Wednesday, April 22, 2015

MOP April 22--A Drama About Shopping

  Once upon a time I took a son shopping.  Afterwards, I wrote this.
I think enough years have passed that it's safe to share the story.

  Shopping: A One-Act Play

    Cast of Characters:
    Mom: short, determined Mennonite lady with purse and clipboard
    Son: tall young man with cool green sweatshirt and slow, rangy walk
    Man: 50-ish shopper
    Lady: his wife
    Door: entrance to fitting room
    Alarm: laser-activated device in fitting room

    Setting: Sears store in Gateway Mall.  Canyon River Blues jeans are on sale for $9.99

    Son: How long are we going to be here?
    Mom: As long as it takes. And you are going to have a nice, cheerful, cooperative attitude. And I am going to be sweet and patient. And we are going to find what we need and be nice to each other.

    [Mom and Son dig through piles of jeans looking for the elusive 30/32 Relaxed Fits.  Finally Mom sets a stack of jeans in Son's arms.]
    Son: Do I have to try these on?
    Mom: Yes.  Oh, but first, let's see if there's any t-shirts on the clearance rack.
    Son: [Sigh]
    [Mom marches to clearance rack.  Son follows her, shuffling his feet.]

    [Mom clicks hangers determinedly while Son waits.]

    [Meanwhile, Man leans against next rack looking bored.  Lady determinedly clicks hangers]

    Mom: Ok, hold these.  Now, where's a fitting room?
    [They start to walk away.]
    Man to Son: Get used to it.  It doesn't change any after you're married.
    Mom to Man: Please tell him it won't kill him.
    Man to Son: Actually, yes, it will.

    [Mom and Son find fitting room in back of store next to hundreds of male undergarments on display racks.  Door is open.  No one is around.]

    Mom: Ok, try these on one by one and show them to me.
    Son: Oh great.
    Mom: Go on.
    Alarm: DWEE dee.
    Son: Gaaaaah! What did I do?
    Mom: Don't worry about it.
    Door closes.
    Alarm: DWEE dee.
    Door opens.
    Son: Are you sure this is ok?
    Mom: Yes.
    Door closes.
    Alarm: DWEE dee.
    Door opens.
    Son: Am I gonna get in trouble?
    Mom: No! If anyone comes, I'll explain.
    Door closes.  One minute passes.
    Alarm: DWEE dee.
    Door opens.

    [Son tries on garments, one by one.  Mom waits among the Jockeys.  Alarm continues to sound.  One by one Son and Mom decide on keepers.  Mom calls home and tells husband to make sure Daughter practices piano.]

    [Son finally finishes and comes out.]
    Alarm: DWEE dee.

    [Mom gathers things.  Son looks at display racks.]

    Son: Mike* mumble mumble.
    Mom: Did you say Mike needs underwear?
    Son: MOM!!
    [Son turns 360 degrees to see if anyone was within earshot of such blasphemy.]
    Mom, in hushed tones: Do you need some?
    Son: Yes.
    Mom: $26!!  Mercy me, I'm not getting these.

    [Mom and Son walk to shoe department.  Son holds garments as though they were soiled diapers while Mom tries on shoes.  Finally they buy everything and leave.]

    In car:
    Son: So, are you going to buy me something to eat?
    Mom:  Why?
    Son: Because I had to wait for you for a long time while you tried on shoes, I think I deserve something.
    Mom: Do you realize how much I just spent on clothes for you?!!
    Son mumbles and sighs.

    Son: Can we go to Walmart and get, you know. . .??
    Mom: We don't have time.  That's something I can pick up for you some other time if you tell me what you want.  You like the leggy things, right?
    Son [writhing in embarrassment]: It's hard to explain!
    [Mom has sudden inspiration for how she can be compensated for all the evening's frustrations]
    Mom, thoughtfully: You know, I bet if I tried I could sew some for you.
    Son: [terrible strangled gasp and shriek]
    Mom: hee hee hee

*a pseudonym


  1. Mother of 5 sons sitting in car dealership, waiting as their vehicle is being worked on. Reading Dorcas Smucker blog to pass the time, her shoulders shake with silent laughter, causing her husband to send her questioning looks as he is on his cell phone with a business client. The one teenage son had just told her he needs more of those "unmentionables" and she can't wait to try the 'I could sew some for you' line on him!

  2. I think you are just one of the best writers, because you take everyday events and make them SO funny to read! Great job, once again!

  3. Is this what I have to look forward to? ;-)

  4. I grew up with 6 brothers and have 2 sons and this is so true...and funny. sarah

  5. Love it! LOL! So easy to picture, and a great taste of raising boys for this mother of girls.

  6. The funniest comedy is the one we can personally identify with. I identify with this right down to the jean size!