Maeve Tells Mary to Invite Jack for Thanksgiving
(November 1975)

(Maeve is clearing a table at the bar when Mary enters the room, holding the back of her dress closed.)

MARY: Mother?


MARY: I've got a problem with my snap. Would you help me?

MAEVE: (picking up the plates) Oh, dear, come into the kitchen!

(They head there and Maeve puts down the dishes.)

MAEVE: Now. (She begins fastening Mary's snap.) Why do they put these things buried in the fabric?

MARY: (smiling) So that a girl will always need her mother's help.

MAEVE: Or a husband's. (She has finished.) There. Oh!

Mary puts her arm around Maeve

(After they pull away, Maeve notices Mary's dress.)

MAEVE: Ohhh! Where ya going all dressed up?

(Maeve starts stirring some sauce.)

MARY: I'm going to meet Jack.

MAEVE: Ah, pretty. (turns to Mary) Can't Jack pick you up here?

MARY: We thought it might be simpler if he didn't.

MAEVE: (stirring) I thought you and your Dad agreed that Jack is welcome here?

MARY: Da's welcome meant that he wouldn't throw Jack out if he came around.

MAEVE: (after tasting the sauce) Well, then.

MARY: That's not being welcome, that's being tolerated. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for small favors.

MAEVE: That's no small favor from your father, that's a major compromise.

MARY: I know that, and I'm pleased, I really am. I know it's hard for you and Da and I'm grateful for the compromise. But Jack and I figure it doesn't help to press the situation when it's not absolutely necessary, so when possible, out of sight, out of mind.

MAEVE: (laughs and puts down the spoon) Out of mind not so easily. A parent's mind is always on the child, in or out of sight. (sympathetic) I'm sorry that things are in such a state that Jack feels he can't pick you up.

MARY: I am too.

MAEVE: Oh, that's the nice part of having a beau pick you up. It's half the fun of going out.

MARY: (smiles and goes over to Maeve) Yes.

MAEVE: (chopping vegetables) You know, when your father and I were courtin' in Ireland, I always wore my hair the same way, I didn't have a closet full of clothes, and Lord knows I never wore any makeup. But, I managed to keep him waiting all the same.

MARY: (grinning) On purpose!

MAEVE: (grinning as well) No! I had to pick out the right ribbon for my hair!

Mary and Maeve laugh

MAEVE: (resuming vegetable chopping) Oh, I'm sorry it can't be the same for you and Jack.

MARY: Well, I don't want to tip the balance. It hurts me when I hurt the two of you, and there's a row, and... Ugh!

MAEVE: Well that's no fun, no fun for anyone. I'm grateful to Jack for bringing you home. You can tell him that for me.

MARY: He knows, Mother.

MAEVE: Oh, I wish I knew of a way to make things better. I hate when things go on and on, every word and incident gets more inportant than it should. We should all just be a little bit more relaxed, you know?

MARY: Oh, that would be wonderful.

MAEVE: (as they put the vegetables into a bowl) I can't speak for your father, but I - and I'm not saying that everything between this family and Jack Fenelli has been forgotten or forgiven...

MARY: Yes?

MAEVE: But I would like to take the second step.

MARY: Okay.

MAEVE: Right now, what I want most in the world is for a little harmony. I want the family to be together for Thanksgiving. Mary, darling, we have so much to be grateful for: Frank alive, home and well, and seeing all his hopes and all the things he's worked for come true. I want us all to share in that and be thankful together, and if you care for Jack, then he should be here too.

(Mary smiles.)

MAEVE: It's the first year that Siobhan won't be here. But we have Frank, alive and home. I want to put the differences away and have ourselves a grand old day. So, you ask Jack if he'd join us.

MARY: Oh, Mother, I love you!


Mary and Maeve hug

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