This is a story about what it means to be a ‘Mary’. When her GRAN takes a fall, MEL returns for a visit to the childhood home where her sister MADDIE still lives. A chance remark by Gran causes the sisters to squabble over which one of them is actually the Mary and who’s the Martha. Mel is convinced the coveted role is hers – the granddaughter who chose going out into the world over a life of domestic drudgery. Maddie thinks she should be the Mary – she never got caught up in the busyness of being a high-flying executive. They decide to let Gran decide, each presenting her case. Only it turns out Gran just nick-named them Mary and Martha since they both had names starting with ‘M’. When pressed, she defends Martha – the one who did all the work while her sister sat there like a big lump. Maddie gets Gran to share one of her stories and when Mel takes the time to really listen to the older woman’s wisdom, she has to concede that maybe her sister has a point. Mel leaves in a more reflective mood, and makes a conscious decision to be more 'Mary'.
Predictably enough, the biblical story I’ve drawn from is the story of Mary and Martha from the Gospel of Luke. When I was thinking about what to pitch this year, it’s the story I kept coming back to because it speaks to me about a woman’s place in the world, expectations of women and how women tend to be judged for the choices they make. In my own experience, some of the harshest judgment comes from other women, perhaps because they feel insecure about the choices they themselves have made. In my story, two sisters represent the perspectives of a home-maker versus a woman in a high-powered job. There’s a bit of good old-fashioned sibling rivalry in the mix as well – nobody can press a woman’s buttons like her own sister!