A George and Hilly Christmas

HILLY: I don’t want to be crass, because George does so many thoughtful things for me, and I love 99.8 percent about everything about you, but it’s those other two-tenths of a percentage that—I’m sick of it. What is it, do I not communicate well about what I want? Because that’s what I want, and I don’t care how you get it. I said before, maybe ask a relative, maybe if someone has an old something laying around. I don’t care what it looks like—I mean of course I do—but for right now, it’s just: Get it done.

DR. SELMAN: What do you say, George?

GEORGE [to HILLY]: What would you give me so far this semester as a grade? C-minus?

HILLY: I would give you a B-plus-plus.

GEORGE: That’s pretty good.

DR. SELMAN: Except for one problem.

HILLY: The night before last, it just so happened that we both woke up in our rooms at 4:30 a.m. He must have heard something; he came in to my room. You probably don’t remember, but once again, he ended up leaving and saying, “I hate this life!”

GEORGE: Couldn’t breathe with all the cat hair.

HILLY: Yeah, yeah. That’s the kind of stuff that I deal with—and my reward should be getting a goddamn ring.

GEORGE: It was the cat’s fault.

HILLY: But those outbursts. And you give so much back to me. But it’s that one thing, that dark cloud—and I’m not saying I want to get married right away

GEORGE: The other night I was talking to Vanessa Von Bismarck, who’s a direct descendant of Otto, and she asked, “When are two going to get married?” And her idea was that I get you pregnant first, and then apparently everything else will fall into place.

HILLY: You know what I’m sick of? I hate the stigma of feeling like one of these sucker-punched spinster loser Manhattan hags with a million cats and a stack of New Yorkers. I’m sick of it! I just want it done.

GEORGE: When I was in Kansas City over Thanksgiving, I was drinking with a friend who’d been going out with his girlfriend for 12 years, and they recently separated. I mean, we’ve been together for what, six? I don’t think it’s so unheard of, I don’t know where you got this idea, maybe it’s just a New York thing, that if you go out with someone for a certain number of years—

DR. SELMAN: Hilly’s not even asking to be married!

GEORGE: I’m with you on this. It’s the same old battle—there’s two George’s in my head. There is one who agrees with everything you’re saying. Maybe that’s 75 percent of the identity. But then there’s this other guy, who has hang-ups, issues—

DR. SELMAN: You think both guys don’t have hang-ups and issues?

GEORGE: The other guy, right now he’s reading The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham? The main character, Larry, he’s not sure he wants to settle down yet. He wants to loaf, so he goes to Paris, does nothing, and I think he goes to Tibet, at least he did in the movie—ever see that, with Tyrone Power?

DR. SELMAN: George, why would you—

HILLY: You can loaf and travel all you want, I’ll stay home and you can do whatever you want, go anywhere with whomever you want. I just want a ring.

DR. SELMAN: I was reading about how filibustering has taken new heights in politics.

HILLY: He’s just trying to drag the time—

DR. SELMAN: It’s like you’re filibustering, ignoring the topic, going on and on and not getting anywhere.

GEORGE: I like to stay in the moment. Live fully in the present. Right now, I’d like to think about the next three or four hours. Have some good conversation here, work on some stuff, then go out to dinner and have a nice evening. And in the next phase, there would be sleep and then—

DR. SELMAN: Whose idea was it to come in tonight?

GEORGE: My idea.

DR. SELMAN: Why would you expose yourself to this?

GEORGE: I didn’t know she was going to ambush me with this.

DR. SELMAN: How could you not know this?

GEORGE: I’ve been making to-do lists. Not changing the subject here! It’s amazing, because I’m pretty disorganized. I make these lists—go to Duane Reade, get ear plugs, brush the cat—

DR. SELMAN: You’re saying you’re too disorganized to get her a ring?

GEORGE: Maybe I can’t visualize myself going to get a ring. I don’t know the process. If I had it on paper, a step-by-step—

HILLY: I could make you this step-by-step list. I can even include dates and hours and minutes.

GEORGE: I think it has to do with the future. When people say things like, “What’s your schedule like next week?” I don’t know what to say. Don’t like to live that way.

DR. SELMAN: Are you angry with her for some reason?