Scenes From a Dull Marriage


(This is my tribute to the great Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman and his 1973 film, “Scenes From a Marriage”)

(It is early in the morning.  HUSBAND comes downstairs to the kitchen, where WIFE is sitting at the table, sipping coffee)

WIFE:   Did you  (pause) …. take the garbage out?

HUSBAND:  No, why, is today …

WIFE:  Yes, it’s Tuesday.   Garbage pick up day.  I would think you’d remember a thing like that.

HUSBAND:  It’s not that I didn’t remember …

WIFE:    No?  What is it, then?

HUSBAND:  (beads of sweat breaking out on his brow) I … I…  okay, I admit it.  I forgot that today was garbage day.   (begins sobbing).  Can you …  can you … can you ever forgive me?

WIFE:  Oh, Harold, Harold.   After all we’ve been through together.  The time you spilled your beer on the kitchen floor … the time you wore mismatched socks … the time that bird in the front yard frightened me so … we’ve come so far.  And now this.  Our garbage can sits full in the garage, and in only two more hours, the garbage man will come.

HUSBAND:  I’m so sorry.   I didn’t mean to make you so unhappy.

WIFE:  Maybe mother was right.  Maybe I should have married Leonard.

HUSBAND:  Don’t say that!

WIFE:  Well, I’m sure that Leonard’s garbage can is out on the curb by now!

HUSBAND:  Stop it!

WIFE:  Yes, Leonard, he’s a real man.  When he shaves, there aren’t any tiny little hairs left in the sink!   I’ll bet he even squeezes the toothpaste from the bottom of the tube!

HUSBAND:   If that’s the way you want it, maybe I should just leave!

WIFE:  Then leave!  Be gone!  And don’t come back until you’re ready to put your glasses on a coaster!

HUSBAND:  I will leave!  I will! (patting his pants pockets) Have you seen my car keys?

WIFE:  Do you mean ….they aren’t hanging on the little plastic hook where they’re supposed to be?

HUSBAND:   No, the little plastic hook … the very same plastic hook I purchased for you on our tenth anniversary … the little plastic hook sits empty … empty and barren, like our marriage.

WIFE:  I remember when you gave me that little plastic hook.

HUSBAND:  Yes, I spent a great portion of our savings on it … seventy nine cents.  But it’s been worth every penny.

WIFE:  Yes, and the car keys have hung there for six glorious years.

HUSBAND:  Until this morning.

WIFE:  Yes, (suddenly remembering)…  but wait!  I suddenly remember!   I had the car last night!  I filled the tank with regular unleaded at the neighborhood Citgo!

HUSBAND:  Why?   Why are you telling me this?

WIFE:  Don’t you see?

HUSBAND:  See what, Gladys?

WIFE:  That it was I, I who failed to return the car keys to the little plastic hook!  The keys are in my purse!   Can you ever forgive me?  (weeping, on her knees, pleading with her husband)  Please!  Oh, please!  Please find it in your heart to forgive me!  Please!

HUSBAND:  (Dropping to his knees and holding his wife)  I forgive you!   I do!  If only you could forgive my forgetting to take the garbage out!   We can save this marriage!  Please!   Forgive me!

WIFE:  (rising)  Geez, Harold, it’s just a garbage can.  Get a grip.

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