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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Drama: Dad's At Work: The Work Affair

Written by  Sherri Mandell

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Daphne and Richard have the following conversation when Richard comes home from work at 10:00. The kids are already in bed.

Daphne: You're never home. You realize that. Your kids are growing up. And you hardly see them.
I miss you. I feel abandoned and alone. I didn't get married to be a widow. I want you to care about me as much as you care about your job.

Richard: You know I would be home more if I could.
I feel hurt that you don't understand and appreciate me. I want to be able to provide all of us with a better life.

Daphne: That doesn't console me. And it doesn't help your children.
I don't want things. I want a partner.

Richard: I would be home if I could. You know I can't be. This job is not going to happen again. I love my work and I love building this company.
I feel torn. But I can't dedicate myself to the family right now. You need to understand that.

Daphne: I know you love your work. But you need to set some limits. You need to be home before they go to sleep. They're growing up without you. They need a father. And I need somebody to talk to.
If you cared about the family, you would find a way to set limits.

Richard: I'm trying. I want to be home. But I can't set my hours. I've got too much work. I don't have time now to do all the work I need to do. This is not a 9 to 5 job. This is a job that demands all of me.
I can't handle any more demands from home when I have so many at work. Why can't you be supportive? I feel guilty being away from you and the kids but I just don't see any way around it.

Daphne: I need to know that you're going to be home sometimes. Can't you tell me that you're going to be home two nights a week before the kids go to sleep? That's all I'm asking for. It's not so much.
I have been supportive but there's a limit. I didn't get married for you to have an affair with your job.

Richard: It is for me. I can't make a promise like that. I get nervous that I won't be able to fulfill my promises.

Daphne: Richard. It's got to stop. I need you.
I need help and love.

Richard: I'm trying. I'm torn. But I need to be at work.

Daphne: So give us one day.

Richard: I'd like to. I want to. But I can't.

Daphne: Every weekend you're working. Even when you're home the phone is always ringing. I can't handle it. I married a man, not an automaton who is always working. There is more to life that work.

Richard: Don't you want me to be a success?
You don't understand how important it is for me to make this business work. I need this to make myself feel worthwhile. I need this to feel good about myself.

Daphne: Of course. But there's got to be a way to be more balanced. And I'm at the point that I'd rather live in a trailer park and see you than have you so obsessed with this company.

Richard: I don't need this pressure now. I've got a big meeting in the morning and I've got to prepare.

Daphne: Go prepare. But you know I need somebody who is going to be around for me. Who cares about me. And the kids. I need you home.
I deserve somebody who feels good about being a father and a husband. All I can do is threaten you because nothing else works.

Richard: Are you threatening me?

Daphne: No. I'm not threatening you. I'm simply stating the facts. I need somebody to speak to. I need somebody who is there for me.

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Last modified on Monday, 23 May 2011 05:42
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Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell has a Master's degree in Creative Writing and has taught writing at the University of Maryland and Penn State University. She is the author of the book Writers of the Holocaust. She has written articles for the Washington Post. She is married with four children

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