“I Do.” Or Something Like That
A Play (or Screenplay, however you look at it)
The scene takes place in a cozy mountain lodge. The lights are warm and dim in the bedroom at stage left, where there is an oversized king bed and several dressers. The living area/kitchenette at stage right is brighter lit by firelight, the overhead track lighting, and the television. The bathroom door in the bedroom is closed, and steam is rising from beneath the door. Bright light from the bathroom can be seen emanating from the crevices of the door. Katherine is on all fours looking under the bed when her cell phone rings, startling her.
KATHERINE: [She flips the phone open and answers] Cheese and rice, Jamie. You scared the shit out of me! Hold on, let me put you on speakerphone. Alright we’re good.
JAMIE: It’s not my fault you leave your phone on “Helen Keller” sound settings like you can’t hear. Why am I on speaker? And why are you panting?
KATHERINE: [She exhales in exasperation]. I’m currently sandwiched between the bed and the floor.
JAMIE: Um, you do know that you sleep on the bed yes?
KATHERINE: This isn’t a joke. I’ve been searching this hotel room for the last twenty goddamned minutes.
JAMIE: Wait, you aren’t looking for what I think you’re looking for, are you?
KATHERINE: Depends what you think I’m looking for.
JAMIE: You know, it’s easier to play dumb when you aren’t actually dumb.
KATHERINE: [Shrieking] I resent that! Be a good friend and help me brainstorm on where to look.
JAMIE: I am not enabling you. Well wait a sec, if you are on all fours scouring the bedroom, where is Shane during this spectacular show?
KATHERINE: He’s in the shower, hence the urgency in finishing my search, and the sweating and panting.
JAMIE: Come on hun, don’t ruin the weekend by expecting a proposal. And stop looking for the ring!
KATHERINE: I’m not ruining anything. I just want to know for Christ’s sake. It’s been three years, and we have been talking about getting married and “when we have a house” this and “well, our wedding will have” that. Obviously he wants to marry me, so what the hell is the hold up?
She continues to reach under the bed, sweeping the floor with her hands, and using the phone as a flashlight.
JAMIE: Do you remember when you made me drive fifteen miles to get Shamrock Shakes because the McDonald’s in Centreville promised a free eight ounce to anyone wearing green flip-flops on St. Patrick’s Day, even though we have a McDonald’s two blocks from our neighborhood?
KATHERINE: I don’t see how this story is relevant…
JAMIE: Shut up and listen. So, do you remember what you did when we got there?
KATHERINE: [Indignantly] I’m sorry, I simply can’t recall…
JAMIE: Oh, okay. Let me refresh your memory. You shoved your legs over top of me at the drive-through window and thrust your flop-clad feet towards the window to prove you met the requirement. And she told you that you had to come in to collect the free Shamrock Shake.
KATHERINE: It’s fast food. It’s not like the advertisement said “must come in to claim free future ass-fat in a cup,” it just said I had to wear flip-flops and –
JAMIE: [Cutting KATHERINE off] The point is, you had to go in and pick it up. And when she handed you a McFlurry instead, the appropriate complaint was not to shove the treat across the counter and saying she “McFucked up.” My point is that you let everyone piss in your Cheerios if you don’t get your way.
KATHERINE: [Emphatically] I still think that short-order chef had no right pinching my arm fat as he escorted me out. I was going willingly. [She pauses long enough to lean against the bed, slumping over, exhausted from her search]. Look, I am impatient and I just want some glimmer of hope that this man will marry me. I guess I have wedding fever.
JAMIE: I know you do, but you have to let him do this on his own time. He loves you, of course he will propose. Doesn’t mean it has to be this weekend. Just because he suggested a sudden weekend getaway doesn’t mean you need to go into hysterics. It’s not like you guys haven’t looked at rings, he already knows what you want. Bless his soul he has no goddamn clue what he’s getting himself into, but he loves you. He’d give you the shirt off of his back if he had to.
KATHERINE jerks her head up, as if she has just gotten a bright idea. She is quickly on her feet, scrambling towards the armoire dresser. The steam stops coming from the bathroom door, and the water is shut off.
KATHERINE: [Whispering] That’s it! I didn’t check his pockets and shoes!
She swings the armoire doors open, and begins frantically checking each shirt, pants, and jacket pocket, tossing them haphazardly over her head as she makes her way through his wardrobe.
JAMIE: [Sternly] Seriously, Kat, stop! You’re just going to have Vietnam flashbacks to the McFlurry and get upset if you don’t find it. And if you do, you’ll ruin it!
KATHERINE: [Whispering] Jamie? [pauses, then whispers louder] JAMIE? [pauses] I guess I lost you! She snickers to herself, shuts the flip phone, and chucks it over her shoulder into the growing pile of Shane’s laundry and shoes.
