Getting Ready

by Stephanie Okun
Getting Ready

“And if you come in there with fantastic hair, she’ll take one look at you– her fifth grade boyfriend– and dump Charlie right then and there, on his birthday and everything. Because she can’t hide her love for you any longer.”

Characters:

TRUMAN – A senior in high school who is in the middle of a pre-college crisis. He is struggling to find a true sense of independence.

DIANE – A sophomore in high school who witnesses Truman’s crisis unfold and lets him take up as much space as he needs to. She is a caring sister who is surprisingly wiser and more mature than her brother.

(We see TRUMAN fixing his hair in the bathroom. DIANE enters and bangs on the bathroom door with her umbrella.)

DIANE

Hey, Truman. Are you in there?

TRUMAN

No.

DIANE

Come on, it’s raining like crazy outside.

TRUMAN

Sorry.

DIANE

Are you still getting ready?

TRUMAN

Don’t come in.

DIANE

Mom and Dad say we have to go now.

TRUMAN

I’m not ready.

DIANE

Your hair looks fine.

TRUMAN

Let me fix it.

DIANE

Shouldn’t I be the one who takes an hour to get ready?

TRUMAN

I don’t know. Should you?

DIANE

Look, I’m coming in there and–

TRUMAN

You better not. I’m taking a shit in here.

DIANE

You just said you were fixing your hair.

TRUMAN

I can multitask.

DIANE

I don’t buy it. I’m going in.

(DIANE enters the bathroom.)

DIANE

Just as I thought. Bravo.

TRUMAN

You’re so annoying. Get out.

DIANE

No, you’re the annoying one. I’m hungry. I want pizza. Your hair looks fine.

TRUMAN

Just let me fix it.

DIANE

What’s the special occasion?

TRUMAN

None of your business, Diane. Go back outside.

DIANE

No! Tell me now or else I’m calling Mom and Dad and they’ll ask you about your personal issues instead.

TRUMAN

Fine. Emily is going to be at the pizza place celebrating Charlie’s birthday.

DIANE

And if you come in there with fantastic hair, she’ll take one look at you– her fifth grade boyfriend– and dump Charlie right then and there, on his birthday and everything. Because she can’t hide her love for you any longer.

TRUMAN

Very funny.

DIANE

Seriously, Truman. You need to get real here.

TRUMAN

I can’t get real here.

DIANE

Why do you still think about Emily?

TRUMAN

Because we’re perfect for each other.

DIANE

Don’t give me any bullshit.

TRUMAN

Well, it’s true. She lives right across the street and her dad and our dad have played golf together for years.

DIANE

And you want Dad’s approval, so if you date Emily then you think you’ll get it.

TRUMAN

Maybe.

DIANE

(pointing her umbrella at him and tapping his shoulder with it) I knew it.

TRUMAN

(pushing the umbrella away from his shoulder) He was proud of me in fifth grade, when I was so good at baseball and wore that Penn sweatshirt every day.

DIANE

But now he’s not.

TRUMAN

And it sucks, but I don’t want to go to Penn. I shouldn’t have to go. Brown is a great school, too.

DIANE

I agree. Why should it matter?

TRUMAN

It shouldn’t, but it does to Dad. Apparently, if I went to Brown, then I wouldn’t be “keeping up his legacy.”

DIANE

So you think if you do some of the things you did in fifth grade then you’ll win him over again? Even though Dad’s been dead set on you going to the same school he went to since you could walk, you think that if you get a new girlfriend that he likes, all his disappointment in you will be magically washed away.

TRUMAN

Pretty pathetic when you put it like that, isn’t it?

DIANE

Yeah, so will you quit this Emily bullshit? Just go to Penn if you’re really that desperate for Dad to be proud of you again.

TRUMAN

But I should stick to my principles, right?

DIANE

Right.

TRUMAN

Even if Dad hates me for it?

DIANE

Oh my God, Truman. It’s time to build a bridge and get over yourself, my friend. Make a choice.

TRUMAN

I don’t know. I don’t have a lot of time before I have to either accept Penn or Brown.

DIANE

Honestly, if that’s your biggest problem in life then you’re doing just fine.

TRUMAN

Well, I’d like to see how you handle this in a couple of years.

DIANE

Trust me. I will never have to handle this.

TRUMAN

Seriously–

DIANE

Just make a decision. Follow your heart. I want pizza. Can’t you think about this later?

TRUMAN

(sarcastic) Wow, impressive. I have it all figured out now. You should be a shrink.

DIANE

Actually, I did psychoanalyze you quite well, especially given that it only took me a minute to catch on to what your crisis is this time.

TRUMAN

What’s “this time” supposed to mean?

DIANE

Nothing. You just take up a lot of space sometimes. But that’s okay. We love you for it.

TRUMAN

What?

DIANE

Anyway, you know it’s not Emily anymore.

TRUMAN

Wait. Can you repeat what you just said before? About me taking up a lot of space?

DIANE

I didn’t mean it like that.

TRUMAN

It’s fine. I’m not asking because I’m mad at you for saying it. I just want to know what you meant.

DIANE

Okay. I mean that you’re debating between Penn and Brown because Daddy wants you to go to Penn but you’re leaning toward Brown. Some people are worried about getting into any college at all– like me– so you should be happy about getting into two Ivy League schools.

TRUMAN

You’re going to get into college.

DIANE

Well maybe I’m not. Dad never told me that he wanted me to go to Penn because he knows that I would never be able to get in.

TRUMAN

That’s not true. I think it’s just different with daughters, that’s all.

DIANE

No, that’s not it. I’m not smart.

TRUMAN

That’s not true. You’re smarter than me right now because you’re able to help me solve my problems when I can’t even figure it out.

DIANE

But I don’t get good grades. I’m not really good at much, to be honest. So that’s why he doesn’t put pressure on me like he does with you.

TRUMAN

Believe me, you don’t want Dad putting pressure on you.

DIANE

Not saying that I do, but I would trade with you in a second. Your problem isn’t as big as you think it is.

TRUMAN

True.

DIANE

All you have to do is get some independence. And that’s easy for an eighteen-year-old guy to do.

TRUMAN

I guess so.

DIANE

So just try to do the right thing. And I know we both know what that is.

TRUMAN

What is it?

DIANE

You’re not a fifth grader who’s going to be satisfied as long as Dad is proud of him. You’re a senior in high school now and you’re going to be great out there. It’s your life so you’ve gotta take control.

TRUMAN

Thanks. I know you’re right.

DIANE

Me too.

TRUMAN

I’m going to Brown. But hey, forget about me. You wanted pizza, right?

DIANE

You don’t even know.

TRUMAN

Yeah, let’s focus on you now.

(TRUMAN and DIANE exit.)

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