Summary: Joey has been given many gifts throughout his life, but they’ve just taken up space in a spare room. When Annie brings over an early birthday present she learns that he simply collects them. What will he do if he’s forced to actually open and use them? Keywords: Gifts
Style: Drama. Duration: 8min
Actors: 1M, 1F
Joey – adult male
Annie – adult female (coworker or friend)
(Scene: Joey’s house. Annie has just arrived with a gift.)
Joey: Hey Annie – this is a surprise!
Annie: Well, since I’ll be out of town next week and will miss your birthday, I thought I’d drop by and give you your gift early. (hands him the gift)
Joey: Wow – that’s so thoughtful! You’re the best!
Annie: Thanks. So what are you going to do for your birthday?
Joey: I don’t know – I hadn’t really thought about it. I’m more of a spontaneous kind of guy than a planner.
Annie: Yeah, that’s you – a wild and crazy guy!
Joey: (smirking) uh huh…. So hey, why don’t you have a seat? Not there, over here.
Annie: Okay. Hey, you wouldn’t have any sweet tea made, would you?
Joey: Sorry, I don’t have an ice tea maker. But I thought I told you that at work?
Annie: Oh, did you? I guess I wasn’t paying attention. So ….. aren’t you going to open your present?
Joey: Oh no – I’m just going to admire it for awhile.
Annie: Admire it?
Joey: Yeah, admire it. I’ll just sit it out here in the room and just look at it.
Annie: Why on earth would you do that?
Joey: Because, it helps me to realize just how much I’m loved – you know, it makes me feel special.
Annie: Staring at a present makes you feel special?
Joey: Yeah, you know, because someone cared enough to give me a gift.
Annie: Yeah, well imagine how much more special you’d feel if you actually OPENED it.
Joey: Oh no – that would take away the mystique.
Annie: The mystique?
Joey: Why do you keep repeating what I’m saying only in the form of a question?
Annie: Because I’m trying to understand what you’re doing and why.
Joey: Well, first I just admire the present. Then I try to guess what it is.
Annie: Oh - and THEN you open it?
Joey: Oh no. I don't open it.
Annie: Why not?
Joey: Because then I'd be tempted to use it.
Annie: And the problem with that is?
Joey: Well, it would no longer be new.
Annie: I'm not following you.
Joey: Look - when you get something that is brand new you have this sense of excitement. But when you use it, even just once, then it's, well, "used". I like having brand new things. Take this couch for example - I absolutely LOVE this couch. But if I allowed anyone to sit on it, it wouldn't be new anymore.
Annie: I see. You'd rather have something brand new and never use it, than to have something that will bring you joy by using it?
Joey: Oh no - I get a lot of joy just by knowing I have these brand new things. Once it's used it just doesn't feel the same.
Annie: So this couch is just for show - I'm assuming it's really uncomfortable?
Joey: Oh no - it's VERY comfortable. I tried it at the showroom. Well, not this exact one - it was one just like it.
Annie: So you sit on it when no one else is here?
Joey: No - I never sit on it. Then it would be used.
Annie: So you sit on uncomfortable chairs and make your guests do the same so that you can say you have a brand new couch that's never been used?
Joey: Now you're getting it!
Annie: Joey, you have issues! What about the gift I just gave you - you haven't opened it, haven't guessed what it is, and even if you do you're not going to open it. What good is it? I might as well just take it back!
Joey: Now that wouldn't be nice.
Annie: Joey - you don’t even know what it is; how can you get enjoyment out of knowing you have brand new things and not even know what they are?
Joey: Oh, I know what most of them are.
Annie: Most of them?
Joey: Oh yeah, come here. (opens door)
Annie: Oh my goodness - how many presents do you have in there?
Joey: One thousand and fifty-nine. But once I put yours in there it'll be one thousand and sixty!
Annie: And you know what most of them are?
Joey: Oh yeah. That one is a play station II, that one over there is a Wii, that one is battleship, that one is a George Forman grill, that one…
Annie: Wait a minute - you have all these things and never use them? What good are they? How can simply knowing you have them bring you any joy?
Joey: I already told you - I like new things - not used.
Annie: That's like having pictures of a vacation that you never took. Come back to the chairs. (once they get back the conversation continues) Look Joey, when you're given gifts, you're supposed to use them. For example, you like to bake and you're good at it. You make a to-die-for 7 layer chocolate mousse cake, which you have made and shared with us at work many times. Do you enjoy doing that?
Joey: Yes. And everyone is very complimentary - I like that a bunch.
Annie: What if you never tried to bake, and therefore never discovered that you have a natural talent for it? Or, what if you discovered you loved to bake but never did it; would that bring you joy just knowing that you're good at it and you like to do it?
Joey: No I guess not. I mean, if I couldn't do something I really loved to do that would kind of be like torture.
Annie: Exactly. That's the way gifts are. Joey, the gifts you’ve been given are not meant to buried or unopened – they’re meant to be used, appreciated and even shared with others. Most games for instance are meant to be played by more than one person at a time – otherwise it’s boring – no fun. Life is a lot like that – it’s meant to be shared. And gifts are the same way. Something’s are meant only for you, but most things are meant to enhance your life and the lives of others. Otherwise, what’s the point of actually giving you anything other than an empty box? If a gift is only meant to be admired for the wrapping, the contents of the box are useless; then it’s not really a gift, is it?
(Joey wanders back to the door and looks inside)
Joey: I guess you’re right. I need to open them and use them and even share them.
Annie: Wow – a break through!
Joey: I just have one more question. How long can you stay?
Annie: I don’t have any immediate plans – why?
Joey: Because I need help – it’ll take me forever opening these things by myself!
(Annie walks over to join Joey at the door)
Annie: Sounds good. But why don’t you start with this one?
Joey: Why’s that?
Annie: It's an ice tea maker - I have a feeling I’m going to be here for long time!
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