Sorry! Sorry I'm late. Hi! I did not know that about Erica.
Hi, Max! Hi. Hi!
You have one little corner of baby smell left right there.
Hi, how are you? I need a baby!
You need a baby?
You're such an impatient little fussbudget.
I just don't see why I should wait.
For a father, perhaps?
Let's face it.
I've never been in a serious relationship that's lasted longer than six months.
We were together for two years.
In college. And we made each other miserable the rest of the time.
Yeah. Here you go.
I admit it, we were miserable, but we were also happy. Yeah.
Well, just so you know, I have some sperm in a facility uptown, if you're in a pinch.
I thought Felicia didn't want any more kids.
Felicia does not want any more kids. I froze it in case I met someone nice.
No, you didn't.
But I might. You know, save it like mad money style.
So do you remember Guy Childers from college?
Wait, wasn't he the guy, he now... What, he's a pickle salesman, right?
No, he's a pickle entrepreneur.
I'm just gonna touch these.
And he agreed to make a donation, so that I could inseminate myself.
But he has no sense of personal space. So what? He was a math major.
And I'm not gonna marry him. I'm just borrowing his genes.
But not his personality, I hope. Guy Childers?
Well, everybody's got something a little bit wrong with them.
You think everybody's honest who fills out those questionnaires at the sperm bank donation thing?
I can't believe you've been cooking this up and you didn't even tell me.
Because I knew that you'd yell at me. I'm not yelling at you...
Isn't this something that women do who are, like, 49 and desperate?
I don't want it to be a last resort.
I want it to be a choice because I'm ready to be a mother, and I don't believe that I'll find someone that I can stay in love with or who can stay in love with me for longer than six months.
I'm just facing the truth about myself.
So when's the insemination? Are we gonna have a party?
In four months.
Hey, does my breath smell?
No. Does mine?
I started production in my apartment three years ago.
Now, I have 12 employees.
And I just got an order from Whole Foods. So if that works out, we're taking off.
But I'm still very hands-on.
Every pickle has my stamp of approval on it.
Here, try this one.
I love this.
That's a Bavarian. It's classic.
This is the best pickle I've ever had.
You skate? Yeah. Every Sunday.
I grew up on the ice.
Right. You were on the ice hockey team. Yeah.
I used to ice-skate a lot when I was little.
So regarding our plan. Okay.
Here is my bill of health.
I have for you...
You need to keep it warm when you...
So just put it next to your body, underneath your shirt, and you can come right over. Okay.
So when do you want to do this?
I just want to build up some more savings. Please. That's smart.
I already have health insurance and everything.
So I guess the question is, how much involvement do you want to have?
I was going to suggest none, but I'm open to negotiation.
None is so cool.
I mean, that kind of takes the pressure off, right? Doesn't it?
I can just relax and build my empire.
Oh, my gosh.
Hi, Beverly. I got two checks this month. Not that I'm complaining.
You're sure they're not for two different payments?
Well, I'd love to think that, but they have the same date on them and I was paid last month.
So anyway... Excuse me.
I'm sorry, I couldn't help but overhear.
This young woman got two checks, and I don't have any.
What's your name? John Harding.
Well, my name is Johanna Hardin.
No, I mean, my name is Maggie, but on my checks, it's Johanna Margaret Hardin.
Right. So maybe there was a mix-up.
Yep. And it's gonna take a minute to figure this out.
You know, it would be great if it could be resolved soon.
We'll get back to you.
Damn. That woman could guard hell if Cerberus ever needs to go to the vet.
Everyone's scared of Beverly. What do you teach?
Ficto-Critical Perspectives in Family Dynamics.
Yeah, and Masks in the Modern Family, Victorian Times to the Present Day.
Psychology department? Anthropology.
I don't know any anthropologists. No? What about you?
I'm the Director of Business Development and Outreach for the art and design students.
What is that?
I help graduate students strategize for success in the art and design world.
I'm sort of a bridge between art and commerce.
You seem a little young for that, no?
I have an MBA and a master's in arts management.
Nice. Good luck getting paid!
There is something satisfying about the feeling.
Yes. That is...
What time is that Pike Fellowship meeting?
Thursday at 7:00. All right. Great. Thanks.
It's so funny you know John Harding.
We're on a committee together.
He's a real panty melter. Why?
Nothing. We had a mix-up with our checks because of our names. Hardin, Harding. Right.
He's one of the bad boys of ficto-critical anthropology.
Apparently, he was a big deal in Chicago.
And now, he just does adjunct work here, but they're really salivating for him to work full-time.
Why won't he? I don't know.
I think it has something to do with his wife. Apparently, she's some sort of monster.
Where did you hear this? Around.
You know, she's got tenure at Columbia. Georgette Nørgaard.
The words "glacial" and "terrifying" have been bandied about.
Then again, I have heard myself described as a psychotic bitch, but I think I'm actually pretty nice.
So you can't believe everything you hear.
If you say, "She's, like, terrified," it's not nearly as strong as saying, "She's terrified."
"Like" is a language condom.
Where the fuck is my chicken?
What are you doing?
I'm just taking a little constitutional before my next meeting.
Did you ever get paid? No.
Yeah, Beverly says the check's in the mail.
Can I join you? Sure.
I knew this Maasai from Tanzania. He was here to run in a marathon.
He took everything about New York City in complete stride.
Nothing fazed him until he saw a grown man following his dog and picking up his shit.
He started laughing so hard, he wept.
I suppose that custom could seem strange, like, out of context.
What was that?
I overheard your conversation about how "like" is a language prophylactic.
What is ficto-critical anthropology, anyway?
Well, it is a way of writing about anthropology that blends ethnographic observation, storytelling, and, like, theory.
Do we have to walk in the circle, or can we walk around the park?
We can walk.
It's so hard to find a full-time position.
My wife, Georgette, has a tenured position at Columbia, so I'm just using the time to teach a few classes and try to write this novel that I've had in my head for the last few years.
Are you getting a lot of work done on the novel?
They say every relationship has a gardener and a rose.
Georgette is definitely the rose.
And you're the gardener. And I don't have a green thumb.
Maybe you're a rose in disguise. It'd be a very good disguise.
And, I mean, she's wonderful. It's just she's kind of destroying my life.
