The Weather

Sweatpants Wedding Without Any Qualifiers, or, The Sweatpants Without Qualities: Act 1 of Sweatpants Wedding Itself

Over the past two weeks we’ve been reading here in The Weather about the history of Sweatpants Wedding Itself in a larger document called Sweatpants Wedding Without Any Qualifiers, or, The Sweatpants Without Qualities. The idea of this larger piece was to own up to the fact that Sweatpants Wedding Itself was never going to be finished, and to blend what scraps of an actual play Stephan McCormick and I had with The Making of Sweatpants Wedding, which in theory could go on forever, because the play’s not done yet and as long as we’re talking about it, technically, we’re working on it. Which would mean that, in this respect, this larger document, Sweatpants Wedding Without Any Qualifiers, is quite possibly, on account of the fact that it’s possibly infinite in nature, an incredibleor even perfectpiece of writing.

Yes, this possible perfection is something that Stephan and I are quite proud of, and we are quite glad to share it with you here; in writing, as in youth, potential is everything.

And so today, along with the audio of the musical’s opening number (in which Stephan sings all parts; DEFINITELY SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS TO LISTEN TO IT BECAUSE IT’S HILARIOUS), we present Act I. If Stephan somehow finishes Act II by next week, we’ll show you that too. But there’s pretty much no chance that that’s going to happen. Stephan works in Hollywood now, I’m incapable of writing this thing myself, and whenever I call him, he’s off in Oahu frantically waiting for his DP or PP or AP or whoever the hell it is, some young guy fresh out of Ohio State who holds the secret to set lighting under difficult circumstances. So I’m just going to tell you now: you’re not going to get Act II next week, so you might as well enjoy Act I as much as possible; in writing, as in youth (and also the rest of life), we’re thankful for what we have. —Tom

 

ACT I by STEPHAN McCORMICK

Scene 1: “I DUNNO ABOUT THOSE GARTER BELTS”

(Bridesmaid chatting with a clerk at American Apparel. Bridesmaid leafing through sweatpants hanging from a wall rack.)

CLERK

And when did you say the wedding was?

BRIDESMAID

The wedding’s tomorrow.

CLERK

Tomorrow?

BRIDESMAID

Tomorrow! We’ve been best friends since kindergarten, and I love her, and I know that we both believe the most important things in life ought to be enjoyed. Comfortably.

CLERK

Ok!

BRIDESMAID

And you know, after college I moved across town and we lost touch so when I got her Facebook invitation to her wedding, inviting me to be her bridesmaid… I… I can’t even describe it! I’m so happy! I’ve wanted this for her for her whole life. I am… I am so happy. She really seems so excited.

CLERK

She should be! They say it’s the most beautiful day of a woman’s life.

BRIDESMAID

(looks stern for a moment, as if she were insulted)

 You’re right… they do say that…

(but can’t think of a good response)

CLERK

And you know, it’s not just her day either. Everyone loves weddings! So I imagine you’re here to buy something comfortable to wear under your dress. Over there we have a brand new line of bras we’re calling Ex-Boyfriend T-Shirts.

BRIDESMAID

Well…

(Music begins: “Sweatpants Opening”)

CLERK

And we have over here a brand new fragrance called Tastes like Pineapple. You’d smell so wonderful and sexy in your dress!

BRIDESMAID

But…

CLERK

What color’s your dress going to be? We have garter belts in all the primary colors.

BRIDESMAID

My dress. Hmm. Well, I’m not sure about the garter belts. I’m looking for something a little more…

CLERK

Traditional?

BRIDESMAID

Comfortable.

CLERK

Comfortable?

BRIDESMAID

Like maybe… maybe those over there! (points to sweatpants)

CLERK

But those are…

BRIDESMAID

Yep! (looks at audience) Those are sweatpants!

(the walls of the store fall away revealing a city street with brownstones rear stage. The background is moving as if the actors were walking down the sidewalk. Each character will enter once they have a line to sing.)

BRIDESMAID

NOTHING IS IN LIFE
AS SERIOUS AS YOU THINK

NOT EVERY WOMAN WANTS TO WEAR
A PAIR OF UNDIES IN PINK

(Bride enters from stage right, walking up to bridesmaid and grabbing her arm)

BRIDESMAID/BRIDE

JUST LOOK AT BOTH OF US,
WE’RE MODERN AND WE’RE STRONG

WE DON’T CARE WHAT PEOPLE SAY,
THEY’RE FULL OF SHIT AND ALWAYS WRONG

BRIDE

THOUGH I’VE THOUGHT A WHILE
IF I’D EVER FIND THE ONE
NOW I THINK I’VE FINALLY FOUND HIM
HAS MY LIFE NOW JUST BEGUN?

