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Quotes for
Melissa Steadman (Character)
from "Thirtysomething" (1987)

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"Thirtysomething: Be a Good Girl (#2.15)" (1989)
Hope Murdoch Steadman: Excuse me, but Janey would like to see her aunt Melissa. Immediately.
Melissa Steadman: Immediately? Oh, God! What a pushy kid. All right, I'm coming. Start getting cute!
[Michael looks at Hope, seeing her expression. It has only been a week since her miscarriage]
Michael Steadman: [hugging her, reassuring] Okay.

Elaine Steadman: Listen, I really gotta go. That traffic is going to be murder.
Melissa Steadman: [reluctantly] Listen, you want me to help with her, I'll help.
Elaine Steadman: Yeah?
Elaine Steadman: [after Melissa nods] Great. Okay, where are the keys, eh?
Melissa Steadman: [looking around] They're in your hand, Mom.
Elaine Steadman: [seeing her keys in her own hand] Right.

Melissa Steadman: [going through some old clothes with Ellyn] I can't throw anything out.
Ellyn Warren: You gotta be ruthless. Not everything old has value, Melissa. Some things are just old. You and I, for example, are old and have value. These cookies... 'Good until June of '87'? Are merely old.

Melissa Steadman: [handing the drink over] Here you go, Aunt Muriel.
Aunt Muriel: [kissing Melissa loudly] Oh, thanks, sweetheart.
Aunt Cookie: You look lovely, dahling.
Melissa Steadman: Thanks, Aunt Cookie.
Aunt Muriel: But you're missing an earring, hon.
Melissa Steadman: Oh, I'm not. There's only one.
Aunt Cookie: Did you check the car seat?
Melissa Steadman: [patiently] There's only one.
Aunt Muriel: I'll tell you what. We'll keep an eye open for it.
Melissa Steadman: [smiling politely] Thanks. I really appreciate that.

Elaine Steadman: [adjusting the thermostat] Dinner's ready.
Rose Waldman: [cranky, to Elaine] What are you doing?
Elaine Steadman: Mother, this house is like a freezer.
Rose Waldman: It's an oven. Turn it down.
Elaine Steadman: Mother, people are sitting in their coats.
Rose Waldman: [turning to Melissa] You said it was hot.
Melissa Steadman: Me? No, I didn't! I -!
Rose Waldman: [to Elaine] See?
Elaine Steadman: [having had enough] Please.

Rose Waldman: Where's Murray? I want my highball.
Elaine Steadman: You're not going to have a highball. We're just going to go in and eat, Mother!
Rose Waldman: I always have a highball before I eat!
Elaine Steadman: But it's not good for you. You know what the doctor said.
Rose Waldman: Elaine, you stop trying to tell me what's good for me!
Elaine Steadman: Please! Why would I poss -?
Murray Steadman: [stepping in with genuine affection] Look at the three of you. I want a picture.
Melissa Steadman: Oh! What a good idea. I'll take it.
Rose Waldman: Why?
Melissa Steadman: Why? Why? Nana, it's what I do.
Rose Waldman: [sarcastically] It's what she does.
Melissa Steadman: Yeah.
Rose Waldman: When am I going to see one of your pictures in Life magazine?
Melissa Steadman: When Ed Sullivan goes back on the air.
Elaine Steadman: Darling, I have got a pot roast that's turning to leather.
Melissa Steadman: Mom...
Rose Waldman: [to Elaine] How would you know?
Elaine Steadman: Oh, Mother, please! This is too much.
Melissa Steadman: Would you shut up and pose? Come on. Go over by the chair.
Elaine Steadman: [indignant] 'Shut up and pose'? Really! This is unbelievable. All right, I'm sorry!
Melissa Steadman: Daddy? You be me.
Murray Steadman: I'll need an earring.

