Synopsis of Two's a Crowd
Written by Josh
"It all started with a smile," Ally begins her narrative, telling a story of how she was putting the finishing touches on a settlement agreement with another lawyer, a handsome, middle-aged man named Michael. She notices that he seems to always be smiling peacefully, and asks him about it, speculating aloud that he either never married or beat cancer. He replies that actually, he WAS married, but that his wife died...of cancer. As Ally attempts to recover from her humiliation at having been so tactless, he laughs it off, explaining that when he gets stressed or upset, he says to himself- - quietly - - that everything's going to be okay. Ally admires this ability greatly. He invites her to have dinner with him, and before she can stop herself, she accepts.
"How could she cause the breakup?" Ling asks skeptically. Wanda Spickett, a bitter and generally disagreeable woman, is in her office claiming that the advice of a well-known relationship guru - - Dr. Shirley Grouper - - on how to save her marriage only resulted in her husband LEAVING her. Wanda attended the monthly "How to Satisfy Your Man" workshop, and was told she should be submissive, make sacrifices...basically, that she should greet him at the door with slippers, a three-course meal, and fellatio. Ling suggests that perhaps he left Wanda simply because she's unattractive. The woman insists that it was the advice she got from the "guru," and she wants to sue.
Meanwhile, Richard hustles Ally into her office, stammering and flustered, and tells her that he has a serious moral conflict that he needs her help with. He tells her about the situation with Mark and Cindy...specifically, her anatomical quirk. He asks whether he should tell Mark, but Ally is stunned, and has no idea how to respond.
That night, as Ally waits for Michael at the restaurant, a handsome and well-dressed young man comes to her table, mistaking it for his own. He apologizes, they exchange flirtatious glances, and he leaves. Inwardly, Ally rues the way all the attractive men only show themselves when she's already in a relationship - - this man is absolutely perfect, but she's waiting for Michael, so she can't have him. She curses the fact that, when you're dating someone older, young and beautiful men get dangled in front of you by the dozen every day. Michael arrives, and the date starts off pleasantly enough...but they soon find that they have very little in common. The only thing that seems to ignite both of their passions? Disco. Excited, Ally takes him to the bar, where all the lawyers are dancing and Renee is singing. Nelle takes Elaine aside, explaining Wanda's case to her and asking her to go to the workshop so they can get some idera of what it's like.
"It started with disco," Ally narrates, "but as the night went on, we could suddenly talk about everything. I really started to believe that a 30-year-old woman has more in common with a 50-year-old man than a guy her own age." But as they walk down the street together, Ally starts to notice a constant parade of gorgeous young men with hard bodies passing by her - - like the entire revue of a male strip club - - smiling and waving at her. She tries to stay focused on Michael, but she feels her concentration start to flicker...until she mentions his smile again. He explains that most lawyers hate what they do, and equate what they do with who they are; hence, they hate themselves. But he gets up every morning, watches what he eats, watches what he does, and just generally leads a healthy and happy life.
Back at the bar, Mark dances with Cindy, and he starts to lean in for a kiss. She stops him, and we can see in her eyes that she wants to tel him...but she stops herself, instead saying he's a great guy and that she just wants him to know that. He says she seems scared, and she admits that she's a little apprehensive, telling him that she's had a lot of relationships end abruptly. He holds her close, looking into her eyes tenderly and promising that he's not going anywhere.
The next day, Richard stops Mark on his way off the elevator, trying once again to summon the courage to tell him about Cindy and only spluttering a mouthful of gibberish. Desperate, he follows Ally into her office, begging her to give him an answer to his moral dilemma. She says that she doesn't think he should tell Mark, that men can be very accepting when it comes to women they love.
Later, Ally is walking down the street and runs - - literally - - into the handsome young man from the restaurant last night. They talk, and he invites her to have dinner with him. She accepts, inwardly cursing herself from juggling when it's something she hates to do. He says his name is Jonathan, and that he's a lawyer. That afternoon, at lunch, she only pretends to listen to Michael...all she can think about is Jonathan.
At the seminar, Dr. Shirley Grouper talks to the large group of women - - among them Elaine, Nelle and Ling - - about how men are pampered by their mothers as children, and how they continue to crave that pampering even as adults. She says it's important that women act as support systems for their men. Disgusted, Nelle leaves, dragging Elaine and Ling with her.
