Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Girlfriends. Also, narwhals.

Somehow, possibly because someone on the women's committee got me confused with one of my friends, I am heading up drama for my church's women's retreat, which will focus on female friendship.

My first thought was to adapt scenes from plays. I spent hours in the library and came up with nothing that passed my modified Bechdel test -- that is, that contained at least two women, {modification: who are not sisters or mother/daughter,} who have names, who speak to one another about something other than men.

Because of the nature of church retreats, improv isn't going to work, so I am supposed to write or adapt scripts for three short scenes.

There are reasons I am not qualified to do this. In outline form, those reasons are:

1. I have never been on a women's retreat. At any church. Ever.
    A) Aren't they for moms?
    B) Or at least grown-ups?
    C) I'm little.

2. I have never written a script.
    A) Remembering words is hard.
    B) Things always seem funnier when everyone discovers them together.
    C) I don't have good ideas when I'm by myself.
       a) A girl who has a theater background is talking out the scripts with me.
          i) It helps.
          ii) But only if she's there.
       b) Seriously, can I just have a couple of solid ensemble members and a suggestion of anything at all?

3. I am not good at female friendship.
    A) My ratio of guy friends to girl friends* is something like 9:2. If we expand that to friends I've had for over three years and still regularly interact with, that ratio is more like 9:1.
         a) I'm better friends with people I play with regularly.
             i) I mostly play with boys.
             ii) Why do girls quit playing?
         b) I do not have a roommate.
             i) My boyfriend has 5 roommates.
             ii) See 3.A.a.i.
             iii) A big part of me would rather spend a weekend being goofy with them than being awkwardly polite to women who I am sure are perfectly lovely and fun but with whom I'm not comfortable because I am shy-ish. Which I should and will just suck up and deal with.
         c) I have tried to put myself in situations to be better friends with women, particularly at church.
            i) They all seem to have a lot of girlfriends already.
            ii) It's hard to tell if there's room for more.
    B) When Blade tried to get me to brainstorm and feel more positive, he said, "Tell me a story about two narwhals. Who are friends. And also are girls."
         a) So I told a story about two narwhals
            i) who were friends
            ii) and also were girls.
         b) They swam around together for awhile, and that was fun.
         c) One day they looked around and realized they had been swimming in different directions for a long time and couldn't remember the last time they floated by each other.
            i) Neither could remember why.
            ii) Neither of them did anything to remedy the lack-of-proximity situation.
            iii) No one ever talked about it. 
            iv) Hey, I wonder where that gal went, I liked her.
            v) Shrug.
         d) The End.

With the generous help of newfriend 2.C.a, I have two scripts and one outline with some wiggle room in it. I feel pretty good about them. Still, it should not have been this angsty to come up with under 10 minutes of material. And my brainstorm story should not have been so sad.

*In this particular case, I am defining friend as "someone with whom I regularly interact, whose life I know and care about, and who knows and cares about my life." There are loads of people, guys and gals, I think fondly of but don't ever see or keep in touch with due to geographical distance or such wildly disparate schedules that when we do see one another we have to start off with something like, "So how was that thing you were doing last year? Where do you work again? Are you still dating that guy? Oh, wait, you moved? When did you move?"

1 comment:

Nina said...

i have the same ratio. boys are better friends.