There’s a theater event in the Twin Cities called THIRST. It’s an evening of four short one-act plays performed in a bar. The only writing guideline is this: the scene has to be set in a bar. Audience members eat and drink and every ten minutes or so a little bit of theater suddenly starts happening at a nearby table. It’s not nearly as frightening as it sounds. This is a monologue I wrote for THIRST a few years back. Have a drink, enjoy, and try not to be frightened by BULLSHIT TIME.
Excuse me! Excuse me! May I have everyone’s attention for just a moment?
Hi. My name is Evelyn and I am a single woman. I’ve been coming to this bar every night for the last week trying to meet that special someone. I’ve had dozens of blow-my-brains-out-boring conversations with individual men. And I just don’t have time for it tonight. I still have to go to the gym, grab a burrito at Chipotle, and watch at least four hours of television so I’ll have something interesting to dream about when I get my four hours of actual REM sleep before I get up and go back to work.
So basically, I need to save time by hitting on every man in this bar at once. And the ladies who are open to experimenting. I just want a life partner—I’m not picky. As far as I’m concerned a spouse is like a library card or a liberal arts degree–probably wouldn’t actually use one much but I’d be embarrassed if I didn’t have one.
Sooo, about me. I’m adventurous. Obviously. I am an excellent multi-tasker. I can do almost anything I set my mind to and bitch about it at the exact same time. I don’t cook. I’d throw my refrigerator out but that would just be another part of the kitchen floor I’d have to clean. I like to laugh. Sometimes I feed my cat a saucer full of milk and Jameson and then film her trying to play bat the string. I’m not a bitch about it. I don’t post it on YouTube or anything.
What else? I work for an office furniture company. I’m in charge of designing office clocks. I like to think that’s my contribution to bringing the different demographics of the USA together: no matter who you are, how you vote, or where you live—chances are you’ve stared at a clock I’ve made and cursed it for not moving faster.
It’s fair to say I have some issues with the concept of time. I call bullshit on time. Not even time itself, really, but all our bullshit rationalizations.
Time isn’t a friend that accompanies us on our journey. Time is an annoying little jerk poking you in the back. Time is that cliché where you’re driving a car and there’s an obnoxious kid in the back going, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” That’s what time feels like until you turn thirty or forty and suddenly that little shit in the back seat isn’t saying, “Are we there yet?” She’s saying, “You passed it! You passed it! You passed it!”
And there’s no turning around. You can’t whip a shitty on the highway of life. You miss the exit and you’re screwed. You will never use the bathroom at that particular McDonald’s. You just have to wait for the next one. Even though all the McDonald’s kind of look the same, you’ll never know if that was THE ONE.
Not that I’m comparing men to McDonald’s. Sure, men can make you happy and fat and take years off your life, but they are inferior to McDonald’s in one significant way: they do not change their menu or policies based on social or economic pressures. I’m not sure if that made sense.
I don’t mean to be maudlin. I don’t care about getting old. Crow’s feet, love handles, cankles, turkey neck, the golden arches–you name the insulting term for the natural progression of the female body–and I couldn’t care less if it’s happening to me. I just don’t want to get old without having all the stuff I want.
Which leads to the obvious question of what I want.
I want companionship. I want to have sex with a man, then wake up and be happy he’s there instead of wishing I had an ejector button for the right side of my mattress. I want someone who won’t be offended if I accidentally drop the f-bomb during our wedding vows. I want someone to come with me to the emergency vet when my cat’s liver inevitably fails. I want someone who will lie to me and tell me it had nothing to do with the Jameson. And then laugh at his own bullshit.
I want a man who will give me a baby. Literally. Like he’d step out for a pack of smokes and he’d come back and say, “Honey, I decided to pick up some pizza rolls for dinner and I adopted this baby so you don’t have to deal with all that pregnancy crap.”
I want a man who understands that I want the destination without all the damn travel.
Sooo, that’s me. I guess if you could make it through my little presentation and you still want to date me, I’d probably say yes. I’d take you back to my place to meet the cat. I’d tell you to pick out the best of the James Bond films to watch on Blu-Ray and see if you get it right. We’d make sure we can order a pizza without debating the toppings like it was a nuclear disarmament treaty.
There would be no sex that first night. At least not with you.
If everything went really well, I’d pick a fight with you over money just to make sure that’s not going to be a problem. And after that, a hug. A nice warm make-up hug. Because no one ever got gonorrhea from a hug.
So, in closing, thanks for your time. Best of luck with your journeys and if you think I might be the right destination for you, just do what the television tells you to when you’re drunk at 3 AM. Don’t wait! Call now! Supplies are limited and time is running out.
A version of this story is also available in my book COMEDY OF DOOM.
Thanks for reading.