No, I mean, this has been a bad week, and...
Content with Hermia?
It's turning into a nice day. Yeah.
I do repent of the tedious minutes that I with her have spent.
Not Hermia, but Helena I love.
Who would not change a raven for a dove?
We have two of those. It's the best part of my life.
Who's the guy? No guy.
Well, actually, the man I've asked to be the father is named "Guy," coincidentally.
You eat like Mr. Fox! Who?
The Roald Dahl book. The movie.
My kids love that movie. Yeah.
I really like what you're doing, though. Having a baby by yourself.
Not that it won't be hard because it's gonna be fucking hard.
But I admire your courage. And I love babies.
I just don't like leaving my destiny...
To destiny? Right.
But where will I go? You can't just kick me out of our house.
I have a question for you. Yeah.
Would you read the first chapter of my book?
Sure. I know that's weird.
It's just... I really want the first reader to be like...
Well, you know how you said you're a bridge between art and commerce?
Well, I need a bridge.
Perfect. Give it to me. I'll read it. You will? I really would appreciate it.
I don't mind at all. All right. Okay.
Okay, great. I'll read it tonight.
I gotta go. Shoot.
Shit! Shit! Shit! I gotta go. I gotta go.
I'll see you later. Thank you. Okay, bye!
What do you make of the use of masks in the Occupy movement?
The masked revolutionary is a direct inversion of the face of the demagogue, the essentially fascist ideal of the magnetic individual.
Sorry I'm late.
John Harding, author of many books, including Rituals of Commodity Fetishism at the Tail End of the Empire.
So, John, of course, we've been discussing the Occupy movement...
I can't help mentioning the irony that Warner Bros. owns the copyright on the V for Vendetta mask that became the face of the Occupy movement...
Whether we like it or not, in this country, the most potent, totemic symbols that we have are cinematic and television-based.
So it only makes sense that a radical popular movement would try to subvert them...
Nevertheless, the reality of Occupy occurs within the capitalist narrative as a kind of subplot...
This sweeping cynicism of yours...
If by "sweeping cynicism," you mean not living in a dream, then shoot me now.
Maybe the way we...
Nobody ever thinks a revolution is going to happen until three days after it's happened.
This is a leaderless movement. It wasn't gonna operate on a schedule.
This was a genuine populist uprising.
Yes, because... Absolutely.
But to return to the use of masks in politics.
I am more interested in the possibility of anonymity and group affiliation.
The "I am Spartacus" maneuver, which has been the primary tactical explanation for the use of masks among various 20th and 21st century protest movements.
Including the Zapatistas, the black blocs of the anti-globalization movement, and, of course, Pussy Riot.
Look, you don't have to help, but will you please put that down?
One moment, okay?
See? Finished. Great.
I don't get why you have to say the same thing in the concluding paragraph as you do in the introduction paragraph.
You're explaining your thesis, but in a more developed form.
Okay. And what's the point of that?
By the time you get to your conclusion, you've proven your thesis.
So it's basically just gloating.
Yeah, it is basically just gloating.
They have fleas in Paul's class again.
They don't have fleas, okay? They have lice. Let me check your head.
You don't have lice. Okay, go.
No texting at table.
I wonder where she gets that from. I use my phone for work.
Sometimes, I want to smash it with a hammer.
Way to go, Mom.
What is it?
They've asked me to chair the department at Columbia!
Congratulations. That's great.
It'll be a huge time commitment. Still, it's a high-class problem.
When will I ever get my writing done?
I've promised to deliver that book by December.
Come on. You'll get a big bump in salary.
All right. What are you... I'm already breaking out in a rash!
I've got an idea. Why don't you call Caleb back and discuss it?
I have to. I know. Fine.
Justine, you want to text your friend.
Paul, you want to play Ninja Revinja on your iPad? Go.
I myself even have a minor text I would like to respond to.
We can stop the pretense of having a close-knit family dinner.
And we can return to the bullshit later.
What? What is it?
The tone, it's so unusual.
It kind of screwball-surreal. Is that right? Yeah, that sounds right.
Screwball-surreal. That's it exactly!
And the characters.
Like Martin Neems, the colorless postal worker in 1950s Connecticut and he's married to this insane Brazilian woman, who keeps breaking out in rashes. It's hilarious.
It is, right? Really, really?
And the description of the musical collection!
Yeah, with his records, you mean? Yes. It's so great.
That's funny, right? It's great.
I am so sorry. I am very, very cold.
I feel like I'm welded to the bench. I know.
Is it okay if we go get some coffee?
Actually, my apartment is like three blocks from here.
Whatever. Yeah, yeah. Come on. I just need to get another sweater.
I'm just... I'm deathly cold.
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you doing this.
Really, it was so much fun to read.
Did you think the boil was weird gross or weird funny?
I sublet from a poet.
Do you want some hot tea?
Or, I guess that's his wine, or...
But I have whiskey. It's a little early, but...
We could make a hot whiskey. Do you have some honey and lemon?
Yes. I have... Let's see.
I have a half a lemon and honey.
Well, I'll make it for you. Okay. Great.
You're clearly a reader.
Actually, most of these books are his.
Hot whiskey. Thank you.
It's so good.
So tell me.
You know, I'm curious about you.
What about me? What aspect of me?
Every aspect of you.
I don't know where to start.
How about the beginning?
I'm hot. I know.
I'm gonna take...
Well, I had a kind of unusual start.
So my parents were married fairly young and they never had kids.
They were academics at the University of Wisconsin.
But then eventually, they got divorced and my dad moved away.
But then later, years later, they ran into each other at a party.
They got together that night.
And that's how I was conceived. On the bed with all the coats.
My mom always says that it's because I needed to be born.
I love that idea.
That our unborn children are the real gods dictating the fates of us poor clueless mortals.
And did they... They got together after that?
No. My mom raised me alone in Madison.
She was a professor of 19th century British poetry.
She wasn't very practical.
So I ended up doing all the day-to-day stuff.
I was organizing all of her bills by the time I was 12.
She came from a Quaker family, so she used to take me to Quaker meetings with her.
And I still go, sometimes.
A Quaker, huh?
Yeah, we had a nice life.
And then when I was 16, she died.