BRIDESMAID

(Addressing audience, a flash of resentment on her face)

JUST TAKE A LOOK AT HER
SHE’S HAPPIER THAN A RAT
WHO’S JUST DISCOVERED CHEESE AND WON’T SHARE
‘CUZ HER FAMILY LIKES THEIR FAT

(the best man and groom have been walking behind stage and off center of the women. By now they ought to be equal to the women on stage a little stage right. The stage should be aflutter with movement—cars, buildings, birds, homeless people, a busy city neighborhood.)

BEST MAN

I’M HAPPY I’M THE BEST MAN

GROOM

                           BEST MAN!

BEST MAN

TO MY ONE AND ONLY FRIEND

GROOM

                           FRIEND!

BEST MAN

I’D DO ANYTHING THAT’S LEGAL
JUST TO PROVE HOW MUCH I LIKE HIM

GROOM

(ignoring best man)

JUST TAKE A LOOK AT HER,
SHE’S HOTTER THAN THE SUN—
ON SECOND THOUGHT DON’T LOOK AT HER,
HERE TAKE THESE GLASSES, PUT THEM ON

(pushes sunglasses toward best man)

(Grandma wanders onto stage from stage left. She doesn’t sing along, but rather smiles and looks knowingly at the women as they walk down the road. She tries her best to keep up.)

LADIES

WE AREN’T AFRAID OF BIRTH CONTROL
IT’S NOT A FORM OF MIND CONTROL
BUT EVEN IF WE GET KNOCKED UP
WE’LL PULL OUR PANTS UP OVER THE BUMP

MEN

WE’RE JUST A PAIR OF MODERN DUDES
RELAXED ABOUT THEIR ATTITUDES
WE’RE NOT GAY BUT WE’RE NOT STRAIGHT

BEST MAN

HOW SHOULD HORNY DIFFERENTIATE?

ALL

OUR CREATURE COMFORTS SEIZE THE DAY,
WE DON’T NEED TO DRESS THAT WAY—
WE WON’T HIDE THE FACT WE’RE HEADING
DOWN THE STREET TO A SWEATPANTS WEDDING!

(after the repeat the song quickly shifts: stage lights dim, spotlight on grandma who had been shuffling to keep up, but is now center of attention)

GRANDMA

(a la Gil Scott Heron)

Wait a minute there. I’m starting to sense myopia the more you describe this utopia. I think that you’ve forgotten the fact that a wedding’s just a legal contract.

(rap style)

GRANDMA’S CRIMPIN’ GLORY
PULLIN’ PANTS RIGHT OUTTA SWEAT
SHE KNOWS IT’S MINUTE BY THE MINUTE
WORRY’S KEEPING DUDES FROM SAYIN’
IT’S THE LAST OF ALL THE PUSSY PUSHIN’
TROLLIN’ LIKE A TRAIN BOMB
LISTEN AT WHAT I’M HINTIN’ THO
JUST THINK ABOUT THE LONG RUN
WATCH THE BITCHIN’ BRIDE BE COOLIN’
HOTTY IN HER SWEATPANTS
TWATTY LIKE A HOTTY SHOOTIN’
ROCKETS IN YOUR SWEATPANTS

(lights flare alive, a bustling city surrounds our wedding party and grandma)

LADIES

(with optimism)

WE AREN’T AFRAID OF BIRTH CONTROL
IT’S NOT A FORM OF MIND CONTROL
BUT EVEN IF WE GET KNOCKED UP
WE’LL PULL OUR PANTS UP OVER THE BUMP

MEN

WE’RE JUST A PAIR OF MODERN DUDES
RELAXED ABOUT THEIR ATTITUDES
WE’RE NOT GAY BUT WE’RE NOT STRAIGHT

BEST MAN

HOW SHOULD HORNY DIFFERENTIATE?

ALL

OUR CREATURE COMFORTS SEIZE THE DAY,
WE DON’T NEED TO DRESS THAT WAY—
WE WON’T HIDE THE FACT WE’RE HEADING
DOWN THE STREET TO A SWEATPANTS WEDDING! (2X)

(the cast turns their backs to the audience while walking out backstage. the cityscape falls away, replaced by workout posters and a plain white wall with windows, a gym.)

 

 

Read more from Sweatpants Wedding Without Any Qualifiers, or, The Sweatpants Without Qualities. 

Tom Dibblee is Trop’s editor. His fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train and his nonfiction has appeared in Pacific Standard, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Point. He lives in Los Angeles.

Stephan McCormick lives in Los Angeles.