In the unisex, Cindy is adjusting her makeup when she overhears Renee and Ally discussing truth in relationships. Renee contends that truth has no place in relationships. "Start telling a guy the truth on the first date, and you'll never get a second. Am I wrong?" she asks Cindy. Cindy nods uneasily, growing increasingly uncomfortable as she starts to suspect that Renee knows her secret and is taunting her...finally, she snaps at Renee and storms out. Ally follows quickly, trying to comfort her and convince her that not everyone knows her secret. She explains to Cindy that Richard, being the unethical toad that he is, is unable to handle an ethical problem, which is why he came to Ally with it. Ally says she told Richard not to tell Mark...but that she thinks Cindy should. They can all see that Mark is falling in love with her.
Later, Ally panics, discovering that she's done the unthinkable...she's scheduled a date with Michael and Jonathan on the same night. She decides to try doing both in one night - - dinner with Michael until eight, drinks with Jonathan at nine - - and, distracted, runs into an equally-distracted Mark. Cindy wants to see him tonight, to talk about something, and it sounds serious. He's afraid she's going to dump him. Meanwhile, an ill-tempered Dr. Grouper arrives at the offices with her attorney to meet with Wanda and Nelle.
In the conference room, the furious Dr. Grouper insists that she never put down self-sufficient women or women of power...she merely said that MEN don't want it. Sacrifice is what men want, she says, and if Wanda wants someone to sue, she should sue society. When Wanda reminds her that it was due to her advice that Wanda's husband walked out, Grouper suggests that the only way the disgruntled woman could ever make a man stay with her would be to find one who's fat, toothless, and generally out of options. "If this goes to trial," Grouper snarls, "everything about HER" - - pointing at Wanda - - "becomes relevent, including why he left her. My bet would be that he got his eyesight back."
Cindy comes to Mark's office. They are both nervous, and he asks her what's wrong. She starts to tell him...but stops once again, instead saying she wants to go out to dinner and dancing and just have a good time with him tonight. He agrees, kissing her.
At the bar, Ally dances with Jonathan, thinking about how great it would be to forge through the years with him, figuring life out together...and about how Michael has the strength and wisdom that come from having ALREADY been through life. Behind them, Mark dances with Cindy, but she is clearly still uneasy. He begs her to tell him what's wrong, and when she won't, he asks if she could just give him a clue so he won't go crazy. She pauses, then tells him to hold her close. He does...and his face slowly falls into an expression of absolute horror as he feels It. "Surprise," she says quietly. He pulls away, the color draining from his face, and staggers out of the bar.
Mark and Richard sit in the Cage/Fish offices. Richard tries to console him, saying that these things happen. "What do you mean, 'These things happen?'" Mark shrieks. "My girlfriend has a PENIS!!!" Richard gently reminds him how hard it is to find someone you care about, and that whoever that someone is, she won't be perfect. Everyone sees how happy Mark is with Cindy. His point? He shouldn't dump her. Rather, he should use her as bait to attract OTHER beautiful women, ones without meat whistles. Mark stares at him for a moment, shakes his head, and leaves.
"And she says it's when she became more submissive that you left her," Nelle says, interrogating a fidgeting Mr. Spickett. He shifts nervously in his chair, finally confessing that he hadn't loved Wanda for the past six years, and that it was fear - - of unpleasantness, of a big scene, of bodily harm - - that caused him to stay with her. Finally, when she became more submissive, he found it easier to leave her. As he gets up to leave, he tells them that he never told Wanda he didn't love her, and he'd appreciate it if they didn't either. Wanda comes back in, and Nelle and Ling grimace uncomfortably, telling her that if she goes to court she'll just get hurt more. "Let it go, Wanda," Ling advises gently.
Mark walks the streets of Boston at night, finding himself at Cindy's door. He knocks hesitantly, and when she answers, he apologizes for running off and for handling it badly. She assures him that his reaction was normal, and they stand for a moment in silence. Slowly, he asks if she has plans that evening. "I've been thinking about this all day," he says, "and as hard as I try, I just can't see you as anything other than a woman. A woman I want to continue to see." She starts to cry, and they hold each other.
Meanwhile, Ally is at dinner with Michael, preparing to meet his grown children. His daughter is older than she is. And his son?
His son is Jonathan.
TO BE CONTINUED...
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