Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Woman Tries To Study -- A Play in One Act

(Scene: It's a beautiful weekday. Man has the day off, and is puttering around the house. Child 1 and Child 2 flit this way and that, generally agreeable. Woman is at the table, textbooks and notes splayed out in front of her. A scientific calculator is there, turned on, and a pencil rests right next to it.)

Woman: (Muttering to self): I don't get this rates of effusion thing. It's the whole solving for some damn thing under the square root. Basic algebra.

Man: Huh?

Woman: Just talking to myself.

(She picks up the pencil and begins to write quickly. She changes her mind, and starts to erase.)

Woman: Fuck.

Child 1: Mommy, can I have a snack?

Woman: Oh my God. Ask your father.

Man: Why is it so dusty in here?

Woman: Because you never pick up the rag, or Pledge, and then dust with those two things.

Man: Seriously. There is like a layer of dust in here an inch thick.

Woman: Cleaning supplies are in the basement.

Child 2 (voice coming from the 1st floor bathroom): Mommy, can you wipe me?

Woman: Is this really happening to me? (She gets up and goes into the bathroom to help Child 2. She comes back and sits down again, picking up her pencil.)

(Child 2 runs out of the bathroom and into the living room.)

Woman: Get back in there and wash your hands!

Man: We need to dust more often. This is disgusting. For real.

Woman: For real? We? I think you just mean me. Because in a marriage, that's what 'we' means.

Man: Don't be so sensitive.

(Woman picks up her pencil, surveys its point, and briefly considers violence. Shaking her head, she renews her efforts and tries to concentrate.)

Woman (in a low voice): When hydrochloric acid is poured over potassium sulfide, 42.1 ml of hydrogen sulfide gas is produced at a pressure of 758 torr and 25.6 degree centigrade. Write an equation for the gas-evolution reaction.

Child 2: Mommy, can I have a snack?

Woman: Did you wash your hands yet?

Child 2: (guilty silence)

Man: Wash your hands!

Woman: Wash your hands!

Man: What is the deal with hand-washing? Why is it such an event?

Woman: It is ALWAYS an event.

Child 1: Can I use your calculator? (Grabs it.) Mommy, what is 457 + 32?

Woman: This is insane. You all just wait until I'm in school full-time. I will be biting off heads left and right.

Child 2: Can I have a snack now? I washed my hands. Smell them.

Woman (to man): Can you please get them a snack so I can hear the end of this line of questioning?

Man: It's 3:30pm. Isn't it too close to dinner?

Woman: Modern pennies are composed of zinc coated with copper. A student determines the mass of a penny to be 2.484 g and then makes several scratches...

Man (from in kitchen): What can they have?

Woman: the copper coating to expose the underlying zinc. The student puts the scratched penny in hydrochloric acid, where a reaction occurs between the zinc and the HCl...

Man: Fruit snacks?

Woman: No, they already had those today. It's actual fruit or vegetable right now. That's it.

Child 2: Nooooooooooooooooooo!

Woman: ...the student collects the hydrogen produced over water at 25 degree Celsius. The collected gas occupies a volume of 0.896 liters at a total pressure of 792 mm Hg. Write the equation for the reaction and calculate the percent zinc in the penny assuming that all the zinc in the penny dissolves...oh my God. Seriously. Oh my God.

Child 1: Mommy, what are we having for dinner tonight?

Child 2: Poop! Eat the poopy. Cook it up. Fry some poop. Poop on rice.

Man: That's enough. Leave Mommy alone, she's trying to study.

Child 1: But I just want to know what we're having for dinner tonight.

Woman: I have no bloody idea.

Child 1: Is Chemistry hard?

Woman: For people with small children, yes.

Child 1: But you have an A, so we must bring you good luck.

Man: Look at the crumbs on this floor. We should sweep in here more often.

Woman: I should probably go to the library.

Child 2: Can I come?

(The curtain closes as Woman puts her head down on the cool expanse of her textbook and starts to cry.)


Anonymous said...

Oh I feel your pain. Lock them all in a closet.

Domestic Goddess said...

Oh dear. And this is precisely why, no matter how badly I want to, I cannot go back to school.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I can't even blog and hold down a part time job with two kids who are (nearly) in school full time, let alone do anything self-enriching. Gah! I am barefoot in the house for the first time in months, noticing how much the floor needs sweeping and vacuuming, but I'm attempting to do a psychic "la-la-la-I-can't-hear- you" until tomorrow when I don't have to work.

Indigo Children said...

Well written - I love it.

and I can definitely relate. I cannot wait to graduate in May so I can go back to just being a mommy (with a few part-time jobs on the side) again.

The Homesteading Hussy said...

I'm laughing right now because this is the scene when I'm trying to take a shit. There is NO privacy in this life! Just give mommy a second (or a couple two hours) please!

Meredith said...

This is so spot on I laughed so hard! Thanks for making me smile this morning!...I need it!

Major Bedhead said...

Oh dear. Very funny, in one of those oh-how-I-feel-your-pain kinds of ways. I have a hard time completing a sentence most days, never mind chemistry problems.

mayberry said...

Seriously. When my husband says "WE" need to do something, it makes me homicidal.

Monica said...

Fabulous! Do we get a sequel?

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