(Scene opens in parlor. Carrot is reading a restaurant menu advertisement, Husband and Beta are listening)
Me: Hmm. The “Pistoleer”. Italian beef, au jus, and toasted roll. Wait. How is that different from the “Big Daddy”? Oh, the “Big Daddy” has mozzarella and provolone. That’s what makes it a “Big Daddy” apparently, the cheese.
(Carrot and Husband lock eyes over the menu)
Both: Cheesy Skillet.
Beta: What the F was that?
Me: (carelessly, eyes on menu) Beta, one day you’re going to fall in love and you’ll know it’s the real thing when the two of you end up developing your own secret language. Its why I can never leave your father. No one else speaks my language.
Husband: Or you’ll just have to spend another twenty years learning a new one. (pause) Christine Aguleria.
(scene opens in early morning dinning room, several bouquets of multi colored roses on the table)
Me: (reading email, drinking coffee)
Beta: (sees card, picks it up to read it, item drops out) Mom? What’s this?
Me: Your father gave that to me. We’ve been married twenty years today. That’s my golden watch.
Beta: (with relief) Oh good. I was hoping dad got this for you and wasn’t some toy of Delta’s laying around. You know that there’s no way he bought this by itself, right? That this was probably some Paw Patrol set and there’s a bunch of other Paw Patrol stuff just laying around the house somewhere.
Me: Going the extra mile for the joke is why I like your dad so much.
Beta: It kinda makes sense he’d give you a gold watch. I mean, you’re kinda retired. You don’t work.
Me: (mildly) I don’t work?
Beta: (recovering) You don’t work for money. Dad works for money and you kinda hang out here with him.
Me: (obviously laying a trap) Oh. I just hang out here and let dad do all the work.
Beta: (sweating) No! That’s not –
(footsteps off screen announces the arrival of Husband)
Husband: (blinking in the bright light of the dinning room) What are you doing up so early?
Me: (gets up, kisses husband) I was going to sneak out and get you a card, but I forgot that pandemic means nothing opens before 6 am any more. Beta loves the gold watch you got me. Said it made sense since I don’t work.
Husband: (gives Beta “you done messed up” look)
Beta: (dramatically flails arms)
Me: (sitting, picks up coffee) Also told me that you work, and I just kinda hang out.
Husband: (dramatically alarmed, looks at Beta) Run.
(Husband flees off stage, not pursued by a bear)
Beta: (mean mugs Carrot) That’s not what I meant! I know you work hard!
Me: Extra mile for the joke, honey. Have a good day at school.
Me: Okay, Universe – I really got to sleep tonight, I’m totally wiped out. It’s hotter than hell and the windows are open. Please no drunk AM fireworks, car alarms, random dogs, incontinent skunks, street racers. Can you do that for me?
Alpha: (falls down the stairs at 1 am)
Me: (murderous) What the hell are you doing, Alpha?!