY: She's only 75. (Beat) And her driveway's not that long.
BECKY: What? Shoveling snow is good exercise.
BECKY: She could always get a Snow Blower.
BECKY: But instead she's moving here. To live with us. (Beat) Why
did Hank have to die, anyhow?
SUE: Scott's Dad?
BECKY: Yeah. He should never have gone golfing. He was 76 years old
for crying out loud.
SUE: Let me get this straight. It's okay for Scott's 75-year old
mother to shovel snowdrifts from her driveway in Buffalo, but his
76-year old father shouldn't have played golf?
BECKY: Duh. BECAUSE HE HAD A HEART ATTACK! (Beat) You have to draw
the line somewhere. If he hadn't golfed, the two of them would be
putting on their parkas to go to a Fish Fry at the fire hall.
Instead, she's moving in with us.
SUE: Becky, you sound a little irrational.
BECKY: (Growling) I am not irrational. (Beat) And now I've gotta
clear out the guest room for her. Where in the hell am I going to put
all the crap I store there?
SUE: Good Will? (Beat)
Hailey (14) walks slowly through the kitchen texting. Does not look
BECKY: Hi, Hailey.
Hailey ignores her walks off stage.
BECKY: (To Sue) I'm invisible. (To the door) Hailey! (Louder)
HAILEY: (OS) What?
BECKY: Can you please take the towels out of the dryer and fold them?
Hailey returns to the kitchen.
HAILEY: What? (Outraged)
BECKY: Please take the towels out of the dryer and fold them.
HAILEY: Come on, Mom! I just got home. I'm tired!
BECKY: There are like 5 towels in the dryer, Hailey. It'll take you
HAILEY: Why can't Kyle fold them? (Beat.) This is ridiculous.
BECKY: Do it.
HAILEY: (Stomping off stage) Whatever!
SUE: I may have to turn you in to Social Services for violating child
BECKY: I know, right? Can you imagine if I asked her to fold a fitted
SUE: Do you actually fold your fitted sheets?
BECKY: Yeah. (Smiling smugly) One of my hidden talents.
SUE: Wow. I just roll mine into a blob.
BECKY: Oh! I can teach you! I learned how on Ellen.
SUE: I think I'd rather roll mine into a blob.
BECKY: It's really not hard. Kind of fun. You justwait! Can we
get back to the problem at hand?
SUE: Which is?
BECKY: My mother-in-law!! What am I going to do?
SUE: You know, maybe you're overreacting a bit. I met her once and
she seemed just fine. Her name is Mabel, right?
BECKY: (Glares at Sue) Maybe to you. She's Mrs. Hayes to me.
(finishes her drink)
SUE: You call her Mrs. Hayes?
SUE: (Refills both their glasses.) Why?
BECKY: I don't know.
SUE: Well, now that you're going to be roommates, you can be on a
first name basis.
SUE: You know, I'm not getting any warm-fuzzy vibes about her.
BECKY: Oh, she's warm and fuzzy, alright. With Scott! Or should I
say SCOTTY? I'm the bee-ach who stole her little boy.
SUE: You tramp.
BECKY: I know, right? Oh, and guess what she used to do before she
SUE: Run a brothel?
BECKY: She taught Home Ec.
SUE: You mean she can cook?
Becky nods her head slowly.
SUE: You're dead meat.
BECKY: No shit. I haven't put a decent meal on the table since
Thanksgiving! Two years ago.
SUE: Yes, you have.
SUE: You took leftovers home from your Eat-All-Day at work last
BECKY: Oh yeah!
SUE: You brought home a ton of food. Didn't you serve that stuff to
your family a couple days in a row? Those must have been seven course
BECKY: Do you really think that counts?
SUE: Sure, it counts. Why wouldn't it?
BECKY: Because I DIDN'T COOK THE FOOD!
SUE: But you contributed to the Eat-All-Day, right?
BECKY: I brought the napkins.
SUE: Oh. (Beat) Details, details. Hey, maybe Mabel can cook for you!
Better yet, why don't you ask her for cooking lessons?
BECKY: That may be the worst idea you've ever had.
SUE: Really? Wow. And I've had a lot of bad ideas. Was it worse
than the time I talked you into taking the Adult Tap dance class with
BECKY: (Considering) I guess not. That recital was tragic.
SUE: Those leotards.
BECKY: Oh my God. You know, nobody over the age of 5 should be
permitted in public wearing a tutu.
SUE: Let alone at the damn Performing Arts Center!
BECKY: You're right. (Considering) It's the second worse Idea
you've ever had.
SUE: Thanks! So, what does Scott think about her moving in?
BECKY: He's torn. He's got no siblings, so, of course, he's
been feeling guilty about abandoning her up there in the Artic.
(Beat.) Damn! Why didn't they have six kids like normal people?
SUE: Good question. They're Catholic, right?
BECKY: Right! It makes no sense.
