Meanopause, the Musical!


Scene 5: Queen at the King of Prussia Mall

(In which our future family goes shopping in Philadelphia.)

(to the tune of “Bohemian Rhapsody”)

“Me”:  Is this a good dress?
Does it look fat on me?
If 4’s my pant size
Why the hell is it squashing me?
Nope, that’s too wide.
I can’t be a bride in pleats!
I’m such a short girl, I need no frippery.
And that’s a cheesy cut. I say no!
The hem’s too high, the neck too low.
Anyway you style it, doesn’t really flatter me.  No not me.

The Daughter with Straight Hair: Mama, just buy a dress!
You’ve got but four months or less
Before your wedding’s quite the mess.
The Daughter with Wavy Hair: Mama, shopping’s so much fun!
I hope you don’t just buy one right away!
“Daniel”: Mama, do-oo you
Really mean to let that by?
Maddie just said “less” when she meant “fewer.” Tell me why?
Wavy Hair: That wasn’t I!  “Daniel”: Like that even really matters.

“Jack”:  You’re great, my bride, in some
Short shift or whatchacallit.
Doesn’t matter; here’s my wallet.
Goodbye everybody, I’ve got to go.
Gotta eat and maybe even buy some shoes.
“Daniel”: Mama, I’ll go too. Actual Ghost: (Anyway, this store blows)
Straight Hair: I don’t want to whine
But I sometimes wish we’d never brought them to the mall.

Actual Ghost: *killer guitar solo*

Bitchy Clerk: I see you in the silhouette of a man.
Buy a tux!  It’s so lux!  You will look like Dan Craig-o!
Other Clerk: Dunderhead, she’s curvy.  Very very curvy! “Me”: Me?
Bitchy Clerk: Like a fellow.  Other Clerk: Like a cello!
Bitchy Clerk: Like a fellow!  Other Clerk: Like a cello!
Bitchy Clerk: Like a fellow who has boobs.  Straight Hair: You’re such a nudge! Actual Ghost: (Stooge stooge stooge stooge.)

“Me”: I’m just a short girl, no one can fit me.
Bitchy Clerk: She’s just a short girl, from a short family.
Send her to Suits; better still: to Petites.
Other Clerk: Here’s a pink; here’s chartruese. We just need to find some hues–
Bitchy Clerk: Priscilla! No! We should just let her go. Other Clerk: –like black or indigo.
Bitchy Clerk: Priscilla! Other Clerk: Or charcoal or cocoa. Bitchy Clerk: But not like driven snow?
Other Clerk: Vanilla? No! ‘Cause she said white’s no go.
Bitchy Clerk: Well how ’bout calico? Other Clerk: Or something with a bow?
“Me”: Heather, Heather, why’d you ever– Wavy: Never! Straight: Ever!
Actual Ghost: (never never will not ever come on girls let’s go)
Both Girls: Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!
Straight: Oh mama see, a– Wavy: Mama see, a– Both: Oh mama see, a blue lace frock!
Bitchy Clerk: The gals in Suits have a yellow put aside for thee!
“Me”: For me?
Both Girls: Ai-yeeee!

Actual Ghost: *most excellent guitar solo*

Exposition Fairy: So you see she’s been shopping and it’s nearly July
So you see she’s been shopping but has yet to buy-uy-uy!
Wavy: Oh Lady!  Sell the blue to her, Lady!
Straight: ‘Cause it looks kinda cute. And that yellow suit looks like pee.

Actual Ghost/Exposition Fairy/Clerks: *guitar/piano/drums*

Wavy: Ooh yeah  Straight: Ooh yeah  Actual Ghost: (ooooh ooooh oooooh)
“Me”: This thing sort of flatters–
As far as I can see–
This thing sort of flatters–it kind of sort of flatters


Exposition Fairy: *mournful piano solo*

Actual Ghost: (But the way you’ve changed this song blows…) 


About Heather Aronson

Heather Aronson’s fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, CRAFT, Farmer's Market, Mid-American Review, MonkeyBicycle, Sonora Review, Story, and Witness. Her stories have been finalists for the 2019 CRAFT Flash Fiction Contest and the 2021 Story Foundation Prize, and her story "The Side of the Road Forever" was the winner of Sonora Review's RAGE fiction contest in 2022. Her story "What You Know" was nominated for The Best Short Fictions 2020. She holds an MFA in Fiction from the University of Arizona and was a Fellow in Fiction at the University of Wisconsin’s Institute for Creative Writing. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with her husband and some of their five children.

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