Melissa Steadman: She was never, you know, your standard perfect pie-crust grandma. I used to go to her store after school? She'd drop whatever she was doing. We'd go for ice cream or we'd go for a walk. Or she'd say, 'C'mon, let's get outta here. We'll go to the movies and hit the Chinaman. My treat.' I was fat. I looked like uh... Little Lotta. I didn't have any friends. But she was my friend.
Hope Murdoch Steadman: [putting a reassuring arm across Melissa's shoulders] She'll be okay.
Melissa Steadman: [changing the subject, eyeing the dessert fixings] This is dessert? Make Your Own Sundae? You're reading Readbook again, Hope.
Hope Murdoch Steadman: I'm a busy woman. You want wedding cake? Get married.
[Michael makes a sympathetic frown as he and Nancy listen to their exchange fondly]
Melissa Steadman: [to them] Help yourself.

Mrs. Hyman: The usual thing, Rose.
Rose Waldman: What?
Mrs. Hyman: I can't decide. I'll be back with a friend.
Rose Waldman: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Melissa! I got an idea.
Melissa Steadman: [coming into dressing area] Yeah.
Rose Waldman: This is my granddaughter, Melissa. This is Mrs. Hyman.
Melissa Steadman: Hi.
Mrs. Hyman: You're missing an earring, dear.
Melissa Steadman: [clearly tired of explaining it] I'm looking for it.
Rose Waldman: [knowingly] What are you going to do with all the earrings you've lost?
Melissa Steadman: [sharing the joke] Make a bracelet.

Melissa Steadman: C'mon. C'mon. Put on your slippers.
Rose Waldman: Why should I put on my slippers? Is Paul Newman coming over?
Melissa Steadman: Oh, yeah. He's gonna bring you his salad dressing.
Elaine Steadman: [coming in with a bowl of soup] Here's your soup, Mother. It's your recipe.
Rose Waldman: Okay, thank you.
Rose Waldman: [sniffing at the soup and looking up doubtfully] Are you sure this is my recipe?
Elaine Steadman: [patient] Yes.
Rose Waldman: [handing the bowl of soup to Melissa but taking one cracker] Oh, I'll have a cracker.
[Elaine bends down to gather up some magazines]
Rose Waldman: [impatient] Elaine, please! Stop bouncing around! You're like a Mexican jumping bean. Relax. Have a cracker!

Elaine Steadman: All right. All right, but if she goes near a cigarette, I want you to call me immediately.
Melissa Steadman: I'll call you!
Elaine Steadman: You're positive this is all right?
Melissa Steadman: She's gonna be fine. Okay?
Elaine Steadman: Yeah?
Elaine Steadman: [hugging Melissa] All right, sweetheart.
Melissa Steadman: She's gonna be fine.
Melissa Steadman: [watching Elaine begin to look for her keys] Mom, your keys are in your hand.
Elaine Steadman: [seeing them] I knew that.

Ellyn Warren: [considering Melissa's suit and buttoning up the coat] Great. Uh, do you have jury duty or something?
Melissa Steadman: No, I have to go to my grandmother's store. I told her I'd work there for a few days till she gets back on her feet.
Ellyn Warren: Oh, that's nice. Is she okay?
Melissa Steadman: Oh, yeah. She's fine. I'm completely wiped out.
Ellyn Warren: [checking Melissa's 'look' and deciding to unbutton the jacket again] No...
Melissa Steadman: I was up with her all last night because I was over there.
Ellyn Warren: Oh, God.
Melissa Steadman: [standing back, about the jacket] Open?
Ellyn Warren: [looking her over, approving] Open.

Melissa Steadman: Ellyn, listen. Uhm. A lot of stuff's been coming up for me lately.
Ellyn Warren: Oh, I know. It must be really hard with your family and all, huh?
Melissa Steadman: Well, you know, it really has to do with your project.
Ellyn Warren: Oh, that's okay. Just show me what you did the other day.
Melissa Steadman: Well, see, it's about the prints, I didn't have time to print.
Ellyn Warren: [clearly displeased] Oh. Okay.
Melissa Steadman: Well, I told you about last night, right?
Ellyn Warren: No, no. I know, I know, I know.
Melissa Steadman: It's not about last night...
Ellyn Warren: [a bit gruffly] Well, do you have time to do it now?
Melissa Steadman: [pacing nervously] No. Uhm. It's just that, well, they moved the magazine's deadline up. You know, the piece I was doing? So I had to prep the shoot, do the shoot, get the proofs done, turn them in... so I haven't had time to print, but I called Russel to see if he could do it.
Ellyn Warren: When can he do it?
Melissa Steadman: Well, he can do it next week, if that's not too late. I mean, if that's all right.
Ellyn Warren: Uhm. I just have to think.
Melissa Steadman: And if it's not, just say the world, and I'll...
Ellyn Warren: No, I just have to think...
Ellyn Warren: [after a clear moment of stress, looking up and smiling] Yeah. It's all right. Because, uh, this is exactly what I've been trying to work on in my therapy. This is the kind of thing that would get me into trouble before, you know? Not being able to 'roll with the punches' as it were?
Melissa Steadman: Well, if it's not, you know, I can come home tonight. I can do it tonight, you know? I could stay up late and do it.
Ellyn Warren: No, no, it's really... Melissa... well... why didn't you just say 'no'?
Melissa Steadman: I don't know.
Melissa Steadman: [thinking about it] You're my friend. I didn't want to let you down.

