Mother Knows Best

Mother Knows Best

By Jessica Kennedy, Playwriting Summer Camp

Sal’s bedroom, night time.


Character 1: Sal, 19, art school student Character 2: Stephanie, 45, Sal’s mother, pushy


Sal is laying on his bedroom floor. His mother Spencer knocks on the door.


Stephanie: Sally sweetie, can I come in?


Sal: (sigh) I’m working, mam!!


Stephanie enters anyway, and sees her son laying on the floor.


Stephanie: This doesn’t look like working.


Sal: (agitated) I need to get this done tonight, go away.


Stephanie: You haven’t moved in two hours, dear. At least put your papers away so you don’t roll over and tear them.


She picks up the various books and papers scattered around the floor, and puts them on Sal’s desk. She sits on his bed.


Stephanie: Robert again?


Sal: (sigh) I can’t stop thinking about him…


Stephanie: Still feel bad-


Sal: Of course I still feel bad mum!!


Sal sighs, and sits up on the floor.


Stephanie : What exactly did you say?


Sal: Things your not supposed to say to a gay person.




Stephanie: Dear, if you two truly do care about each other, then he’ll understand that you didn’t mean any of it.


Sal: If I called you anything close to what I called him, you would probably crucify me.


Stephanie: Darling I’ve been through much worse with your auntie Jaime. We fought like this all the time in Secondary School. You should have heard the things I said to her when she stole my date to the Pre-Debs.


Stephanie chuckles, and pauses for a moment, deep in thought.


Stephanie, continued: You and Robert have been friends since you were still in nappies! Oh, do you remember the day you two first met? When I came to pick you up from daycare and say you asleep, all huddled up under a blanket napping with him… Oh, you were too cute!!


Sal: Please don’t remind me.


Sal sighs.



Sal, continued: It doesn’t matter how many years we’ve been friends, I.. I don’t think I can apologize for it, there’s not way to. An apology just isn’t enough…


Uncomfortable pause.



Stephanie: …Sweet heart, I still don’t understand why you reacted the way you did. It’s not like he told you he killed someone-


Sal: It was a shock, mam! I never in a million years thought Rob could be gay… Like… Imagine if on the night of your Debs, aunt Jaime told you she was a lesbian. You’d be surprised, to say the least.


Stephanie: Yes but I wouldn’t be nasty to her about it. You’re overthinking it, sweetheart. Yes, you may have overreacted-


Sal: I screamed at him.


Stephanie: You screamed at him? Why?


Sal: Just… Ugh, I don’t know, the way he told me… We were all on our own just in the corner, chatting and just having a nice time, and he just… dropped it, in the middle of the conversation… How else was I meant to take it?


Stephanie: Any other way, Sal, why did you think it was alright to scream at him?


Sal: It… I don’t know, mam, I seriously don’t know. I-I know it was a stupid thing to do but… I-I just didn’t know how else to react, I got angry and started shouting at him.


Stephanie: Well then, no wonder you’re hesitant to call him. If you want to remain friends with him then you should apologize, as soon as possible. If you just explain things to him then he’ll understand.


Sal: I don’t… I don’t know if I’m comfortable being friends with him anymore, mum…


Stephanie: Why? Because he’s gay?


Sal: N-No, not really, I-I just-


Stephanie: Will you listen to yourself? I don’t know how you’ve developed this mindset, I certainly didn’t raise you to be like this! You can’t dislike someone simply because they’re gay, Sal, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!


Sal: I-It’s not that, mum, I-I just don’t know… Wh-What if he eventually likes me as more than a friend? What if he already likes me-


Stephanie: You’re willing to disown your best friend just because you think he may have some little crush on you? Just because he’s gay doesn’t automatically mean he’s attracted to every man he meets, Sal. Jesus, will you listen to yourself? Where have you learned to speak like this, to treat people this way?! It’s disgusting!


Sal, frustrated: Why are you getting so angry?! You’re not even listening to me! You’re acting like it’s the be all and end all just cause I made a mistake! If you weren’t my mum I’d guess you were gay!


Spencer pauses and stares at him for a few moments before she becomes embarrassed and angry, and starts to stutter.


Spencer, flustered: I-I don’t-Wh-What?! You’d assume I was gay!? That’s ridiculous! I don’t have to explain anything to you!


Sal: Mum-


Spencer stomps past Sal on the floor and storms out of the room, slamming the door behind her.


End scene.