Jack Serves Mary With Divorce Papers
(February 1977)

(Mary is sorting through her purse, getting ready to leave for work, when the doorbell rings.)

MARY: (without turning) Come in.

(Jack comes in without saying anything. When she finally turns and sees that it's him, she is shocked, then relieved, to see him. She walks closer to him.)

MARY: Jack!

JACK: (emotionally detached) Hi.

MARY: (realizing he hasn't had a change of heart) Good morning.

JACK: I should have called, give you some warning...

MARY: No, no.

JACK: It isn't exactly a social visit; I didn't want to explain over the phone.

MARY: That's alright, Jack. I'm glad to see you. I like you. I like being with you. I want to be with you all the time. That's one of the reasons I want to stay married to you.

JACK: Don't do that.

MARY: Do what?

JACK: You guessed it. I have to talk to you about the annulment. Now, don't make it any worse than it is.

MARY: I'll make it just as horrible as I possibly can, thank you very much.

JACK: May I sit down?

MARY: To talk about an annulment? No.

JACK: (annoyed) Mary...

MARY: On the other hand, if your back hurts, why don't you take the chair? (smiles)

JACK: Thank you.

(Seething, he sits down. She sits on the couch opposite him.)

MARY: (putting her feet up) So, sweetness, tell me what you've been up to!

JACK: (sighs) I've been to the chancery - had a nice, fascinating conversation with a Father Richards. He'll be getting in touch with you shortly. You'll like him.

MARY: I loathe him.

JACK: Father Richards explained that I do have grounds for annulment (her face drops) provided I can come up with a couple witnesses who remember hearing me say before our marriage that I didn't want children.

MARY: You don't have two witnesses.

JACK: That's what you think. Anyway, even though I have grounds, the chancery won't begin annulment proceedings until I've started civil divorce suit. So I went to see Anne Burney.

MARY: Delia's lawyer?

JACK: Well, you said she's good and Frank said she's good and I don't know anybody else and Ms. Burney agreed to represent me. She drew up a complaint, a summons...

MARY: Excuse me, darling, but would you mind telling me on what grounds in New York State you intend to divorce a faithful wife who's six months pregnant?

JACK: (matter of factly) The complaint says cruel and inhuman treatment.

MARY: (nods) Are you gonna tell them I beat you?

JACK: I'm hoping that you're gonna have sense enough not to contest it so the divorce can go through as quickly and painlessly as possible.

MARY: Painless?

JACK: As possible. Here.

(He hands her the divorce papers.)

MARY: What is that?

JACK: These are the papers. You just sign it on the back to show that it's been received.

MARY: You know what you can do with that?

JACK: Oh, look, Mary, come on now, be reasonable! I don't want to send a process server over here!

MARY: (standing up) A process server is reasonable? It's reasonable to sue me for divorce on grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment? You're being reasonable when you ask me not to contest it? You're not reasonable, Fenelli, you're crazy!

JACK: (standing up) I'm serving you with a summons!

MARY: No you're not, darling, you're taking that summons and you're getting the hell out of here! (goes toward the door) I will not sign anything, I will not cooperate, I will not do anything to suggest in any way that our marriage isn't good and valid or that I don't love you and want to stay married to you!

(She starts to open the door.)

JACK: (furious) You are so stubborn! You are so stupid and stubborn! (walks over to her) You are so determined to be right! It is so impossible for Mary - little American Irish princess - Ryan to ever admit that she's wrong about anything that you're gonna kill both of us proving that you'll just never give up!

(He walks out the door.)

MARY: You think this is stubborn, Fenelli? You just try and divorce me. Then you'll see stubborn!

(She slams the door in his face and lies down on the couch, while he shakes the divorce papers in frustration. In the next scene, Jack stumbles into his lawyer's office and throws the summons onto her desk.)

JACK: We're gonna have to do it the hard way!

Ms. BURNEY: Mrs. Fenelli refused the summons?

JACK: Get a process server over there right away, will you?

MS. BURNEY: Are you sure?

JACK: Yeah, I'm sure! If she thinks I'm gonna back off, she's got another thing coming! This is one time Mary Ryan's gonna have to face the fact that she can't have everything that she wants!

(He walks out and slams the door, leaving Ms. Burney in shock.)

More Scene Transcripts

Back to Ryan's Bar Online