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Communication Is Key

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“Good morning, Sister Sarah!” said a loud voice at the door.

Sarah looked up in surprise to see Miss Adelaide at the door of the mission.

“Good morning, Miss Adelaide! How can I help you this morning?” she replied. It had been a week since the wedding of Miss Adelaide and Nathan Detroit, and Sarah hadn’t seen them since then. She supposed she could consider Miss Adelaide to be a friend after their initial meeting (and revelatory moment), but she still wasn’t entirely sure how to react to the loud and bold woman at the door.

“Well, I was merely hoping to recruit you for your company! I’ve got an awful lot of shopping to get done and absolutely no one to shop with this morning, and where’s the fun in that?” said Miss Adelaide. “I know your look is…mostly the same,” she said gesturing at Sarah’s uniform, “but surely even you need to get new clothes sometime right? Or else you can just come along and tell me how great I look, ha!”

Sarah was a bit confused and overwhelmed at all the words that spilled out of Miss Adelaide’s mouth so rapidly and cheerfully, but quickly found herself walking down the street and discussing married life.

“I’m still working out how to tell my mother, but other than that I’m as happy as can be!” said Miss Adelaide as they strolled down the street.

“Well, weren’t you worried about telling her the engagement was over? This has to be easier than that!” Sarah said.

“Oh, well that’s because there’s more to the story there. It’s…possible that my mother might believe that I’m already married.”

“Why would she think that?” Sarah exclaimed.

“Possibly – maybe - because that’s what I told her? She thinks Nathan and I are coming up on our 13th anniversary real soon. But honestly, what was I supposed to do? She’d never have put up with our 14-year engagement, and I had to tell her something, so I just told what I wanted the truth to be. And look at me now! I think she’ll understand; the real trouble’ll be explaining away the kids!” Adelaide said.

“Kids?” Sarah said, more loudly than she’d meant to. Her eyebrows had shot up.

“Ah, never mind that. Tell me more about yourself! I want to know more about the girl who got Sky Masterson of all people to settle down. I never saw a man less likely to marry, and I was engaged for 14 years, so I think I know a little something about guys not settling down!” Adelaide said.

Sarah pondered for a minute, then said: “Well, what do you want to know? I feel as if I’m an open book. I feel as if I’d been working towards being a missionary my whole life, and now that’s still my life, but with the wonderful addition of marriage. Oh my, that’s got to be the most uninteresting answer. I’m afraid I don’t quite know what to say!”

Perhaps seeing that her efforts were not going over well, Miss Adelaide looked around and dragged Sarah into the first restaurant she saw. Seeing the look on Sarah’s face, she quickly said, “I am just starving. If I don’t get something to eat, I’m not sure I’m going to make it to any of the shops! Do you mind if we stop in here?”

Sarah was skeptical, but figured it’d be easier to chat here than while shopping. And if Miss Adelaide was so determined to build up their friendship, who was she to stand in the way? If she couldn’t bond with her over loving former gamblers (assuming Nathan Detroit could accurately be put in that category now), then what was friendship even made of these days?

“So, if you don’t have much to share, that leaves me to talk about myself!” Adelaide began.

“Well, first, I always knew I wanted to be on stage, and I moved to New York from Rhode Island to do it. I knew it wasn’t going to happen in Rhode Island. My first week in town I had ten auditions and nine of them laughed me out of the room. Anyway, someone did take a chance on me and they clearly haven’t regretted it.” Adelaide smiled as she said this and paused while they placed their order for strudel.

“It took me a few years to get from chorus girl to lead, but of course I can’t complain about that. Some of the girls never even make it to where I am; I’m a lucky, lucky girl in many ways,” Adelaide continued.

“When did you meet Nathan Detroit?” Sarah asked.

“Oh, Nathan! He came to the Hot Box one night and from there it was history! Well, sort of. He kinda has to grow on you, you know? But now he’s my everything – and finally my husband!” Adelaide said.

“Anyway, at that point my goals changed – well - to say they changed is not entirely accurate. Obviously I’d been dreaming of having a family for as long as I can remember – that’s just what you do, right? - but before I fell in love, the performing was all I really thought about. Love does change everything - as I’m sure you’ve figured out,” she said, winking at Sarah, “- but I’m eternally grateful for Nathan’s appreciation of my career; I will be dancing until they force me out. Now I just need to work on Nathan’s career.”

Sarah felt like she had to chime in.

“I actually have had success with reforming my own husband, so I fully have faith in your efforts. Please let me know if there’s anything I or Obadiah can do in saving Nathan from his sinning and evil ways – “

Sarah stopped abruptly with the realization that she may have overstepped, but Adelaide just laughed it off.

“Oh, I know he’ll always be a sinner in some way, but as long as I’ve gotten him to stop with the darn craps games, I’ll consider myself a success,” said Adelaide.

Their food arrived as Adelaide finished speaking, and there was silence at the table briefly as they ate. Sarah felt she’d reached a greater understanding of Adelaide, and found herself looking forward to the day of shopping that lay ahead.

“Well,” Adelaide began after they had paid, “now that I’ve talked about myself for a good long while – which I’d like to say I am more than happy to do - it’s time to talk about something almost as interesting – clothing! And don’t think I’ve forgotten about my question to you, Sister Sarah; I intend to hear all about the story of you and Sky Masterson today. Are you ready?“

“I am,” Sarah said, “as long as you’re ready to tell me the best places to shop here in New York. As you said, my look tends to stay the same, but I’ve hardly even ventured out to the shops here as I’m too overwhelmed by the options.”

Adelaide laughed loudly and said, “You are talking to exactly the right person. Let’s go!”

The two women linked arms and went outside, and Sarah felt relieved in the knowledge that she had a new friend and confident that the new friendship would make her life infinitely more interesting.