(free for students & auditions)
"Grace Gets Even"
From the Play "Beyond Measure"
By G. L. Horton
copyright © 1998
Grace, Richard's first wife, finally has her long delayed revenge
on the younger woman her husband Richard married after he divorced
her. Grace has just destroyed the telephone and threatened
to karate-kick her hated rival over the moon, so Paulette-- who
thinks her marriage to Richard is stable and happy-- is struck
speechless with terror as this crazy older woman stages a scene
in Paulette's tidy living room.
GRACE: Does Richard still keep his socks in the left-hand drawer?
Ah ha! He does. How boring and predictable that man
is. You can't imagine how much I'm enjoying this. From the
moment I saw it coming.
From that blessed moment, every nasty little dig, every smug
little wifey pifey bit of psychological dog turd you tossed at
me, became a source of amusement. Oh, what a relief it is--
after all these years, to be able to laugh at you!
You'd have seen it coming too, you fool, if you hadn't
been so smug. The evidence was all here. (Holds
up lacey bra.)
This isn't yours, is it? Size 32 C?
(GRACE tosses the bra at PAULETTE, and laughs)
You never noticed a pattern to Richard's excuses? The boring
familiarity of those alibis for his one night stands? The Case
of the Missing Dick. Next come the longer flings, the ones where
somebody hangs up if you answer the phone. Ones where there's
a mysterious rash of car trouble, ones where Daddy volunteers
for committees at Marnie's school, committees with just
one member and long frequent meetings. To back him up on this
Richard turns Daddy's little girl into Daddy's little liar, naturally.
Then comes the final stage, the really frightening part: the suddenly
devoted spouse. Richard's always on time, now, yes?
Concerned for the family schedule, taking over chores.
An apparent advocate of abstinence, never mind catting around.
I don't see his bathrobe. Is it in the laundry? Or the other
With Richard that's the big giveaway-- apparent abstinence.
Of course I never noticed, back when I was young and foolish.
But then,- --I didn't have the example of a first dump to learn
But you're too stupid to learn, Paulette. Too smug and
too stupid. A dense little Dolly who can't even do the math.
Desire plus a decade equals Dump, Paulette. Randy old Richard?
Though rapidly approaching half a century, Dickiekins is still
convinced he's Prince Charming. Charm as in boyish. Boys
belong to girls, not old witches. A woman who's pushing forty
is far too old for a perpetual twenty-something like Dickie-boy.
Isn't that how it went before, Paulette? Back when you were a
girl? You do remember? Richard, sexy Dick, tricky Dick that
he is, is barely aging at all. Time cannot wither him. But our
boy has noticed that the stupid woman he married is past repair
and ripe for the junkyard. She, of course-meaning blind
old Grace, meaning me-- notices no such thing. All old Grace
notices is that first her husband seems to be screwing around
and then he seems to have stopped. Hubby seems at the moment
to be sticking to the rules and working toward time off for good
behavior. Poor fool, the wife never knows what time it is.
Time for a new model. Someone fresh, unspoiled, and close at hand
- someone like Olga.
Never saw it coming, did you?
Olga's a child. Younger than our daughter, Marnie.
In fact, Olga's as much younger than you are as you were younger
than I was. All those years ago. Perfect, isn't it? Oh, I saw
it coming, all right. Savored all the signs. And I
knew if I wanted to be here and enjoy this look on your face,
this perfect moment when you realize you've been dumped, I'd better
make up with old Dicky-boy. Let bygones be bygones.
And do you know, he was eager! More than willing to pour
all your spousal shortcomings into my sympathetic ear.
Amazing man, Richard-- such confidence in his own charms that
it never occurred to him to wonder why after all these years I
would want to be his friend.