By Tara Meddaugh © 2015
A 5-minute monologue play
Setting: AN OFFICE
Age range: 20-70
Description: DAN is at work, and has just participated in the office “Secret Santa” exchange where participants were instructed to make a gift for their Secret Santa. He is speaking to Penny, the coworker he has been assigned to give a gift to. He has just given her his gift and she is not impressed.
What did you expect? Me to knit a scarf? You think I’m gonna bake, what, cookies shaped like Santa and put a bow on it?
You can’t have the same expectation on me as you do Chrissy—we all see her at lunch, reading those magazines with, I don’t know what they have on them—little crafts—and—food…things? And Gerald has his own woodworking shop in his garage. I’ve seen it. You probably haven’t, but he’s got everything. He built his kids a huge wooden fire truck. They can stand inside of it and it has a real hose installed.. They keep it in their driveway all summer. So his handcrafted Frank-shaped nutcracker is nothing for him.
So. Look. It’s—you’re taking this too personally. I know the rules of Secret Santa this year were that we had to make our own gift. But…Penny. You know what I’ve been going through, right? Sarah left me right on Halloween. We’re going through the kids’ candy when they’re in bed, you know, making sure they’re fine, eating a few peanut butter cups. And she gets all excited and says she’s found one with the wrapper open. I tell her Joey was starting to open a pack of Skittles after he brushed his teeth, so I had him save it for the next day. And it’s a pack of Skittles she’s got in her hands too, so it’ gotta be the same one. I tell her all this but she doesn’t believe me and she gets hysterical that someone in the neighborhood is trying to poison the kids. I say I doubt that, but she keeps going on about it, so I shrug it off and let her get it out of her system. We’ll throw them out if it makes her happy, who cares. Joey has enough candy.
But that’s it, I guess. That’s the last thing I do “wrong.” Now, clearly you think I did nothing wrong, but Sarah thinks I’m belittling her, and, it’s a “pattern,” and, I “don’t believe” her, I don’t “put safety first.” This safety thing is all because I was driving the speed limit and not ten miles UNDER the speed limit when we had that first snow a week ago. She knows I’m from Maine. I know how to drive in the snow. But she doesn’t trust me and she even got Beth to start crying in the backseat, wailing that we were gonna die.
So Halloween night—I’m at a hotel.
Even though it’s Sarah that wants to leave me.
I’m still living at the EconoSuites on Briar. Do you know how hard it is to find an apartment this time of year? Sarah thinks I’m not really looking, and…
See, Penny…it’s almost Christmas.
If there’s any time someone is ready to forgive and…be a family again…
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