Lights up.

Penny and Gretchen are sitting at a table. Notes and calendars are strewn about. A half-drunk bottle of wine sits in the middle of the chaos.

PENNY: I like the idea of getting a list of thirty happy memories from different friends and reading them out loud at the party.

GRETCHEN: This is my concern: do you think we can find thirty people who have happy memories of Heather?

PENNY: Don’t be mean.

GRETCHEN: I’m not being mean–I’m just trying to be realistic. I mean, I love Heather. You love Heather. But you have to admit, she rubs some people the wrong way.

PENNY: (beat) Ok. We’ll scrap the list of happy memories. Are we any closer on narrowing down a date?

GRETCHEN: (referencing calendars) I think we’ll get the most people on Friday the 12th, but we don’t get Alicia on that day, and Heather will be disappointed all night if Alicia isn’t there.

PENNY: I agree. We should choose a date that Alicia can come. The fewer, the merrier. Sunday the 14th, maybe?

GRETCHEN: It’s hard to get Heather to leave the house on a Sunday, so the fake excuse will have to be really good to get her to the party.

PENNY: Does it have to be a surprise?

GRETCHEN: Heather has been dropping hints for the past five years that all she’s ever wanted was a surprise party. It’s her 30th birthday, a milestone birthday–she’ll be expecting it.

PENNY: So it won’t even really be a surprise.

GRETCHEN: It may not be the surprise-yist surprise, but it will make her very happy.

PENNY: Can we get the private room at the Chinese restaurant on the 14th?

GRETCHEN: (checking) Yes, but only after 8:00, which may be too late for the people who have kids or jobs where they have to get up early, but those really aren’t Heather’s favorite people anyway, so we should be fine.

PENNY: When should I create the secret Facebook event?

GRETCHEN: Tomorrow–let me confirm the reservation with the restaurant in the morning.

PENNY: Right. (beat) I hope she enjoys her birthday. Thirty made me feel distinctly alone for the first couple of months. Like I was losing a race against myself.

GRETCHEN: She’ll enjoy it. Now let’s enjoy the crap out of the rest of this bottle of wine.

Lifting their glasses.

GRETCHEN: To getting older with good friends.

PENNY: To surprises.
End of play.