CHARLIEand SANDY a few feet from the set, signifying the outside of BETH and JERRY’S house.
BETH and JERRY have not seen CHARLIE, their son, for twenty years. SANDY is CHARLIE’S wife.
CHARLIE: When we go in there, remember, you’re on my side.
SANDY: Of course I’m on your side.
CHARLIE: Whatever happens, please don’t forget that.
SANDY: Just because I’ve never met your family, doesn’t mean I don’t understand them.
CHARLIE: I wouldn’t call them my family. You and Lori are my family.
SANDY: And so are they. I’m on your side. And don’t worry.
CHARLIE: Just don’t stab me in the back.
SANDY: Why would you think that?
CHARLIE: I couldn’t come here without you. I need the protection.
SANDY: Have I ever stabbed you in the back? I’ve had lots of opportunities.
CHARLIE: This is a snake pit. If you get bit, you bolt.
SANDY: I’ve been offering to put my level-headedness at your service for eighteen years. You think all that time I was trying to set you up?
CHARLIE: You know as well as I do: when I lose my cool, you have no sympathy for that.
SANDY: No, I don’t.
CHARLIE: If I walk in there and they all attack me, I could blow up – and we could be on our way back home within a matter of minutes. That’s not why I’m here, but if it comes to that, so be it.
SANDY: After this amount of time, considering the occasion, I don’t think they want to attack you. Do you want them to attack you? Are you looking for a fight?
CHARLIE: No. But if they do…
SANDY: How about if I promise that if you lose your cool, I’ll lose mine too? If you throw a brick through the window, I’ll throw one too. Will that make you feel better?
CHARLIE: You won’t do that.
SANDY: Probably not, but I’ll support you, just this once, in losing your cool. You shouldn’t do it, but – I’ll just give you my word.
CHARLIE: We should have brought Lori.
SANDY: She didn’t want to come.
CHARLIE: We should have made her.
SANDY: This scares her. If it goes well, she’d love to know her own grandparents, don’t you think? Keep that in mind if you start to say something you shouldn’t say.
CHARLIE: She would have kept everyone on good behavior.
CHARLIE: A family wouldn’t fight with children around.
SANDY: It wouldn’t?
SANDY: I hate to see you lose your innocence, Charlie, but they do.
CHARLIE: We don’t.
SANDY: No, we don’t.
CHARLIE: Not at all. Ever. Why not?
SANDY: That’s another kettle of fish, dear. Did your parents argue when you were a child?
CHARLIE: Well, yeah — but you know about our problems.
SANDY: Families fight more, and meaner, with children around. It’s a proven fact. We can bring Lori next time.
CHARLIE knocks on the door.
CHARLIE: Here goes nothing.