Thursday, May 5, 2011

Little Girl in the Mirror, a Play in One Act

The scene: Pret a Manger, 3rd Avenue, Manhattan
The time: The present
The players: 
• Olivia, a girl of approximately five years old wearing a pink raincoat with small printed umbrellas, sparkly barrettes, and a backpack with purple shapes of indeterminate significance
• Autumn, an amateur sociologist of 34 who is wearing a hunter-green shirtdress and has not washed her hair for several months nor looked in the mirror for five days; nonetheless, she has a vaguely professional air
• Grandmother of Olivia, a sixtysomething woman with a silk handkerchief covering her hair

Autumn is seated on a bench working furiously on her laptop. Olivia enters and stands next to Autumn. In front of Olivia is a mirrored column. Olivia stares at her reflection.

Autumn: Are you looking at yourself?
Olivia: Yeah.
Autumn: Do you like doing that?
Olivia: Yeah. My imaginary friends do too.
Autumn: Do you see them in the mirror?
Olivia: Yes. Molly is there [gestures to her right] and Hadley is here [gestures to her left].
Autumn: So they look in the mirror when you do?
Olivia: Yeah, but they wear different things. Molly has lots of coats to wear when it's raining and Hadley only puts on dresses at night.
Autumn: But do Molly and Hadley both look like you in the face?
Olivia: No. Molly's teeth sparkle.

Enter Grandmother of Olivia.

Grandmother of Olivia: Olivia, we've got to go.
Olivia: Okay.*
Autumn: But we're not done talking about the seeds of self-objectification in the young female mind, which are of particular note here as subject is in the phallic stage of Freudian psychosexual development, thus the triangular division of herself from Molly and Hadley, who signifies her wish to unite with her father.
Grandmother of Olivia: Oh, go wash your fucking hair, lady.

[End scene]

*Everything to this point was real. This starts young, folks.


  1. Love it! Kids in mirrors (or pets, for that matter) are so great. Curiosity, wonder, and imagination instead of criticism and insecurity. Worth learning from.

  2. Ooh, a pet in the mirror! I hadn't thought of that at all. There are zero pets in my life but now I'll be on the lookout...

  3. The brilliance of this post has blinded me. BLINDED ME.

    I still want to hug it though.

  4. Hahaha, Allyson! Thanks! I want to hug it too...