from the play written by Renee Taylor & Joseph Bologna
(Just before her daughter's Sweet 16 party, this woman, described as "sad and empty," takes a moment to offer the excited young girl some depressing advice.)
Mother: I love it. And I love your enthusiasm. Stay that way. Always remember, it's no sin to be a woman. You were born that way; it wasn't your fault. This is embarrassing for me to talk about...I don't know whether you've noticed or not, Gina, but your body's starting to change. When I was your age, I didn't notice because my mother wasn't as modern as I am; and I thought it was dirty to look at my body. Then when I was 25, I was married and had two children already, so I was too busy to look. Now I'm 45 and it's too depressing to look. Why should I make myself sick? Now that you're sixteen, you have a big decision to make -- what kind of woman are you going to be? There are only two kinds -- good and not-so-good. Let me tell you the difference. A not-so-good woman is only interested in pleasure and hot times and living only for the moment, and a good woman isn't interested in anything. It's live and let live. You don't bother me -- I don't bother you. I left your father alone during the day and he left me alone at night. That was the joy of womanhood for me. My life had meaning. I was a good homemaker, a vivacious hostess, and a shrewd shopper. And in return, your father tried to be decent. Of course, things aren't always just peaches and cream, but he never humiliated me in a large crowd. He never made me cry on my birthday. And he never ran off with a fan dancer behind my back. But when I had you, I was happy for one reason. I knew you would be part of a new generation of women, and these are my hopes for you. You can have what I didn't have. All the things girls of my generation could never hope to have -- drive, ambition, talent, and self-respect. Today you can hold out for a man with all those qualities. Today you don't have to rush into marriage, because a woman can play football; she could lead a safari; she could climb a mountain. They're letting women in all the unions. So take advantage of it. You could be a bullfighter, a boxing referee, a stunt woman. Live dangerously! Try different things. Then after college, you'll become a teacher and get married. That's why you have children, so they'll have a little better life than you have. Oh, how I wish I had this talk with my mother when I was your age, today I might have a real identity. I might have been Mrs. Somebody. (Mother opens the door, revealing a foggily lit limbo area; crying) Now, go downstairs to your party and grit your teeth and be a woman. It's all you have. Try to make it enough.
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