FADE-IN. Beautiful garden pool party. The sun is setting and children are playing in the pool. The beautiful people mingle and talk, carrying drinks in their hands save one plain Jane, trying to fit in. Soft conversations and the laughter of children can be heard in the background. Four women are talking together in a group.
Oh, we just LOVE Perfect Grades Elementary! Absolutely LOVE it!
We had Mrs. Spectacular this year. For kindergarten. She is a gem!
Oh, is it a K-5 school?
Yes, it is. And they’re making it a Charter School next year. They’ll be offering karate, piano, Chinese, expanded art classes. I can’t wait.
I know. I hate it that my little Allie is graduating. We’re going to miss it!
What are the class sizes like?
Oh, the average size. But every class has an aid and the kids are so well-behaved. They WANT to be there.
And, most of the kids are (her words are barely audible, muddled by the shouts of the children playing in the pool)
Thinking she misheard, Jane leans in closer.
WOMAN #1 and WOMAN #3
(leaning in together and whispering)
Plain Jane is speechless and unable to overcome her shock. She glances over at her Asian son playing with the other white children. The chatter among the women continues as Jane fades into the background.
This scene actually happened to me this past weekend. A gorgeous garden party in our subdivision. The perfect evening. And when those women repeated the word “white” I stood there, unable to utter a sound. I thought, in that moment, that this is going to be one of those times when I’ll think of the perfect thing to say as soon as we get into the car to go home.
But I didn’t. And days later, it is still bothering me.
I shared this scene with a dear friend and neighbor of mine. She had to miss the party. I was relaying the scene and before I could finish she said, “Oh, I know EXACTLY what I would have said. I would have said….” And then she rattled off the perfect retort. (Just one of the reasons I love her so!)
But what would YOU say? How would you finish the scene?