I went to go live with my dad in Philly.
How was that?
It was cordial.
I grew up in a house where nobody ever stopped yelling at each other.
No, my dad is a kind man. And he made the best of the situation.
We both did.
So what about you? Tell me about you. Background-wise.
My father was a black jack dealer in Atlantic City.
But it's a really long story. And I really... I have to get back to my dysfunction.
I believe it. What?
That you had to be born.
Martin Neem dreamed the same thing every night.
But he could never remember what it was.
His wife, Talia, slept like a stone.
Talia was a small woman.
A small, beautiful woman with hair like a river of snakes, and the temper of an angry mink.
Did you get to the static thing yet? Yes.
Did that make you laugh? I have no friction at all.
Yeah, but it made you laugh, right? It did make me laugh.
He can't stop eating.
He's like this really gross eater. You know what I mean?
And he's saying these brilliant things about how he's got stuff in his beard.
So that when they kiss, you know... Gross! Oh, no.
Right, I know! That's what you'd think. Except, she loves it.
Did you think that this was overwritten?
I think his book is a novella.
It's short and very strange. It might even be, like, an allegory.
I like everything I've read. He's asking me for suggestions.
What does his wife think about that?
She doesn't know about it.
To be honest, I don't think she really pays attention to what he does.
She's very self-absorbed. She might even be a narcissist.
Of course, she is.
Why of course?
He's basically a psychiatric nurse.
He can't write his novel under those conditions.
I think their marriage, like, fell apart after the second child.
And now he's trapped in it. That's what he's telling you.
Why would he lie?
To get into your pants!
Thank you. I'll just...
Did you bring it?
That's why I gave you that little container. Where's your bathroom?
So where do I deposit my genetic goldmine into?
I feel it behooves me to offer to do this the old-fashioned way.
Considering your extreme state of beauty and my totally free afternoon.
No. No, thank you, Guy.
I just think it would be too complicated, you know.
Just being polite.
Should I go out for a bit?
No. Just read something.
I'll be back in a jiff with that jizz.
Hey, Guy? Yes?
Why didn't you become a mathematician?
I liked math because it was beautiful, that's all.
I never wanted to be a mathematician.
Really? You think math is beautiful?
Anyone who's touched even a hem of that garment knows it's beautiful.
For me, the hem was enough.
Couldn't have taken the frustration.
What do you mean?
Never seeing the whole thing.
You're always just getting these little glimpses of the whole picture.
Spending my whole life hunting for scraps of truth.
When there's an actual lady involved, it's a different story.
I made you extra just in case you spill some.
Thank you, Guy. This is really...
This is really great.
You have a 71% chance of being fertile.
Hi! My apps are giving me contradictory information. Maybe I should wait.
Yeah, you should wait for like, five years. Don't listen to him.
He's losing his mind.
He seems to be a little on edge. You think so?
Yeah, he's driving me crazy with theories about mental illness in Guy Childers' family.
No, I met his mother once. She had a face like a hatchet.
And she wouldn't stop sighing. And she drank!
Did you get that? Personally, I think he just loves you too much.
He wants to keep you for himself.
Stop it. You know that's not true.
Well, I think he doesn't want you to move on with this next phase of your life because then he, too, might actually have to grow up.
Shut the fuck up. Shut your mouth.
How elevated does your temperature have to be?
I don't know I think slightly elevated?
101! You talking about the temperature? It has to be 101 degrees!
When was the last time you ovulated?
I read about it. I heard it doesn't always work the first time.
My girlfriend Odette... Did you ever... Wait! Hold on! Hold on. Wait.
That woman is nuts! You have a problem with her because she's a performance artist!
You had her speak at Max's class and she said the word "my vagina" three times.
Maggie, have you done it yet? Have you done it yet?
Hello? Hey, it's John.
Wait there! Okay, you have to wait.
John? Are you still there?
Hey. Are you okay?
Yeah. No. I got locked out.
I mean... And Georgette and the kids are...
Pennsylvania, you know. I mean...
Do you want to stay on the couch?
So I'm on chapter five, and now I think Mrs. Jeffries is my favorite character.
She's so pallid and reliable, but he finds her so attractive in spite of her mustache.
I was just... Actually, I was wondering if the wife's behavior is getting a little large?
You should try coming over to our house.
The book's like a documentary, you know? I mean, no... I don't...
I don't know. I'm sure you're right. I'm sure I'm exaggerating her behavior.
No, no! It's, like, really funny. So I don't want you to change it.
Maybe it's just more about, like, how much of it you do.
Like, you don't want it to be... Fuck it!
I'm in love with you.
I mean, I'm genuinely locked out of my apartment. I am.
But I'm also in love with you.
And I don't want to be married to Georgette anymore.
And please... Please can I...
Can I sleep in your bed?
I don't want you to have a baby with the pickle man.
I want you to have a baby with me.
I need to tell you something. What?
I tried... I tried already.
What happened? It didn't work! It didn't work.
I just had to tell you because... Because why?
Because I love you. I'm in love with you.
You want to put them in?
Okay, here. Hold them. Hold all of them. You got it? Now put it in.
What about... Try mine again. See.
Cold. Cold. It's a cold one.
Hey! What happened to my music?
It was so loud! Yeah, well, you know, that's the idea.
Shall I go turn it back up?
You really are from Wisconsin, aren't you? I am.
Do you think you could watch her for an hour?
I have a conference call.
Well, I was gonna write some more, but... You done with this?
But, no, I can watch her. I can watch her.
Thank you. You put too...
Can I bring Froggy? Yeah, bring Froggy, bring Froggy.
We got Froggy.
So what do you want to do? You want to make a mess?
Yeah. Yeah, me, too.
Yes. The last time we spoke, you had wanted to do something with skateboarding and architecture.
Is that still what you're thinking?
Absolutely I want to be a fragile little human scaling some big architectural monolith.
Yeah, like skateboarding down the ramp of the Guggenheim.
Yes! Exactly, That's perfect. But I didn't mean the actual Guggenheim.
One second. John?
Froggy is drowning!
Froggy is drowning, Mommy!
Hold on a second.
Hi. Sorry about this, but I have another urgent call.
I'll be right back on. One second.
