INT. NIGHT. WENDY PEFFERCORN bolts up in bed and shakes her husband awake.
WENDY PEFFERCORN: Wake up.
WENDY PEFFERCORN: Why am I married to you?
WENDY PEFFERCORN: Why on earth am I married to you?
SQUINTS: What kind of a question is that to wake your husband up with in the middle of the night?
WENDY PEFFERCORN: No, I’m serious. What do we have in common? Why are we together?
SQUINTS: You – you kind of thought it was cute that one time I made you kiss me because you thought I had drowned, and you were trying to do your job. Remember? You kicked me out of the swimming pool forever, for pretending to drown, but you sometimes would smile at me afterwards.
WENDY PEFFERCORN: Why would I think that’s cute, though?
WENDY PEFFERCORN: I mean, aside from finding it personally humiliating, that’s incredibly unsafe and cruel. I thought you were dying.
SQUINTS: Well, yeah, but you sort of had to admire the tenacity that went into pulling a stunt like that.
WENDY PEFFERCORN: That’s fairly arguable, but we’ll leave that to the side for now. Why would I marry you?
SQUINTS: Maybe later we –
WENDY PEFFERCORN: Like, was that scene suggesting you and I started seeing one another shortly after that? Was the audience supposed to infer that I found a prepubescent boy sexually attractive? Because that’s incredibly uncomfortable.
SQUINTS: I guess I never really thought about it.
WENDY PEFFERCORN: Also, look at me. I’m glorious.
SQUINTS: I know.
WENDY PEFFERCORN: I should be dating captains of industry and men with arms like iron bands. I should be dating shotput medalists and jazz club owners, not buying a pharmacy with some eleven-year-old and forgetting what birth control is.
SQUINTS: Sure, but all those guys don’t appreciate you like I appreciate you. None of them were willing to make you look like an idiot in front of all your friends at work just to stick their tongue in your mouth.
WENDY PEFFERCORN: I feel like I’d rather kiss a man on purpose than a child through deceit. I feel pretty strongly that that’s how my character feels about it.
SQUINTS: Well, I don’t really know what to say. If that’s how you feel about it.
WENDY PEFFERCORN: I think it is.
SQUINTS: I guess I can’t really blame you for wanting it.
WENDY PEFFERCORN: You really can’t. I mean – did my character wait around in this tiny town after graduating high school for you to get old enough to date?
SQUINTS: That’s a good question.
WENDY PEFFERCORN: Because the alternative is almost unthinkable. Did the writers just not think this through? Or do they think I went off to school or a big city to get a job or something and then returned home to marry the little kid who sexually humiliated me when I was sixteen?
SQUINTS: You know, Wendy, in my defense, you were always lotionin’ and oilin’, oilin’ and lotionin’…
WENDY PEFFERCORN: That was for my job, Squints.
SQUINTS: Sure, but –
WENDY PEFFERCORN: If you know another way to put on sunscreen, I would absolutely love to hear it, but for someone who sits in the summer sun for eight hours a day, it’s fairly important to reapply.
SQUINTS: Right, but –
WENDY PEFFERCORN: I wasn’t putting on sunscreen in the hopes of getting someone whose balls hadn’t even dropped yet to pretend to die so they could jam their tongues in my mouth, if that’s what you’re suggesting.
SQUINTS: But I loved you.
WENDY PEFFERCORN: I don’t even know your real name. What kind of a marriage is this, where I have to call you Squints when I’m looking for you?
SQUINTS: You didn’t think it was a little bit cute? The part where I pretended to drown so you had to make out with me?
WENDY PEFFERCORN: I really didn’t. In a really generous light, I can see it as the stupid act of a selfish kid who doesn’t know better, and is ultimately forgivable (though certainly not anything that would induce me to later marry you). In a less generous light, it was an act of someone who felt that he had the right to humiliate, control, and sexually dominate a woman at her place of work, which is pretty disturbing in a pre-teen.
SQUINTS: Well, the guys thought it was pretty cool.
WENDY PEFFERCORN: I’m sure they did. Listen, no hard feelings, but I’m going to LA.
SQUINTS: What will you do in LA?
WENDY PEFFERCORN: Honestly? Have limber, athletic sex with as many good-looking men as I can. Maybe buy a place in Malibu in the early 70s, before all the prices go up, make some generic seashell art, get a job lifeguarding on a real beach.
SQUINTS: I guess I can’t blame you.
WENDY PEFFERCORN: You really can’t, you tiny Woody-Allen-looking motherfucker.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.