I wrote this play in college, as a submission for a playwriting competition. It placed!

Women are from Venus
By Angela Webber


INT. Bookstore. Mid-afternoon.

Two 40-year-old women are browsing the “Relationships” aisle of a clean bookstore. One woman, we’ll call her “Lily”, looks like the mother of several elementary school kids, she is disheveled and worn out, and does not have a job other than caring for her children. “Grace” is a more self-assured business-woman type, is well put together, and is wearing professional clothes.
On stage right, there is a “bookstore café”, simply a round table with two or three chairs. There is a sign that says “please seat yourself.”
Lights up. the women are minding their own business. Lily looks like she is on the edge of a breakdown, but is keeping herself together. Grace is frustrated but dignified. Grace is looking at a single book, while Lily collects a few in her arms, reads the back cover of others, and either puts them back or keeps them.
L: I suppose you’re right.

(Pause)

G: Excuse me?

L: I said I suppose you’re right.

G: (confused) Um…

L: I apologize. I really was being inconsiderate.

G: (confused) I.. are you talking to me?

L: That must have been very frustrating for you.

(Grace notices that Lily is reading from a book. Lily flips to another page.)

(Lily looks up, and directly into Grace’s eyes.)

L: How was your day?

(Grace looks at Lily, the book, back at Lily, and then sets down her books on a step stool, and takes the book that Grace is reading (another copy) off the shelf. She looks over Lily’s shoulder (hesitantly), and turns to the same page.(Note: from now until *, both women will be “reading” each line from the book.))

G: (still confused). Fine. It was fine? (looks up at Lily)

L: How was your presentation?

G: Ok.

L: Is there something wrong?

G: No.

L: I can tell there is something wrong. Why don’t you tell me?

G: There is nothing wrong. Wh… where is the television schedule?

(both pause. Lily looks at Grace, expectantly. Grace looks at Lily, expectantly.)

L: Do you love me?

G: Of… of course I love you. I ma… I married you.

L: How could you love me? (breaking) – We never talk anymore. How can you just sit there and say nothing? Don’t you care?
(Lily looks down at the book, flustered, and continues reading and flipping through pages. Grace looks at Lily worried, confused, anxiously, then looks through the book.  As she slowly becomes more involved in her own reading…)

L: We never go out anymore.

G: (looks suddenly up at Lily, checks the page, and flips quickly.) That’s not true, we went out last Friday!

L: The house is always a mess.

G: It’s not always a mess. (stifling a giggle… looks up at lily, who is not amused. Looks back down at the book)

L: We are always in a hurry.

G: We are not. Friday we were relaxed.

L: I want more romance.

G: Are you saying I am not romantic?

L: * Yes.

G: (not finding that line in the book) ..What?

L: (looking up at Grace). Yes. You aren’t romantic.

G: Well… that… (pause, flipping through the book.) Don’t you mean… (proudly smiling, points to the page, Lily reads)

L: “Sweetheart, you have been working so hard lately. Let’s take some time out for ourselves. I love it when we can relax and be alone. You are so romantic. Would you surprise me with flowers sometime soon and take me out on a date? I love being romanced.”
G: Is that… is that what you mean?

L: No! What the… (flips). “What women want”.

G: (giggling) Ok…

L: 23.

G: (flipping to page 23) – What women want.

L: The pressures of the modern world… do not reflect womens’ values. Women are concerned with living together in harmony and loving cooperation. Relationships are more important than work and technology.

G:  Women were not made for the modern world of two-income households. What makes women happy is unstructured time… to garden, to take care of the home and children, and spend time with other women.

(The two women look at each other, thinking. Lily then puts back the book with a disappointed “humph” and picks up a few other books. She brings them to the Café. This is a Café with waiters.  Grace picks up the stack she set on the step stool, and follows Lily to the table.)

G: (opening a bright, modern-looking book to a random page, reading) How to make time for your wife.

L: (opening to a random page of one of her books) Are you a helicopter, or a bridge?

G: Block out time during lunch for a telephone call…

L: (has turned to another page) – A husband and wife might assign different point values for different actions and gifts.

G: Hire people to give you more time?

L: (has turned to another page) Get help for serious problems. Don’t let your marriage be the truck in flames that drives off a cliff….

(pause)

G: While being chased by savage football-playing cannibals…

L: into a pit of angry, flesh-eating termites.

L: and if he had just remembered to call the exterminator…

G: (reading from a new book) What happened to your marriage? If you’ve got to the point of asking this question, you’re already in trouble. You may be asking yourself if you were ever happy, or if you were, whether you can ever be happy again.

L: Christ.

G: In any case, the most important thing in any relationship is communication.

(a waiter approaches the table, bringing two waters.)

W: Here you are, ladies. My name is  Brad, and I will be your waiter today. Here is some water (starts to give water), can I get you something to eat today?

L: Thank you.

G: Thanks.

(as he gives the women their drinks, he accidentally spills some, not much, water onto L, and the books on the table)

W: Oh my… I’m so sorry.

L:  It’s fine… don’t worry about it.

G: Ahem.

(L looks at G, confused. G looks at L meaningfully).

G: Is something… wrong?

L: (confused) no…

(W feels really awkward and tries to leave..)

G: Wait!

L: what? (pause) Oh yes… wait. Communication is the most important… Is anything wrong, with you?

W: I’m sorry?

G: Is everything ok? How is your day?

W: Um… it’s fine… Yes, I’m ok…

G&L look at him meaningfully, sharing an amusing secret with one another.

W: What’s going on? I really should… get back to work.

L: Why don’t you talk to me anymore?

G: Don’t you love me?

W: Of course I love you! I married you!

(fade to black)

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