Mommy! I'm just glad that the...
Froggy fell in and then he was hungry. Rats. We'll get this.
Goodness! You've made a big mess. What's this?
We're gonna save him!
Can I wash him, Mommy? Yeah, let's go wash him. Here, I'm gonna...
I wanna wash him.
See, we saved him! We gotta figure out how to clean all that up.
But first, I'm gonna see if this...
Did you take care of Froggy? Yeah, but why didn't you?
The guys from Parallel Press called.
Great! What'd they say? They said they want to meet me at 4:00.
But you said that you were gonna watch Lily this afternoon because I had a meeting with a student?
Maybe I could push it.
But who's gonna pick up Paul and Justine?
Fuck. All right. No!
I'll reschedule my meeting.
You don't mind? No.
All right. All right. Thanks.
Hello. He what?
All right. Yeah, yeah. Hold on. Hey, Maggie.
Paul twisted his ankle in eurhythmics. Can you go pick him up?
Okay... Where's Dad?
He had a meeting, sweetie. Does it hurt a lot?
We have a while before Justine gets out. All right. Here, let me just get...
Let me just get Lily in.
Okay. Good job.
Doing a dance! I have been...
Hello? Hi! Great.
Thanks for returning my call. Just one second, sorry.
Hey, Paul! Paul. Yeah?
Why don't you go check and see what's taking Justine so long?
Okay! Okay. Great.
Hi! Thanks for waiting.
Yes, so I was hoping to schedule a meeting for one of our grad students.
And she has just patented a toy and we would love a chance to present it to you guys.
Great! Yes! Okay.
Great. Fine. Thank you.
Got caught up in the locker room? Yeah, I couldn't find my shoes.
Well, we're all here now.
What's for dinner?
That's a good question.
I'll pick something up. Your dad's in a meeting.
Okay. When's Mom coming home?
I don't know, but I bet there's a plan!
Here we go!
Georgette, the advance is only $5,000 more. Just go to the house with a better editor.
Okay, no... Now you're talking yourself in circles.
Munroe is the right editor for this book.
For all the reasons we've been talking about!
So how was your meeting with Parallel Press?
Yeah. It got pushed till Thursday. Georgette had another one of her crises.
I couldn't get her off the phone!
Well, she has two different offers from UK publishers and she couldn't decide.
She doesn't have anyone else to talk to about something like this except for her ex-husband? Come on.
Especially since her new book is all about our affair and how it ruined her life.
Okay, look. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I messed up your day, okay?
It's not just my day. It's my student.
Komiko. She's a fragile person.
And I had set up a meeting with her to discuss the potential meeting with the toy company.
But I had to cancel that meeting because you had a meeting, and then you didn't even go to your meeting with the publisher because you were talking Georgette out of her tree!
And why does nobody ever talk me out of my tree?
'Cause you're never up a tree, hon.
Come on. If you did, you'd get down all by yourself.
Am I so capable that I don't deserve any attention, is that it?
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and the cactus never gets water?
Come here. Come here. Come here. Come here.
You need to start thinking of yourself as indispensable.
Okay, first of all, I'm not. I'm totally dispensable.
I mean, on a practical level, you'd be fine without me.
Do you realize that Paul faked the ankle thing today because he wanted you to come pick him up at school and then you didn't even show?
What do you mean?
He ran on it when I asked him to go check on Justine. He forgot.
Well, that's weird. No, it's not weird.
You want to know why? Because his mother is in Reykjavik right now studying the maternal techniques of the Icelandic.
He needs his father's attention.
So do I.
Let's go away together, just us. As soon as Georgette gets back.
I'm gonna start pouting more.
Georgette'll give you a tutorial. She's good at that.
Who did you sit with at snack?
Hi! Hi, Guy!
Hi. This is my friend Guy.
No! No! This is Lily. I got married.
I should have told you.
I met my husband around the same time that you gave me the sample.
How are you? Intense. Intense.
I just heard that Whole Foods are gonna be carrying my pickles nationally, so...
Yeah, we'll have to expand production post haste!
So I'm just manning the stall.
Get away from the chaos at the factory.
Well... Do you still have those Bavarian pickles?
Sure do. They're our most popular pickle.
Well, let's get a... Can I buy a jar? Yes!
When are we gonna eat the pickles?
Let's go get some pickles. Let's see what they are.
Sounds good. Oh, my goodness.
That's the biggest jar of pickles I've ever seen.
How much do I owe you?
It's a wedding present. Thank you.
Bye! Okay, let's go. Bye, Lily!
We're gonna take our pickle baby home.
I am so glad you're you.
I am so glad you're you, wiglet. Bye!
Hey, Georgette canceled her trip.
So she's gonna want the kids next week after all.
I'm Mrs. Jeffries, aren't I?
I'm the colorless, efficient postal worker that you fall in love with because she makes your life so much easier.
I came up with Mrs. Jeffries before we even met.
Yeah, well, you've turned me into her, then.
At least I don't have a mustache.
Do you want to hear your horoscope?
I'm terrified that I'm falling out of love with him.
Like, really out of love.
Felicia and I fall in and out of love pretty much every week.
You can't be so idealistic.
I wanted to help him become a fiction writer, and now all he does is write, and the novel is 500 pages long and I don't even think it's half done.
Have you read the whole thing? Most of it.
You still like it?
It's gotten more and more complicated. Yeah.
Do you think it's possible to be too smart to be a novelist?
I haven't heard that one.
Do you think there's something wrong with me?
Wrong with you?
Yeah, that I have a condition where I always fall out of love.
What? Yes! No! Really? You think I have a condition?
No! Yes! I don't know! I don't know.
Maybe! No, no, you don't. You know what?
Maybe you just haven't met the right guy yet. Ask Felicia. Don't ask me.
I'm not the right guy.
Does he ever walk?
Max? He's gotta finish that book by Friday.
Does he ever walk? Yes. He's the captain of the soccer team.
What is it? Stroller soccer? You're hilarious.
I will be honest with you.
This book was born from pain.
My husband, whom I am not ashamed to say I loved with all my heart, though we had a difficult relationship, had an affair with a younger woman, left me and started a new family.
And what I gleaned from this exquisite torture are the thoughts which this act of betrayal to me as a woman provoked in me as an anthropologist.
