Thank You, Roma is a short dramatic scene that takes place between two women, MRS. ADELAIDE and her housekeeper, ROMA. Running time under 7 minutes.
Thank You, Roma
ROMA: Mrs., would you care for more tea?
MRS. ADELAIDE: Care? Why would I care about drinking tea?
MRS. ADELAIDE: No! I don’t want tea!
Roma motions to exit.
Wait!…I didn’t mean to shout. It isn’t your fault…
ROMA: …Can I help you?
MRS. ADELAIDE: Can you? No. No, it’s too late and too early all at the same time. I was born in the wrong era. I’m certain that there will be advancements made for those spoiled future generations, where aging will be invisible, when a forty-year old woman will still look twenty, without unwanted blemishes, zero lines, no drooping, puffiness, discoloration, oh, I can’t stand myself anymore!
ROMA: You are very beautiful, Mrs…
MRS: ADELAIDE: Words. Probably the only thing left. When there’s nothing left, one can always cling to words for comfort. Words can make you believe the unbelievable. You said I was beautiful. Well, there’s a word. Beautiful. The word feels like it sounds but sadly, that is the wrong adjective to describe me, I’m afraid. …What’s an honest word? I don’t want a ‘feel better word’. Give me some truth…
MRS. ADELAIDE: No! Next word!
MRS. ADELAIDE: Friendly…do you mean inviting?
Friendly, friendly. Hmm. That’s good. There’s truth to that. It’s not flattery but yet honest. Friendly. I have a friendly face?
That’s good. That’s accepted. No one will run for the high hills after looking at me, I suppose. There’s a warmth to that word. Okay! Good! I’ll have my tea now. Thank you for, well, for helping me see me.
MRS. ADELAIDE: Yes, honestly.
MRS. ADELAIDE: Yes.
ROMA: ..What about me?
MRS. ADELAIDE: What about you? (beat) Oh! Oh. You. Yes. Well…SOFT…that’s you…soft.
MRS. ADELAIDE: Yes.
Don’t get down, dear. Soft is a very sound word. It means gentle. Perhaps, I should have said gentle. I meant gentle.
ROMA: Gentle. I like that word.
MRS. ADELAIDE: Gentle is a fantastic word!
ROMA: Thank you, Mrs.—
MRS. ADELAIDE: You’re very welcome.
ROMA: I’ll be right back with your tea.
MRS. ADELAIDE: Excellent!
Roma exits room.
MRS. ADELAIDE: Gentle. Soft. Why didn’t I just say gentle? Why am I always so rude to that girl? I shouldn’t be, I shouldn’t…she called me beautiful. Ha! She did say friendly, mmm, friendly’s a good word LOOK wise but what about internal? Maybe I’m not so friendly. Maybe she said the word friendly as a ploy to get me to BE most friendly. Ha! Clever. How can I look friendly if I’m not a friendly being? What form of charade did God play on me? Am I supposed to live up to my appearance? And if that’s the case, how does one pull that drama off? Beautiful! Ha! Friendly! Ha! I am neither! I am an old, rotten, angry little toad, with nothing standing me up but an empty existence and I cannot stand myself any longer!
(she looks into the mirror)
You wretched old broad!
Roma enters the bedroom carrying a tray of hot tea. She sets the tray down on the table.
Roma appears frightened.
Do I look friendly to you now?!
ROMA: Nnoo, Mrs…
MRS. ADELAIDE: How do I look this instant?
ROMA: You look angry…at me?
MRS. ADELAIDE: I’M ANGRY AT THE WORLD!!!
ROMA: …But not at me?
MRS: ADELAIDE: (calming) …No…not at you, dear. (grabbing and sipping her tea) Perfect.
ROMA: Do you need anything else, Mrs.?
MRS. ADELAIDE: Do I? Do I, do I, do I? …that will be all, thank you, Roma.
Roma leaves the bedroom.