Rose Waldman: Melissa...
[Rose looks at her granddaughter for a long time, clearly wanting to say something to her, but thinks better of it in the end]
Rose Waldman: Happy Birthday, darling!
Melissa Steadman: Happy Birthday, Nana.
Rose Waldman: Do you know how much I love you?
Melissa Steadman: I know how much, Nana.

Michael Steadman: Oh, Melissa. I don't know how you do it. It's like you're totally honest with everybody but your family. Then you just, unzip your skin, hang it next to Rose's mink, and out steps this completely different person, who isn't you.
Melissa Steadman: Who is she then?
Michael Steadman: She's like this really good girl. Who doesn't see the truth.
Melissa Steadman: And what is that?
Michael Steadman: There's this old bat, sitting on a throne, running everybody's life, only now she can't even run her own. But she yells 'limbo' and the whole room starts dancing. I mean, look at your mom. Look at... You gotta face her, Melissa. Worse thing that can happen, she turns you to stone, right? Right?
[Melissa leaves without saying anything. But she stops to look at Michael through his office window. He blows her a kiss and waves. She blows him a kiss and waves back]

Melissa Steadman: Nana, really. I'd really rather talk here.
Rose Waldman: Okay. Go on, go on. Talk, talk.
Melissa Steadman: Nana, what you want me to do. What you've offered me. It's incredible! The store. It's your life. I'll always be grateful that you wanted me to take it, that you saw me that way.
Rose Waldman: Melissa. I see you in this business with me. Till I die, and then it's yours. I was rich a long time ago. I could have stopped, but I didn't. I had to get this ready to give to someone.
Melissa Steadman: But you've given me so much already. How can I ever thank you?
Rose Waldman: I don't want you to thank me. I want to help you.
Melissa Steadman: I don't need you to help me.
Rose Waldman: Yes, you do. I know what's good for you.
Melissa Steadman: Nana, the store, it's... I wouldn't be happy. It's not my life.
Rose Waldman: [laughing sarcastically] Your life? What's your life? You snap a few pictures, you live like a bum, you dress like a freak. Do you have a meaningful relationship? A husband? A family? Oh. You want to be free. Independent. Great! But you don't fool me, Melissa. You never have. I wouldn't be who I am if I didn't know what is best for the people I love!
Melissa Steadman: You don't know what's best for me.
Rose Waldman: Yes I do.
Melissa Steadman: [having had enough] You didn't do this for me, Rose. You did it for you. You don't know me. You've never known me. You never have. You can have this. All of it! I love you, Nana. But you can't have me!
Rose Waldman: [stopping Melissa on her way out] Okay. Tomorrow I change my Will. And you'll have nothing. But you'll be happy, and I want you to be happy. I'll be dead, and you'll have nothing! Do you hear me, Melissa? Melissa! Melissa! Melissa...!

Melissa Steadman: [responding to the knock at the door] Who is it?
Elaine Steadman: It's me.
[Elaine enters a darkened loft. Her voice comes from the dark]
Elaine Steadman: What are you doing? You're boycotting the electric company?