I must ask myself, is the contemporary obsession with exclusive possession ruining our chances of marital happiness?
I recognized you from a picture on Justine's phone.
I wanted to... I wanted to see your reading. It was really...
I want to say thank you for taking such good care of the children while I was gone.
I know it's been a burden. I appreciate it.
You're welcome. They're wonderful kids.
We should get together sometime.
I feel I've been rather childish about all this.
We have to face the fact that we are raising them together, the three of us, yeah.
I would love that.
Call me some time.
It's easy to get my number.
You bought a book? I couldn't resist.
Do we need to get it signed? I think we do.
Georgette is fascinating. Really?
Yes. She's warm and powerful and charming all at once and I can see why he was so obsessed with her.
I don't think "easy to live with" was on that list, though, you know.
I like her.
I actually like her! I'm such a blockhead.
I thought I was rescuing John from this monstrous egomaniac, so he could finally finish his book.
I thought I knew better how to run his life, that I was gonna fix everything.
And he's totally self-absorbed, while I do every single practical thing and make the money, and on top of that...
If it weren't for Lily, I would say I made a terrible mistake.
It's too bad you can't give him back to his ex-wife. Right?
I hate brussel sprouts.
They're a little hard.
So now it suits the captors to have the little prisoners moved.
Aren't you excited to see Mama?
Of course, I'm excited to see Mama.
I'm just sick of never knowing where any of my stuff is.
I can't wait until I have kids so I can push them around.
Sometimes I wonder if she is a little dim-witted.
What is she doing?
You're like a dog. You love whoever feeds you.
I'm sorry. Is there a problem here?
No. I just can't believe that I found a legal parking spot right in front of your mom's house.
You're coming inside? Just to say hi.
Hi. John had a meeting, so he asked me to drop them off.
Come in. Thanks.
Now, I have made you a nice snack.
And you are allowed to watch one single episode of something ghastly while eating it.
The snacks are already in the den.
And no fighting about what it is, Paul. Okay.
I was about to make some coffee? Or tea? Coffee would be great.
Your place is really nice.
I put butter in mine.
Nullifies the afternoon sugar cravings. Great.
Lovely photo. Yes.
It's so good to finally meet you.
I won't pretend it doesn't cost me something.
I'm not into fakery. Me neither.
I detest the role of the spurned wife. I won't play it.
You're not. Am I not?
No. You still have such a deep connection to John.
We have managed to remain friends, it's true.
Well, and your phone calls. Do you disapprove of them?
The marriage has dissolved, but we are still parenting together.
Well, I mean, it's not just parenting.
You guys are on the phone, like, several times a day.
Don't get me wrong. I think it's great.
Well, it's obvious that you're still in love with him.
What the hell are you playing at?
John and I are in trouble.
And I don't think he realizes how much trouble we're in, or he doesn't want to know.
And then, when I saw you at the reading, I realized that there might be an opportunity, an opening to somehow get the two of you back together.
I see. I see.
So you are tired of your little affair?
You're all done with it.
Now you want to make sure you don't feel guilty so you're going to manipulate us all into some absurd happy ending.
I have met a lot of control freaks in my life, in fact, I thought I was one, but you, you make me look like an amateur.
I didn't mean to insult you.
Have the decency to leave him and face the fact that you poisoned my life and my children's life, and probably John's life with your own selfishness.
That's your burden. You earned it.
Wait a minute.
If you had such a perfect marriage, why was John miserable?
You neglected him and you used him and you didn't believe in his talent.
If I am so awful, why are you trying to get me back together with him?
Because I think that, actually, even though I do think you are pretty self-absorbed and extremely needy, that he needs it. It keeps him in balance.
It's thinking about you that stops him from only thinking about himself.
Leave. Leave. Leave.
Leave? You want me to leave. Leave my house, leave.
Okay, I'm leaving. Okay, sorry. Leave, leave.
I've never been so humiliated in my life.
I am in such deep oatmeal.
What was I thinking?
Maybe you're having a psychotic episode. But it was such a good idea.
You know, life doesn't work this way, you dufus.
You can't take everything and stuff it back in the box.
God, I think you need some help.
Why are you being so hostile? Because it pisses me off!
The whole thing pisses me off. Why?
Why can't you just leave your husband like any normal human being?
Because it would be such a waste. A waste!
You are such a hall monitor. It's not a waste. He's not a paper product.
Love is messy. It's illogical, it's wasteful and it's messy.
And it leaves these loose threads that go out all over the place.
But you, you like things nice and neat and tidy and ethical.
But you screwed that up the minute you got with a married man.
You're not being my friend right now.
Yes, I am. I am being your friend. This is being your friend.
I'm being honest with you.
Good intentions. You're all about good intentions.
Little Miss Quaker Two Shoes is gonna do the right thing.
But you always somehow screw it up.
Screw you. Yeah, screw me. Fine.
Just being honest. Trying to be a friend.
Don't come over here and... How do crayons...
Hey, Maggie. Hey, I'm sorry. Hey, hey, Maggie.
Hey, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Okay?
I mean, what about Lily, huh?
Fathers are a good thing, too.
I know that. I know that, but I'm just as afraid of her growing up inside of a dead marriage as her growing up in a house without her dad.
Kids can tell when people are pretending.
I don't know. It's a tough one.
Okay, okay, okay.
Yes, please. Yes please, what?
Yes, please, I'd like to do something.
Just us. If the offer's still good.
Do you have anything in mind?
I don't know. Maybe a local adventure.
Hi. My name is Johnny Harding.
And I was hoping to talk to Wang. Is he downstairs?
Hey, hey! Johnny Harding. Yeah, thanks. Come on.
My dad used to take me to the owner's old place.
What's in that?
Just drink it, okay?
This is for all the marbles.
We won! We won!
I should get you a pipe.
Act like you know what you're doing.
Is it good? Yes.
No! Please, no! Where did they go?
Drown my sorrows.
Slow down on that.
And before... Thank you.
Do you have a room for tonight?
Is this a hotel?
It is a hotel if you know it's a hotel.
Thank you. What do I owe you?
$50. I got $50.
God! My God!
Take off your clothes!
Two. One. Two. One.
