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The Love List

by Norm Foster

My friend Jess suggested that I read this play and I'm so glad I did! Not only was it hilarious and a good bit of fun, but I also felt it commented on how men and women approach relationships, and expectations of our significant others. Basic premise - two men write out a "love list," a list of the top ten qualities desired in a mate.. lo and behold, that very night, our main character Bill's dream girl shows up and possesses all the things on the list. Not knowing anything about her, other than her seeming perfection, Bill basically allows her to move in. Then he starts noticing that if he changes qualities on the list, Justine (the gf) changes too. Obviously this weirds him out, but instead of getting rid of this crazy creature, he goes to the other extreme and tries to change all the qualities back to his perfect woman so that, ideally, he can leave the list alone and just enjoy his creation. Leon, his friend, accuses him of being like Dr. Frankenstein, but Bill doesn't seemed bothered by it, he's just happy to be in love. But Leon foresees the flaw in their relationship:
Think about it. We only wrote down the ten qualities you wanted in a woman. There was nothing negative on that list. You can't have a person who has no bad in them. Because it's not real. There is good and bad in everyone. That's what makes us human. That's what defines us. And keeping them properly balanced, that's our struggle. If we don't have that struggle, we have no purpose. Justine has no purpose. Her only reason for being here is to please you. You need some bumps, Bill. Those conundrums, those problems that you have to work out together. That's the give and take. That's the cement in the relationship. With Justine all you're going to be doing is taking.
And of course, he's right. What's beautiful about this play is Bill's journey. He thinks he's found this perfect woman and in a way she helps him by making him think about what he wants in a woman so that when she comes along (in the form of a colleague named Rachel) he mans up and asks her out, which is hopefully the beginning of a healthy and real relationship. Justine vanishes through the doorway with her perfect 10 co-worker Brian and they go off to imaginary cosmetic land while Bill and Leon take steps towards a happier future.

Monday Play-a-day: Reborning by Zayd Dohrn

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