SUE: (Twilight zone noise)
BECKY: Hey! Maybe Scott could move to Buffalo. (Considers.) Nah. Who
would mow the lawn?
SUE: How long is she staying?
BECKY: Who knows? She bought a one-way ticket! And her igloo's on
the market in Buffalo.
SUE: That's not good. When does she get here?
BECKY: Friday. I have two days to get the house in order. Oh, my
God! What if she never leaves? (Beat) I'll have to move out.
SUE: Calm down. She hasn't even gotten here yet. We'll figure
it out. In the meantime, you need help getting the guest room ready?
BECKY: Yeah. You got a back hoe?
SUE: Who you calling a hoe? (Beat) I'll bring the trash bags if you
supply the chocolate.
Scott enters the kitchen.
SCOTT: Hey, Sue. Did Becky tell you the big news? (Takes a seat)
SUE: What news?
BECKY: Oh, Sue! I forgot to mention that Scott's Mom is moving in
with us. (To Scott) Of course I told her. That's why we're
SCOTT: As if you need an excuse.
SUE (To Scott): So, are you excited about her moving in?
SCOTT: I wouldn't say I'm excited. But it's the right thing
to do. It's been about a year since my Dad died and she's been up
there all alone.
SUE: That's too bad.
SCOTT: Ya know, Buffalo winters can be very depressing.
SUE: I can imagine.
BECKY: (Hopeful) So, she's just here for the winter?
SCOTT: (Defensively) I'm not sure. We'll just have to see how it
SUE: (Realizes that this is not a conversation she wants to
participate in) Well Look at the time! (Gets up) Call me when you
want to get started on that guest room.
BECKY: Will do. Thanks, Sue.
SCOTT: Later, Sue.
SCOTT: (Sits down next to Becky.) Why are you so opposed to my Mom
BECKY: I don't know. She scares me a bit.
BECKY: Well, for one thing, she makes me call her Mrs. Hayes!
SCOTT: She doesn't make you call her that. She lets you call her
that because she thinks it's funny.
BECKY: Oh, that's really funny. So funny I forgot to laugh.
SCOTT: Lighten up, Becks.
BECKY: The truth is that we've got our hands full with the kids as
SCOTT: What do you mean? The kids are great.
BECKY: Come on, Scott. Kyle's barely keeping up in school. And
he's got the attention span of a tsetse fly.
Kyle (11 years old) wanders into the kitchen completely oblivious to
the fact that his parents are talking about him. He opens and closes
the cupboard doors. He's holding one sneaker.
KYLE: Mom have you seen my other sneaker?
BECKY: Do I wear your sneakers?
BECKY: (Sighs) It's in the bathtub.
KYLE: Oh, yeah. Thanks!
Kyle leaves kitchen.
BECKY: See what I mean?
SCOTT: What? (Laughs) His sneaker's in the bathtub. (Shakes head.)
Wonder how it got there.
BECKY: (Does not see the humor in the situation. Puts hands over face
and tries to compose herself. In a shaky voice.) His teacher thinks
he should be tested for A.D.D.
SCOTT: Well, you know how I feel about that. (Beat.) I was just like
him when I was his age and look how I turned out.
BECKY: (Looks at him.) That's comforting. (Beat.) And Hailey is
moody and emotional and irritable. Every conversation I have with her
turns into an argument.
SCOTT: She's a teenager! That's what teenagers do.
BECKY: I know. But throwing your Mother into the mix. I'm afraid,
SCOTT: Becks, I promise you, if things go bad I will deal with it.
(Beat.) She's my Mom. My only living relative.
BECKY: What am I, chopped liver?
SCOTT: I'm serious, Becky. You've got 3 sisters and 2 brothers
and more cousins than I can shake a stick at. I've got my Mom.
BECKY: We've got your Mom.
SCOTT: It's going to be OK, Becks. (Puts his arm around her.) I
really think it's going be fine.
Kyle walks into the kitchen.
KYLE: Mom, is tomorrow an A day or a B day?
BECKY: It's Thursday, so that's a B day, right?
KYLE: Oh shoot!
BECKY: What's wrong. Do you have a test tomorrow?
BECKY: Or a project due?
BECKY: Then why.?
Kyle backs away from the questions and backs into Hailey who is
entering the kitchen carrying a stack of folded towels. She drops
them on the floor as a result of the collision
HAILEY: Kyle!!! || KYLE:
HAILEY: Mommmmmmmm! Here are your stupid towels. (exits)
Becky shakes her head, puts the towels on the table, and begins to
BECKY: (to Scott) You really think bringing your Mom into this nut
house is going to work out fine?
SCOTT: I do.
Becky throws a towel at Scott to fold.
SCOTT: Is that a metaphor?
SCOTT: You're throwing in the towel! Right?
BECKY: (Smiles, finishes folding the towels and grabs Scott's folded
towel) Do I have a choice? (Gives him a kiss and walks off stage.)
End of scene[end of extract]