Take off your fucking tights!
Would you ever want another baby?
I'm just trying to finish this book.
I think I'm gonna have to knuckle down, you know.
I mean, four kids would be a lot.
I mean, you wouldn't even notice. It's just one more kid for you to ignore.
What kind of thing is that to say?
It's a true thing. John.
I mean, I support you while you write this book.
I get that. That's fine, I accept that.
But I feel like your intern or your nanny.
Look, Maggie. For Christ's sakes... And you don't even...
You set all this up, all right? You gave us all a job. And I'm doing my job.
My job is to write the book. That's what I'm doing.
I know that's what you're doing. Yes!
So you can't get mad when we all just play our parts to perfection.
Do you even like me anymore?
What are you trying to get me to say, huh?
It sounds like I should be asking you that question.
You want me to get your bag? No. I got it, thanks.
May I sit? Yes.
In December, I am attending a conference in Canada on ficto-critical anthropology.
Ficto-critical anthropology is John's field.
Really? I have no reason to trust you.
On the other hand, I have absolutely nothing to lose.
I could easily arrange to have John give a paper at the conference.
Do you think he would accept?
Žižek is speaking. He loves Žižek.
They invited me to give a paper at a conference.
Really? That's great!
Yeah, except it's all the way up in Quebec. So I can't go.
No, you have to go! Why?
Because I think you could really use a break.
Georgette's out of town that week, too, you know.
So I can't leave you alone with the kids. Of course, you can. I'll be fine.
Well, Žižek is speaking.
Žižek? You love Žižek. Yeah.
How do you know?
I think you've mentioned him.
I'm reading Rituals of Commodity Fetishism at the Tail End of the Empire.
Yeah, how you making out?
It's tremendous. We all came up here just to hear you speak.
And Žižek. Obviously. And Žižek, right. Obviously.
This is kind of fetishy, but would you sign my book? Yeah, of course.
What's your name? Al.
Thank you. Al? Take care.
Fancy meeting you here. What are you doing here?
I'm just giving a paper, you know.
Did you write to me that you were coming here?
I mean, I remember that you were leaving town, but...
I don't know. I have no idea.
You sorry you came?
No. It's big enough for the both of us. Isn't it?
You look really well. I feel well.
Beautiful here, yeah?
It is. It is. The air is great. So far.
Can I sit down? Or is it better if we don't co-mingle?
It's fine. Why not? We are friends. Sure, sure.
This is Debbie Wasserman. From Yale.
Hi, Debbie. Nice to meet you.
Did Maggie tell you we met? Yes. She really enjoyed meeting you.
She's an interesting person. Really, you think so?
It's very surprising. I didn't know you had time to be surprised.
You know, you concoct ideas of what your rival will be like.
But she's not my rival anymore.
Paul told me that Maggie taught him to do a figure eight the other day when they were ice-skating.
He was very proud. She's so good with him, you know.
Yes. She sounds like a very capable person.
She's a natural mother.
She sounds like a wonderful partner for you.
Will you excuse me? I have to make a phone call.
Aren't you gonna eat?
I'm not very hungry. And I think maybe you're right.
Maybe it's a mistake if we co-mingle too much.
We'll only end up getting on each other's nerves.
Komiko has designed the first patented doll with removable internal organs.
60% of children have fears about death.
And Komiko's plan is to relieve their fears about the body by helping them see what's inside.
They can draw on the organs.
But all of the elements are completely washable.
So we think that this would really appeal to parents interested in marriage-based toys.
I mean, knowledge... Knowledge-based toys.
There's no heat. The fucking Internet doesn't work.
The generator blew up, or something. My batteries are about to die.
And get this, all right? Guess who's here.
Really? That must... How is that?
I don't know I mean, her mood matches the weather.
How's everybody there? We're fine. Everyone's great.
Well, I can't get any info on when the airports are gonna open up again.
So it looks like I'm stuck here!
I mean, they're breaking out the snowshoes, which, to me, is ominous.
That's a good one. That's really nice.
I love you so much.
How much? Wait, I know. How much?
That's exactly how much! That's exactly right.
I want to live inside a bubble.
But I want my own bubble.
Yeah, that's okay. We can each have our own bubble.
Daddy has his own bubble. I can see Daddy in his bubble.
I'm all right.
We can just follow the tracks back.
Nothing really looks familiar, does it?
You know the talk you gave yesterday was just great.
I didn't even know you were working in that direction.
I guess you haven't seen anything I've written for a while.
No, I miss that!
I used to like that. You know, give each other our stuff.
Forget about me.
That talk you gave yesterday was the hit of the conference.
It was just all the old ideas.
You altered that passage on de Tocqueville.
Nothing gets by you. Your work feels so fresh.
No one unpacks commodity fetishism like you do.
You still working on your novel? Yeah.
How's it coming? Fine.
I don't mean to be insulting about your fiction.
It's just I'm so proud of the academic work you've done.
You see here how much people love it.
Well, I'm not abandoning anything.
Come on. I don't want you getting too cold.
What is it? I've something I want to tell you.
For what? For being so self-centered.
For not listening to you, to what you needed, for not investing in your work.
You don't have to say that.
I think I became so caught up in succeeding, in making a name for myself.
I stopped paying attention to you, to us, to our marriage.
And now I have success, it's as if I've emerged from a tunnel.
And I hope in the future, to be less self-absorbed.
If I ever get another chance at love.
What are you saying? Of course you'll get another chance.
You think so? Yeah. Come on!
I'm sure they're lining up.
Are we going to die here?
Help! It's okay.
Hey, all you French-Canadian people!
We have no fucking idea where we are!
We were lost.
You should sing it!
I have written my way so far up my own ass, I can't see my way out.
And the whole story bores me to death.
So stop writing it.
No, I can't. I feel like if I don't produce some kind of masterpiece, you know, Maggie's gonna give up on me. That book is a big part of why she fell for me.
I gotta tell you, Georgette.
If I have learned one thing in the last three years, it's that I'm not a fucking novelist! I'm not!
If she truly loves you, she'll love you whether you're a novelist or a garbage collector.
You loved me like that, didn't you?
They've opened the airport! We can go home tomorrow!
Better go pack.
I don't want to go.
I don't want to leave you.
