‘Merrica, Can We Talk?

[Scene – A car in a mall parking lot, in a Red State somewhere.]

California: Middle America, honey, can we talk? I know I said I needed a new dress for the Inaugural Ball, and the help of my best gals to pick it out, but that was a lie. Your wedding is just a few days away and… Well, we just really wanted some time to talk to you…. alone.

M.America: What? Why? Oh, this is about Donald isn’t it…

Massachusetts: Sweetie, we’re really worried about you.

M. America: I told you, I love him. We’re going to be great together. Our wedding is going to be huge. We’re inviting all the best people. Why can’t you just be happy for me?

New York: Look, all we want is for you to be happy. Really, we do. You haven’t been yourself for years. And I know this guy helps you remember what you used to be like…

California: …We’re your sisters. We’re there for you always. And we were kind of hoping that you would break this thing off by yourself, but you went and got engaged to this guy and…

M. America: He and I share the same values. We want the same thing for our kids. Why can’t you just give him a chance?

Massachusetts: Look, we’ve all dated some doozies. Look at Maine…. her husband isn’t even invited to the Governors’ Christmas parties anymore…

[Maine rolls her eyes, throws up her hands, and goes back to staring out the window.]

Massachusetts: …but marriage is big step, and we wouldn’t be your best friends if we didn’t talk to you about how we’re feeling.

M. America: [Sighs.] Ok. Whatever. Go ahead.

California: Well, for starters. We really don’t like how you get when you’re with him. You’re not yourself.

M. America: What? What do you mean?

California: You’ve got one of the biggest hearts that I know. Remember Mrs. Hernandez? How her son was killed in Iraq and you sent casseroles ‘round to her house for a whole month…

Massachusetts: And that time that Rachael had to move? She didn’t have anyone to help—her and those three little kids—and you showed up with all your pick-up trucks and had her moved in a few hours.

New York: And don’t tell me that you don’t go snowblow Mr. Hudson’s driveway for him every time it snows. I’ve seen you do it.

M. America: Yeah, but he just had that hip replacement, and if he slips…

Massachusetts: That’s my point. You’re always looking out for your neighbors. But when you’re around this guy, you forget all that. And he says some really awful things.

M. America: Oh, he doesn’t mean any of that. You know how he is…. He just says those things to get a rise out of people.

New York: I don’t know about that… He has some really nasty friends. And since you guys got engaged, it’s not like he’s hanging out with them less. If anything, they’re coming around even more.

Massachusetts: And he likes to blame other people for problems, says that if they just went away, if we just shoved them out, things would be better.

M. America: No, you’re exaggerating what he said. He doesn’t… He wouldn’t ever…

Massachusetts: No, I’ve seen you nodding your head to what he says… You think it’s funny. But Mrs. Hernandez doesn’t have papers. She’s undocumented. Did you know that? Mr. Hudson’s on Medicare. He needs it to pay for all his medications. Without those Medicare discounts, he told me he’d have to cut back on groceries or heat.

M. America: Donald wouldn’t ever do anything to hurt them.

California: I hope not, honey. But look, you know Rachel? She’s Jewish. His friends painted a swastika on her house the other day.

M. America: [pales] That’s awful. Poor Rachel. But Donald didn’t do that! You can’t judge him for what some of his friends do. That wasn’t him.

New York: Maybe not, and I know he told them to cut it out. but he still went to play golf with them the next day. What does that say?

M. America: Ok, so maybe he’s a little unpolished. He says things he shouldn’t. But his heart is in the right place. He listens to me. Remember how I told you how much I hated that China was always pretending to be my friend, then stealing my jobs? Just last week he went and told them off! Isn’t that great? I need someone to stand up for me.

California: Yeah, that was…. interesting…. how he went about that. But let’s talk about that. You can’t have a husband who goes around beating up everyone who talks bad about you. That’s not normal.

M. America: He’s just protective. He makes me feel special.

California: Protective is one thing. But he’s talking about shutting everyone out, not letting you go and hang out with all those other countries anymore. Don’t you remember that mixing with all sorts of people, the Irish, the Italians, the Swedes, the Polish—yes, even the Chinese and Japanese—that’s what made you so great in the first place? Honey, getting out there and meeting new people and learning new things from them is who you are.

M. America: Look. I know you girls mean well, and all, but I’ve dated a real strong of losers…

New York: They weren’t…

California: Just look at that last one…

M. America: Yeah, I know you all liked them. But here’s the thing. They said nice things when we were out in public, but then they treated me like dirt. They said theý’d be there for me, but they ended up taking my jobs and splitting. Thanks to them, I lost my mortgage to those guys from Wall Street. Donald, he’s rich. He’s going to help me get back on my feet.

Massachusetts: I understand you’ve had some hard times. But you gotta understand, those jobs, they’re not coming back…

M. America: Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. You don’t know.

Massachusetts: Ok, so let’s say they do. Who’s to say that he’s going to share his money with you?

M. America: He’ll be my husband. He has to.

Massachusetts: Oh, honey. It doesn’t always work that way… And those Wall Street guys? ‘Merrica, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I was at the bar last week, and he was talking about how he’s going to invite them to his Bachelor Party.

M. America: No, he told me he’s not hanging out with them anymore. His kids are going to deal with that part of his business. He promised me.

New York: Maybe he promised, but he doesn’t seem to be following through on that. Just last week I heard that he invited a bunch of them to his Fantasty Football league. In fact, that entire league is filled with either people who talk bad about people like Mrs. Hernandez or Rachel, or they’re those Wall Street types.

M. America: You’re exaggerating. Just because they’re rich doesn’t mean anything. They know how to make money. That’s a good thing.

California: Ok. Maybe. But let’s talk about this one last thing. It’s really got me worried. Have you noticed that every time you start to talk to him about his friends or about his businesses, he changes the subject? And not just once, every time. You start to talk to him about something that’s bothering you, and he goes and says something awful. It’s like he’s trying to make you react and get distracted.

M. America: That’s just coincidence.

California: It’s happening an awful lot. And he talks really bad about people who disagree with him. And some of his nasty friends? They have even nastier friends. I mean this really violent guy. And your Donald has even said he admires him! Doesn’t that worry you?

M. America: Donald would never hurt me.

Massachusetts: I hope not. But that whole pattern—not letting you out to see others, insulting people who disagree, admiring violent men… Honey, I’m really worried about your safety.

M. America: Wha?? He’s not going to beat me! He loves me!

California: I hope you’re right. I really do. Nothing would make us more relieved than to see this work out in the end. But you can see why we’re worried, can’t you? I mean, I think we all hope that you’ll just leave this guy at the altar, but you’ll probably go through with it.

New York: And just know that we’ll be there for you, no matter what, okay?

Massachusetts: If things get ugly, you can call us, you know that right? No matter where you are, or what time of night it is.

M. America: You guys! You’re being so dramatic! Nothing is going to happen! We’re going to be great together!

Massachusetts: But you know you can call, right?

California: Anywhere. Anytime.

New York: Because we’re your sisters. We’re family.

M. America: Yeah, yeah, I know. Thank you. I love you too.

California: Good. [Starts the car.] Ok. Who’s hungry? Fries and a milkshake? Or I think I just saw this new taco truck on the corner back there…

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