NEW HAVEN, CT—Fifty-two-year-old Marie Sanders wakes up promptly at 8 a.m. as she always does on Sunday mornings. She hops out of bed and orders her daily Starbucks on the app, feeling a wave of dread for the upcoming “Ladies Over the Hill” book club meeting in the afternoon. Ever since she drunkenly spilled wine on the rug and puked on the bathroom floor at Sally’s house during the discussion of “Fifty Shades Darker,” she has not been welcome. Despite bringing a muffin basket, members of the club continue to subtweet her. After her coffee is delivered, she sits down in her leopard print recliner and scrolls through Instagram, mentally preparing herself for her next attempt to please these women: brunch. She had already made a fresh batch of muffins and pancakes and put eggs on the hot stove for later. Suddenly her phone went off and, to her chagrin, it was Sally texting the group chat.
“On second thought, I would rather have waffles than pancakes,” Sally stated.
“Ooohhhh I could so go for that right now,” said Claire.
“I’d rather have waffles, too, tbh,” wrote Margaret.
Marie sighed and rolled her eyes. How could they change their minds after she had already prepared half the meal? These indecisive menopausal women were infuriating. She walked around the kitchen island just as the home phone rang. She trudged to the parlor to answer it only to stumble upon another nightmare: her mother. After 10 minutes of her mother rambling about her father’s drinking problem, she hung up. As she walked back into the kitchen, she was welcomed by the fresh smell of smoke and the sight of bright yellow flames. Upon leaving the kitchen she had left her phone on the back burner behind the pan of eggs. Unfortunately, her phone, along with her brunch plans, had ignited.