John... I just...
I want you so badly, I can't think about anything.
It's like the last three years just never happened.
Or that I'm hallucinating. It did happen. It all happened.
I know. I know! I know!
We have to be real. The snow is melting.
John, there's something you should know.
What is it?
You regret it? We belong to each other.
Actually, for me, it was a one-night stand.
Seriously, I've changed.
I know I can live without you now. I just don't want to.
I would like to read your novel now.
Really? I know you have a copy.
I saw you marking one up.
Be careful what you wish for.
Hi! Hi. Where's Lily?
Felicia took her to this dance class.
How'd your talk go? It went great.
I mean, not great. It was well attended. I got a few laughs.
Good. How was stuff with Georgette?
She eventually defrosted. Good.
I should tell you something.
You know we were snowed-in? Yeah. I know that.
So Georgette and I were thrown together for two whole days, right?
And so there was this whole
atmosphere, you know, of...
I started unearthing things, you know.
Good stuff or bad stuff?
I don't know.
The same stuff. The same as what?
Fuck. Fuck. I'm so sorry.
Georgette and I slept together.
Georgette was right. About what?
We should've just been an affair.
Maggie, don't say that.
You were in such a bad place...
What about Lily? ...in your marriage.
And then I came along. What about Lily?
I know, I know.
Come on, what we had was real. That's right.
When I met you, I was lost.
I was a fucking mess, all right?
I was so insecure, and you saved me, all right?
You rescued me.
Now, I don't know what to do. I...
You know what to do. No, I don't.
Just go back to Georgette.
If you love her. I... You think?
I don't know what to do.
I try that, too, only that at school when I do that, it usually falls on the floor.
But when I actually do it... Thank you.
...after a long time, everyone just goes, "Yeah."
And then after, like five seconds everyone, like, totally ignores me.
And then I'm all like, "Come on." What are you doing here?
I accidentally ran into your mom at school.
We both thought it was our turn to pick up Paul.
Yeah! That was so funny!
Anyway, and then your mom graciously invited me over to...
You finished? ...dinner.
You guys really need to learn how to coordinate your schedules.
Yeah, well. You know, there's no harm in us spending time together as a family.
Except for isn't that the point of a divorce?
That you're not a family anymore?
Great seeing everybody! Justine, do your homework!
What is it, Paul darling?
I'm hungry! You just ate!
What can I have?
You can have a plate of saltines, a cheese stick and an apple.
Can you cut up the apple? Ask Justine!
This is ridiculous. I have to go. I have to go. Where will you stay?
I don't know. I'll just call some friends and I'll just avoid a hotel.
We've gotta give them time to adjust.
All right, Paul, here I come to cut up your apple.
I don't know if you guys are, you know, back yet or not.
But, listen, if you are, give me a shout, okay?
I think... Hey, Ben I don't know if your couch is available.
But I can bring beer!
Felicia. Thank God you're home.
Hi, how are you doing?
Not so good.
So she already told you guys? Well, she...
Has she called you? No, she called me.
I don't think she's talked to Tony. He's been out all day.
What did she say? Is she all right? You think she's gonna be okay?
What is this... You know Maggie, she...
She takes care of herself. I know. I know. I know.
She's taken care of herself her whole life.
I mean, she's emotional. Yeah, right... It's just...
It all seems so unreal.
I know... I just...
Look, I think that you need to be honest. Well, sure...
I mean, I'm trying to be honest. You know, when you can.
I mean, it's... I mean... I'm surprised!
You know, I mean... Listen, I know, I mean, I don't...
I don't know, but I can only imagine.
John! Aren't you supposed to be in Canada? No, he's here.
Yeah, I'm here. You had a trial? Yeah.
Did you win? Trounced them!
Yeah? What was it for?
Tainted pudding. Tainted pudding.
Like, a lawsuit? You betcha! It's what keeps my wife in post-modern choreography and me in self-loathing.
It keeps the world going round round here.
If you're gonna have that attitude, you should go to bed.
No. No, no, no.
I want that vanilla whiskey that you so lovingly gave me last Christmas, Fi.
Really? 'Cause I feel like you've had more than you need of something already.
No, no, no, no. This stuff's like liquid crack, John.
You're gonna love it. Would you like a finger full?
There's three fingers in there. Cheers.
I just sat on my balls.
I think you should probably get your balls hemmed like that actor. What's his name?
You know, apparently it's like a few stitches, and then...
It's like a ball lift.
John, any word? You haven't talked to Maggie?
No. I've been up to my knees in pudding.
Well... Yeah, tell him.
Well... John and Maggie...
No, tell him. Sorry, right.
He and Georgette... What? Like, it worked?
What do you mean?
What's the thing they say about drinks and tits?
That one's too few and three are too many.
I shouldn't drink. You're not a drinker.
I'm not a drinker. Shit.
This is what Georgette was trying to tell me about...
No, no, no.
Tony. She might have been trying to tell you...
You guys set me up?
No! No! God, no!
No, no one set anybody up. Set-up is such a strong word.
Don't say "set-up."
Was it a test?
Is that it? To see if I was still in love with Georgette as you secretly suspected?
You must be very happy now.
I felt we were going to break up.
And I had a feeling that you were still in love with Georgette.
And it turns out you were.
Well, what about Lily? Our daughter.
How does she fit into your little scheme? If we were going to break up, it's best that we just do it now, so this is all that she knows.
But I didn't want to break up! I didn't want to!
First off, among other things, because I am committed to our marriage!
And because we have a child together. But not because you want to be with me.
This is the fate you have picked out for me?
To ricochet across the tri-state area, just ruining families?
I don't accept that, all right? I didn't pick that.
I cannot believe you made me feel so guilty for betraying you and wrecking our marriage, when you masterminded this whole thing.
You manipulated me back with my ex.
The two of you colluded to send me to that conference, like I'm some kind of an absurd patsy.
Guess what? This little puppet is cutting his strings.
You can both go fuck yourselves.
You and Georgette never really stopped being together the whole time we were married. What?
I mean, yes, I know you thought it was over, but it wasn't really.
And this is the proof. Just be honest with yourself.
It's what you wanted. No, Maggie, no.
What do you want? That's the question. What do you want, Maggie Hardin?
