Dinner Time

by Joanne Miller


A narrator tells a story which is acted out by a man and his wife.  They progress from newlyweds to a couple with young children to empty nesters.  Each stage is illustrated by the dinner table, which changes from romantic to chaotic to sublime.


(Note: The actors have no lines if the narrator says all of the script.  However, the actors could say some or all of the dialogue if the director thinks that this works better.  The narrator can be on stage, but removed from the table, or can tell the story from offstage.)


Narrator: There are 3 main stages in most marriages, which can best be illustrated by 3 different dinner settings.
First, of course, there is the newlywed stage.  (Lights up on table.) She got home from work first.  This is their one-month anniversary so she left work early today.  She cooked his favorite meal and made his favorite dessert.  (She sets the table, music and lighting as the narrator speaks) She uses one of their brand new tablecloths – it was a wedding present, sets out the candles, puts on the romantic music – the CD from their wedding, and turns the lights down low.  She puts on the outfit he likes best (she puts on a jacket or pretty sweater), sprays her best perfume, touches up her make-up and pops a breath mint in her mouth.  Just then he comes in from work.  “Darling, you’re home early”, he says as he takes her in his arms and kisses her.  He tells her that she smells wonderful.  “It’s the perfume you gave me for our one week anniversary”, she coos at him.  They each say, “I love you so much!”  Then she says, “Happy Anniversary, Darling”.  “What?” he asks.  “It’s our one month anniversary”, she says.   “How could I have forgotten?” he berates himself.  But he didn’t really forget.  He opens his briefcase and pulls out a box of candy for her.  She is extravagantly surprised and delighted.  “Sit down”, she tells him, “and I will serve you your favorite meal, complete with blueberry pie.”  “Sweetheart, you shouldn’t have gone to all the trouble,” he tells her, “but I’m so glad you did.”

Narrator: A few years pass and we are back at the dinner table.  The music is gone.  The lighting is anything but soft.  The cloth tablecloth is replaced by plastic place mats.   Gone are the candles.  They are replaced with plastic salt & pepper shakers.  The music is gone.  She’s in a sweatshirt.  She fed the kids and told them to go get their soccer uniforms on so they could leave as soon as Dad gets home.  She’s busy fixing him a sandwich so he can eat on the road.  She’s had a tough day and her hair could use a brush or comb, but there’s no time for that now.  Both of the kids have a game tonight and, of course, they’re across town from each other.  She throws his sandwich into a plastic bag and grabs a can of Pepsi for him. He rushes in from work and says, “I left the car running.  Where are the kids?” as he gives her a peck on the cheek or tries to.  Just as he goes to kiss her she turns and calls for the kids to get into the car.  We have to go!  She turns to him and says, “You can drop me and Crystal off at her game, go to Danielle’s game, and pick us up again when Danielle’s game is over.  That way we won’t have to take 2 cars”.   “You smell good,” he says, “new perfume?”  “New hair spray,” she says.

Narrator: A few more years pass and we are back at the dinner table again.  (He is replacing the place mats with a plastic tablecloth.  He sets out the good paper plates and heavy duty cups.)  This is a special night!  It’s their 37th wedding anniversary.  Because it’s a Tuesday they have decided to go out next weekend to celebrate, but he’s retired and she’s still working so he decided to make her a special meal.  They are having left over steak mixed with frozen vegetables and soy sauce.  He’s even added a few other ingredients known only to himself.  He can only find one old candle so it will have to do.  He turns the lights down low and turns on a CD.  She comes in and says, “Oh honey, you made supper.  How sweet,”  “Happy Anniversary”, he tells her.  He takes her in his arms and she says, “You smell good”.   “New scented deodorant,” he whispers in her ear.


Copyright John & Joanne Miller, all rights reserved.
This script may be performed free of charge, provided no charge is made for entrance or for programmes. In return, the authors would like to be notified of any performance. For further information regarding performance rights, they may be contacted at: joannesmiller65@gmail.com.