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A monologue from the play by Daniel Goldfarb
Rochelle is speaking to her future mother-in-law, who doesn’t think Rochelle is good enough for her son, Arthur.
For Godsakes, the buns cost ten cents each, Mrs. Grosberg. I am sorry. I am sorry I am not as rich as you want me to be. I am sorry that my father didn’t leave us with more.
We’ve thought of selling the house, many times. We think about it all the time. Don’t think we haven’t. But it’s complicated.
All our memories of my dad are tied up in it. And it’s hard to just walk away from that. Even if it seems sensible! . . . Look, I want you to like me, Mrs. Grosberg. I do.
Because I’m not going anywhere, and life’ll be a lot easier if we can be friends. I love Arthur. I love him. I love your son. And he loves me.
I know I’m not perfect. I know my family seems pretty lousy on paper, and I don’t have the know-how to prove otherwise. I know rich is better than poor.
But I’m just eighteen, Mrs. Grosberg . . . . . . I can do a lot of things, Mrs. Grosberg. But I can’t make myself rich. I can’t make my daddy alive.
And I can’t make him more responsible with his money when he was alive. I can tell you he was great. And I loved him a lot. And I miss him a lot.
I can tell you, that, even though he maybe spent too much, he did it out of love. And that he had enormous respect for the right things; for education, for culture.
He came over from the Old Country when he was nine, by himself Mrs. Grosberg, and worked. He worked hard. And I promise you, I work hard too.
I don’t need big rings and cashmere sweaters. If Arthur likes to buy them, if he’s proud, as you say, fine. But my needs and desires aren’t that fancy.
I believe in Arthur. I’m going to put school on hold and work to support him while he’s finishing his philosophy degree.
And I know, there aren’t a lot of rich philosophers, Mrs. Grosberg, and that’s OK by me —