I want to live honestly.
You're off to a great start. I don't want to be in a marriage that's a lie.
I don't want to tiptoe around our disconnection anymore.
I did what I thought was right. Well, you're very ethical.
Well, you're the one who slept with someone else.
Give me a fucking break with that one. Give me a break with that.
Where are you going?
I have no idea.
What about the kids?
You and Georgette are such good teammates.
Why don't you strategize with her?
I made a big mess.
You made a mess? Yes.
And I don't know how to clean it up.
But why did you not use a sponge?
Just forget about it.
He found out. How?
My friend, Tony. He was drunk and it slipped.
It was inevitable. I almost told him myself several times.
It was the tragic flaw in my plan.
Where is he?
I don't know.
I think he's just really sick of us both right now. Mostly me.
Georgette. I don't know what to say.
You're a funny person.
There is something so pure about you.
You know, and a little bit stupid.
And it's a kind of innocence.
You know, just so unconscious.
I can't help it. I like you.
I don't blame you. I just shouldn't have let him back in my life again.
I decided against it, even in Canada. But it was the snow.
It was the cozy, cozy snow.
We just fell for each other again.
I wanted my husband back. You don't have to lose him.
You know what? If you see him, you tell him for me to screw off.
Say it! Screw off, okay? Darling, come.
If you want me to take the kids for a few days...
No, stop it. Stop trying to take care of everybody all the time.
No, it's no trouble at all. Plus, they're used to me, right, Justine?
Can you please just tell me what's going on?
Your dad and I got into a big fight and he's taking some time.
Are you and him getting back together? It's a complex situation.
Are you sad? No.
You guys have no idea what you're doing, do you?
I mean, there's no plan.
What about you?
Justine, did you find your charger? Yeah, yeah.
Where's my science book?
No. Did you get any sleep? Maybe two hours.
Go back to bed. No, no. I'll help. I'll go back later.
But we're fine. We're fine. I want to help.
All right. Okay.
Lily, let's get your shoes on.
Justine, did you remember your basketball uniform? I washed it.
The lunches are on the counter.
And it's quarter after, so we're gonna be late.
I can't find any of my socks. Just check the laundry basket.
They're all dirty. Just wear them anyway.
Okay! We're good to go. Let's all go.
Just get all your stuff together and I'll be there in a second.
Paul, can you just climb on through so we can get her in.
Is something burning?
Hi, darling. Hi.
Thank God it's Friday. I know.
So I was thinking if we take all the kids ice-skating, then you can take Justine to that movie. Because I think it's gonna scare Paul.
No, it won't! Don't worry.
I'll take you and Lily to something else. Why don't we see what's playing?
Justine, where are the Band-Aids?
Have you heard from John? I did.
He sold his car and he bought a motorcycle. And he's taking us to the Giants on Sunday.
For God's sake. Where is he living?
I don't know. But I can ask him when we're in the stands.
Justine, can you take Paul in to watch TV? Come on.
What is it?
I just think if you guys saw each other again...
No, no. No more matchmaking ideas.
No more ideas, period.
You've had your thinking license revoked.
I'm not gonna get involved with anybody's fate ever again. Not even my own.
I'm gonna become a completely passive, non-interventional Buddhist.
But I think that if you just saw him, you guys just...
You have to let this go, Maggie.
This story has its own momentum, apart from you. It always did.
I am so sick of being me.
You should really try the tapping.
Try what? I went to this workshop on biofeedback.
What you do is, you figure out what the essential thing is you want to change.
And then you make a sort of a dictum.
Like, for you, for instance, "I am not controlling," if that is what you want to change. Yes, that's perfect.
Okay, so "I am not controlling." I am not controlling.
I am not controlling. I am not controlling.
You wanted to see me?
Yes. I wanted to return your book.
And where should I scatter these? Anywhere is fine.
I cannot believe, on top of everything else, you burned my fucking book.
I burned a copy of your book.
You probably didn't even read it. Of course I read it.
That's why I burned it. You cannibalized our marriage to write that story.
You didn't even bother to fictionalize us in yours.
I don't write fiction.
You think you painted a precise portrait of us in Bring Back the Geisha?
I cannot believe you're making me feel bad about the sins of my unpublished manuscript and you're glossing over your actual lies and manipulation?
I'm not a liar. I never ever lie.
I lie now. I manipulated.
I debased myself morally because I loved you so terribly much.
Maybe you could be flattered.
If you love me, why not just tell me?
You were married.
So you won't take responsibility for the state of your life?
You're just a victim of our plot? I'm not a victim.
I'm just a man who has fucked his whole life up, and now I'm looking for an Airbnb to live in.
So there's nothing more to say. Okay.
No other conversation. End it like that.
The reason your book doesn't work is you put too much weight in the allegory.
You're trying to use fiction to prove a thesis.
The text is crying out for pure passages of economic theory.
Narrative blended with theory is your specialty.
Make it a John Harding book. It could be a phenomenon.
You really think so? I know it, John.
You just have to accept it'll be published by Yale University Press, and not Scribner's.
Probably be shortlisted for a Bateson Prize.
You might even win one.
You did it again. What?
You know me better than I know me.
Sometimes I wish I didn't.
You look so good in this light.
I'll seek out these lighting conditions whenever possible, in that case.
You look so nice. I love that polka dot dress.
Yeah, no! Not really.
I think you'd be a great hockey player. Look who it is.
Happy birthday, Lily!
Okay, have fun, all right? You got her?
Winter sports aren't really your strong suit, are they?
It's not fair. In skates I'm not even able to defend myself.
I'm gonna keep you on ice for the rest of your life, in that case.
Here we go, all right? No, no.
We're gonna go fast. John! No!
Did it ever occur to you this might have just happened anyway?
Even if you hadn't played Titania and sprinkled fairy dust in their eyes?
Of course it's occurred to me. Yeah.
I guess you'll never know if it was you or the hand of destiny.
I've decided to embrace the mystery of the universe, and stop bossing everybody around so much.
Good luck with that, bossy pants.
He's gonna write a book about us one day, and we are not gonna look good.
3,000, 100, 15,000.
What kind of 3-year-old loves numbers that much?
Was John into math? I know you weren't.
I'm not sure.