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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Woody Alan Syndrome: The Overfunctioning Wife and The Underfunctioning Husband

Written by  Sherri Mandell

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Mona and Phil are both in their late 30's. They have three children. Phil is an advertising executive and Mona works part time as an atrium landscape artist. This drama depicts a classic marriage: while at home with the family, Phil underfunctions, while Mona overfunctions.

Mona: You said that you would be home tomorrow afternoon.

Phil: They changed the time of the presentation.

Mona: Don't you have anything to say about it? You were supposed to take care of the kids.

Phil: Call a babysitter.

Mona: Phil, all of the babysitters are asleep now. It's midnight. Why didn't you tell me earlier?

Phil: I forgot.

Mona: How can you be so inconsiderate? I'm supposed to be meeting with Ken about the account with the Marriott. I've been working on this for three months.

Phil: How about calling Mrs. Cronin?

Mona: Woody Alan syndrome.

Phil: What are you talking about?

Mona: You're suffering from it. When they asked him the name of his pediatrician and his kids' after-school activities, he didn't know. That's why they gave the kid to Mia.

Phil: Come on.

Mona: Mrs. Cronin hasn't been here in two months. Where have you been?

Phil: You never told me.

Mona: I told you. I told you she was in the hospital.

Phil: I don't remember.

Mona: You don't listen to me.

Phil: Well, you talk to me when I'm in the middle of doing other things.

Mona: That's what you do -- get on the computer or watch TV and disappear.

Phil: Stop shrieking. You're gonna wake up the kids.

Mona: I'm tired of keeping things together. I have no sitter and I have a big meeting and you let me down.

Phil: I'm sorry.

Mona: I don't understand why I have to be on call all the time. The kid is sick. Mom takes over. The washing machine needs to be fixed -- Mom needs to stay home. You have to shoulder some of this.

Phil: Mona, your job is part time. I'm the one who brings home the real money.

Mona: Just because you make more money doesn't mean my job isn't serious.

Phil: Fine I'll miss the conference and the chance for a $40,000 account so you can meet with Ken about what color plants they're going to have in the lobby. Come on, Mona. Get real.

Mona: Can't you at least be responsible? Can't you tell me beforehand? Can't you take equal partnership here?

Phil: Equal partnership. You stayed home and went to your aerobics classes while I put in all this time building a business.

Mona: I took care of little kids.

Phil: You had it easy. You find a way to cope with this. Call somebody in the morning.

Mona: Why don't you? You're the one who messed up.

Phil: I'm not calling some teenage girl at 7:30 in the morning. Give it a rest, Mona. Get off of my back.

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Last modified on Monday, 16 January 2012 18:56
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Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell has a Master's degree in Creative Writing and has taught writing at the University of Maryland and Penn State University. She is the author of the book Writers of the Holocaust. She has written articles for the Washington Post. She is married with four children

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