Setting: A restaurant table.
(lights up, Ella, Lula and Nell are seated around a restaurant table, they just got there)
Ella: So are you ready?
Lula: Yeah, let's see, let's see!
Nell: Off with the hat, girl!
Ella: (taking off her hat with a flourish, shaking out her hair) Ta-da!
Lula: (whistles) Nice. Look at that!
Nell: Oh, Ella, it looks so perfect on you!
Lula: What a change, huh?
Ella: I know, but I thought, might as well. Maybe he'll even notice this time!
(Ella looks more convinced than she feels)
Ella: (big sigh) What do you think?
Nell: That's horrible!
Lula: Oh, wow! He didn't say anything?
Nell: With that much of a change?!
(Ella, puts her hat on again, gets up and moves to stage right, lights follow, enter Rick, he is getting dressed in suit and tie throughout his speech to Ellen)
Rick: Well, he's a prick, but he's a powerful prick, and if things go well tonight, I might be able to get his recommendation to go ahead with the Rogers contract - hand me my tie, would ya - (Ella does so, taking off her hat and shaking her hair out over-exuberantly in the process) Hey, watch it. So, Kyle thinks we've got quite a good chance to nearly double the intake from a year ago, which we will most definitely do if Mr. Prick bites on the flattery we throw his way tonight. It would be good, (Ella looks over his shoulder in the "mirror" in which Rick is tying his tie, she luxuriantly runs her hands through her hair) very good for us, I'm talking about a fifteen percent pay increase if it all shakes out as expected. Kyle says twenty if this guy's still in with the right city councilmen. (Ella wraps Rick's suitcoat around her so that only her hair is showing) Don't do that, Ella, you're gonna get make-up on it or something. (grabs the suitcoat, starts putting it on) I mean that would mean some great things for me for the future. Once you hit a certain level, the contracts get much easier to grab because there's just that much more weight behind you. (starts putting on his shoes) So, I might need to bring him back here if things are really going well. We'll keep wining and dining him 'til the influence hits a natural stopping point. (Ella grabs a blowdryer and starts drying her hair even though it's already dry, Rick just raises his voice over it) If you could just make sure you're in bed when I get home, just in case he's with me, that way, we can continue on with business, and he won't feel pressured to engage in any small talk with someone else. (Ella stops the blowdryer) Okay?
Rick: Just be in bed, we'd probably get back here around eleven. You better hit the sack at ten, just to be safe.
Rick: (looking in "mirror" again) My hair look alright?
Ella: Same as always.
(stage right lights fade, Rick exits, Ella goes back to the restaurant table)
Ella: I don't know, maybe I was too subtle.
Lula: With that big a difference? No, anyone should have noticed that.
Ella: I just wish, you know, once in a while, he'd notice me.
Nell: No kidding, but you do have to be careful what you wish for.
Lula: Yeah, I'm sure Luke would have noticed. Huh, Nell?
Nell: And then some...
(Nell gets up, walks stage left, lights follow, enter Luke, he and Nell engage in conversation)
Nell: Just for a couple hours. I'll be home before ten.
Luke: You're wearing that skirt?
Luke: With that blouse?
Luke: Nothing, I'm sure some people will like it.
Nell: It's nice, I bought it last week.
Luke: Actually, you bought it two weeks ago with those navy blue pumps that make your ankles look fat.
Nell: They do not make my ankles look fat.
Luke: Maybe it's the rest of you then.
Luke: I'm just saying, one of us has gained two pounds since her birthday.
Nell: Stop it.
Luke: And I noticed that you bought some control-top hose the other day.
Nell: So what!?
Luke: (slight cough) Nothing.
Nell: Are you done?
Nell: Good. I've got to go.
Luke: What's wrong with your hair?
Nell: Nothing's wrong with my hair, Luke! It's the same as it always is!
(stage left lights fade, Luke exits, Nell returns to restaurant table and sits)
Nell: Every little thing is like that.
Ella: That's just terrible. There's got to be a middle ground between oblivious and obsessive.
Lula: Oh, there is, but watch out what you wish for...
(Lula gets up, walks extreme downstage center, in front of table, lighs folow, enter Jake, talking to Lula)
Jake: Wow! You did something special with you hair!
Lula: Just wearing it up.
Jake: I love it, sweetheart.
Lula: Thanks, Jake.
Jake: (from behind his back) These are for you.
Lula: Oh! A dozen red roses.
Jake: It's just that you always look so beautiful in my eyes, and I love you because you're you.
Lula: Thank you, dear.
Jake: Let me put those in a vase for you.
(Jake takes the roses and exits, Lula returns to the restaurant table and sits)
Lula: I mean, can you believe that?
(pause as Lula shakes her head sadly, and Ella and Nell exchange slightly confused looks)
Ella: Yeah, can we believe what?
Lula: Well, he got me a dozen red roses last week too. I think we're really in a rut.
(pause as bitterness descends, Ella and Nell address Lula in turn)
Ella: Do you usually wear your hair down? I hadn't noticed.
Nell: You've put on a couple pounds, haven't you?