People need to work at establishing and maintaining relationships in order for them to be successful. David Ives’ Sure Thing shows this very well. Relationships cannot be based on words that have no thought behind them. Also, relationships cannot be one-sided; both sides have to work at keeping things together. When Bill talks to Betty, but has no energy or persistence behind what he is saying, he is quickly turned down. Betty is uninterested in Bill when he shows no energy in the conversation.
When Bill says, “I heard it’s great,” in reference to the book Betty is reading, he doesn’t show enough interest or forwardness in the conversation to keep it going. Not showing interest or not working to push the conversation on will usually run it into the ground. Every time both Bill or Betty talk and neither of them says something new, the conversation quickly ends. Both of them tend to wait for the other person to strike up conversation, or to say the next interesting thing.
The way that their conversations trail off shows that they are just waiting for the other to have the conversation for them. You can’t let the conversation come to you, and Ives shows this through how Betty and Bill interact with each other. In the play, both people say a few things that the other my not find interesting. Both sides of a relationship have to try to keep the other side interested in order to have a conversation that is comfortable and appealing to both sides.
When Bill trails off to comment that he sees no waiters around them, he turns back to see that Betty has already lost interest in him and has turned back to her book. “I beg pardon? ” she responds when Bill addresses her again. Most people want or require complete focus during a conversation to keep interested. Bill’s comment about the waiter made Betty feel like the secondhand part of the conversation. Also, the conversation usually drops when either of them says something that the other does not approve of or like.
When the person Betty is meeting at the cafe turns out to be her “husband”, or her “lover”, Bill instantly is done with the conversation. Also, when Bill mentions that he is a democrat, Betty loses interest in him then. At some points in the play, neither Bill nor Betty think about what they are currently saying or are about to say. When Betty asks Bill if he has read the book that she is reading, he replies with, “I’m a Mets fan, myself. ” Because Bill carelessly did not think about what he was saying or as going to say, Betty lost interest and didn’t even care to respond. If you don’t think about the words that you are saying then it tends to sound as if you don’t really care. Not lying is also important. You can’t expect to tell a lie to someone you want to start a relationship with and think they will never find out. When Bill says he lied about going to college, Betty stops talking to him. Thinking about what you are saying and not lying can have a big impact on how good your conversation turns out.
David Ives shows all of these things throughout his play and shows just how difficult it is to establish and maintain a relationship. Ives shows that without the right communication and hard work, your conversation and chances could quickly run out. Both Betty and Bill have to work tremendously hard to say all of the right things. Sure Thing illustrates that it is near impossible to have a perfect conversation. Ives shows how much work is needed to come by the happy ending that Betty and Bill had and that it is not an easy thing to come by.