SHANE: [From behind the bathroom door] Babe? Who are you talking to out there?
KATHERINE: Um, Jamie called. She’s just wondering if we were up to anything special. I told her “Jamie, you need to chill the eff out, girl.” She is just so anxious!
SHANE: [With a half-laugh] Uh-uh, right.
The closet is now empty, and the bedroom is a mess. She abruptly stops, looks around for a long moment, and surveys the mess she has created. There is no drawer or surface she has not left ajar. She shrugs her shoulders, and walks into the living room at stage right, plopping down onto the couch to pout. Shane emerges in a towel from the bathroom and calls out to her from the bedroom.
SHANE: Holy shit, what happened in here?
KATHERINE: Oh, yeah about that. Sorry, I was looking for…my…tampons.
SHANE: In my closet? Why would I have them?
KATHERINE: [Sheepishly] Heh. Yeah, you know, no-stone-unturned kind of deal. [He puts his hands on his hips, and stares at her unopened suitcase, and then back at the pile of his clothes and shoes]
SHANE: You should get dressed soon babe, we have dinner reservations.
He grabs clothes from the stack, and retreats back to the bathroom. KATHERINE returns to the bedroom at stage left and opens her suitcase and grabs a pair of jeans and a sweater. She slowly unpacks her clothes, clearly disappointed at her behavior as she shakes her head at the mess. SHANE re-emerges from the bathroom in a fancy suit.
SHANE: [He motions up and down] That’s what you’re wearing?
KATHERINE: [In shock, embarrassed] Oh my…God. You look…great. I look [she trails off] Okay, well I can look for something else.
SHANE: What’s wrong?
KATHERINE: [Flatly] Nothing.
SHANE: I know what ‘nothing’ means.
KATHERINE: I’m fine.
SHANE: I know what ‘fine’ means too.
KATHERINE: I am fine.
SHANE: Come here and give me a hug and stop pouting about…whatever it is that you’re pouting about.
He reaches for her quickly and drags her in for a bear hug. Her hands are pressed up against his chest, and she suddenly pushes him away. It is clear from the bulge of his suit pocket that there is a ring box inside it, which she has felt with her hands.
HANE: [Confused, but red with suspicion and a knowing-embarrassment] Okay, weirdo. Get dressed. Maybe you just need a cocktail or something. You’re acting a little wonky.
KATHERINE: [Suddenly panicked, and stuttering] I…um…I can’t go to dinner. We can’t eat dinner. I look like shit. And I don’t have anything to wear…and you look so…I just…I’m not dressed properly, you never wear suits, I didn’t know this was a fancy thing.
She is visibly anxious, rustling through her bags, throwing clothes on the floor, and she begins to cry.
SHANE: Honey, what the hell is wrong with you? You haven’t been this upset since that one time at McDonalds when –
KATHERINE: [Turning her back to him to hide her face] Can we please drop the McDonald’s thing for God’s sake? I am fine. I just look so terrible. And you look so good. And I am a hot mess, and I am just…[puts her hands in her head and shakes it] I just…[pauses to sniffle]. I don’t have anything to wear!
She turns around, and SHANE is down on one knee, opening a ring box.
SHANE: [Smirking] Like this?
KATHERINE: [Through sobs] Yes!
SHANE: Yes this is good enough, or yes you’ll wear the ring you’ve been digging through my shit for?
KATHERINE: No! Wait no that’s not what I meant. Yeah, yes to both! I mean, I wasn’t digging, I just sort of peeked a little bit.
SHANE: Hurricanes leave less mess than you do.
KATHERINE: [Animated, hurried, talking a lot with her hands] I’m sorry. It wasn’t me. It was Genghis Kat, invader of armoires and destroyer of bedroom civilizations! Just out of curiosity, where did you hide it?
SHANE: I didn’t hide it. I took it to the bathroom with me. I know you, you’re nosy as they come. I have to hide Christmas gifts in my trunk, and birthday gifts in the storage unit. Real heartfelt proposal, huh? You didn’t think I was going to do it, did you?
KATHERINE: [Embarrassed] Oh. Well, it’s about damned time then! I’m sorry, I feel really ridiculous now that I made Mount Vesuvius out of your clothes. I’ll clean it up.
SHANE: [Still on his knee, starting to wobble] No, can just you please sit still so I can slide this sucker on or what? [He slides the ring onto her finger] You think you can manage to spit out just “I do” on the actual wedding day? Wouldn’t want you to McFuck up, would we? [laughs]
She smacks him playfully, and he rises from his knee, picking her up and kissing her, ending the scene. As the lights go out, phone dialing is heard, and then the beep of a voicemail box.
KATHERINE: Hey, Jamie. It’s me. Told ya so! McAsshole!