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Monday, 31 January 2011

Welcome Home: The Drama Triangle

Written by  Sherri Mandell

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Welcome Home: The Drama Triangle

Candace: Whatever you do, don't sit down and read the newspaper. Don't go to the bathroom. Don't take a drink of coffee. Take the kids from me, please. They have been at it all day. I'm going to lose it any minute.
I am totally exhausted and can't give anybody anything right now. I need somebody to take care of me.

Mark: Candace, just give me a minute. I mean, let me get my jacket off. (He takes off his jacket, goes to the bathroom, then comes out and takes a glass of orange juice.)

Candace: (standing with baby in her arms) I need you to take this baby from me.

Mark: I know. But I've just had an hour drive through traffic in the rain, and I need something to drink. (Ruffles little boy's hair)
I want to be taken care of.

Candace: Please, I can't stand it a minute longer. (She puts baby down on floor.)

Mark: Get a grip. I can't walk in here and instantly become Mr. Mom. Give me a few minutes. Be a little stronger. Don't fall apart on me. I need you to give to me a little too.

Candace: Fine. I'll give you a few minutes but then I'm going upstairs.

Mark: Don't disappear on me. I had a hard day too. I've been up since 4:30, you know. I was the one who got up with the baby this morning and gave her the first bottle of the day while it was still dark out. And I couldn't fall back asleep. So don't tell me how hard your day is. I wasn't lying on a chaise lounge at work, you know.
I am also exhausted, stretched to the max and feel that I'm falling apart. But I feel like you don't care a hoot about my day.

Candace: I'm just so tired. I wait for you to come home and take over.

Mark: Did you at least cook some dinner?
I need you to help me by providing some food since you're at home.

Candace: I wanted to. But the baby kept me so busy.
I feel like a lousy wife and mother because I can't get it all together.

Mark: So I'm supposed to cook dinner now and take care of the baby? (Baby starts to cry. Mark picks him up.) I mean, really. I'm not asking for a three-course meal. Just a pot of spaghetti. Or a bowl of soup. You could do it, Candace. At least put up the water.
I deserve to be taken care of.

Candace: Fine. I'll put up the water. (She puts up water. Toddler in high chair starts throwing food.) Can you pick those Cheerios off the floor?
I'm embarrassed that I can't get it together to cook.

Mark: I've got the baby in my hands.

Candace: You know you may think that you've got it rough but you weren't home all day in the rain with two screaming kids. We didn't even go out because of the rain. If I hear any more Barney, I'm going to lose my mind.
At least you go outside. I'm stuck here. I feel like I'm drowning in children. I need to talk to an adult. I need quiet.

Mark: I know it's not easy. Why didn't you take them out?

Candace: Till I get them dressed in rain gear... and then Tia takes her nap in the car. It's just not worth it.
I was too exhausted.

Mark: You need to get out.

Candace: Alright. I heard you.

Mark: Maybe you wouldn't be so stressed then. Maybe you wouldn't dump them on me as soon as I walk in the door. Maybe you would understand that I'm under pressure the whole time I'm at work. And I don't need more pressure here.

Candace: I can't help it. Can't you pick up those damn Cheerios? I'm anxious living in such a mess.

Mark: Forget about the Cheerios.
I don't care about the mess. I care about us.

Candace: I can't forget about them. That's my life, Mark. Cleaning up Cheerios. Now are you going to help me?
I feel like all I do is take care of kids and clean up. The chaos is overwhelming me.

(Mark sits down with the baby.)

Candace: I'm going upstairs. I can't do one more thing for anybody. (She goes upstairs.)

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Last modified on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 15:08
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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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