Melissa Steadman: I told her I didn't want the store. She had a heart attack.
Elaine Steadman: Honey, the last three months have been one long heart attack.
[Melissa falls back on her bed to stare at the ceiling]
Elaine Steadman: Melissa? Melissa, what happened tonight has nothing to do with you.
Melissa Steadman: But I still feel like it's my fault.
Elaine Steadman: Because you stood up for yourself?
Melissa Steadman: [sitting back up] I always knew one day we'd have to deal with the store. I used to think if all else failed that, you know, I could fall back on that. But all else has failed lots of times and... it's just that the store isn't my life.
Elaine Steadman: Melissa, it's just not worth anything anymore. It's like a... it's like an old delicatessen where you go to have the waiters insult you. Daddy's been trying to get her to sell it for years.
Melissa Steadman: So why did she pick me? Why didn't she give it to you?
Elaine Steadman: I never gave her the chance. I never wanted it. I had Daddy. I had you. I never actually said 'no' to her. I still can't. Melissa, sometimes I'm just amazed at your courage.
Elaine Steadman: [Elaine pulls out a pack of cigarettes. She looks at her daughter's expression] Don't tell Nana. She thinks I've stopped.
Melissa Steadman: [going over] Can I have one?
Elaine Steadman: I thought you stopped.
Melissa Steadman: I did.
Elaine Steadman: [handing her daughter a cigarette, disappointed] Oh, sweetheart.
[the two light up and smoke for a moment]
Elaine Steadman: What are we going to do about her?
Melissa Steadman: Do you realize this is the first time you're asking me instead of telling me?
Elaine Steadman: Really?
[the two continue to smoke in unison]
Elaine Steadman: So, what should we do about her?
Melissa Steadman: Beats me.
Elaine Steadman: [smiling] See? that's why I never asked you.

Elaine Steadman: What if something really happens to her?
Melissa Steadman: Then we'll deal with it.
Elaine Steadman: [stamping out her cigarette] I gotta go. I got six things to get for her. That traffic's gonna be murder.
Melissa Steadman: [she gets up to leave, stopping at the door to turn back] You know, I was thinking. Maybe you should have taken the store.
Melissa Steadman: Why?
Elaine Steadman: Then you could afford to buy another earring.
[the two exchange a sweet smile]
Melissa Steadman: Mom?
[Elaine Steadman turns back to look at her daughter]
Melissa Steadman: I love you.
[Elaine nods and heads out. Melissa gets up and removes her coat. She goes over and picks up a paint-roller and begins to paint the huge loading dock door of her loft]


"Thirtysomething: Post-Op (#3.13)" (1990)
Hope Murdoch Steadman: She didn't think it was anything. The doctor found it during a regular check-up.
Melissa Steadman: Oh my God. Nancy. Chemotherapy? Radiation? What?
Hope Murdoch Steadman: Yeah, probably some chemotherapy. I'm not sure.
Melissa Steadman: Did they know at the book party?
Hope Murdoch Steadman: Yep.
Melissa Steadman: [clearly in shock] My God. Nancy! What about the kids?
Hope Murdoch Steadman: I sat with the kids on Saturday.
Melissa Steadman: Anything we can do for them?
Hope Murdoch Steadman: No. I don't think so.

Gary Shepherd: Stage One C? What is that? Good or bad? What does that mean?
Melissa Steadman: It could be worse. It was very contained, but there were a small number of cells outside the ovary. Bad cells.
Michael Steadman: It means she has to have chemo.
Melissa Steadman: Yeah, mild course. Six to twelve cycles.
Gary Shepherd: Oh, God.
Melissa Steadman: She's going to be pretty sick.
Hope Murdoch Steadman: Well. How do you know all this?
Melissa Steadman: I called Vicky Mercer and Robby Schloss.
Michael Steadman: You called Robby Schloss?
Melissa Steadman: That's how scared I am.
Gary Shepherd: Oh, God. Poor Nancy!
Hope Murdoch Steadman: [visibly showing in her pregnancy] She must hate me every time she sees me.
Melissa Steadman: Oh, Hope.
Hope Murdoch Steadman: I mean she had a complete hysterectomy. They took out her ovaries and everything.
Melissa Steadman: They didn't want anymore kids, did they?
Gary Shepherd: Did they?
Hope Murdoch Steadman: I don't think so, but they took everything out and she still might die.


"Thirtysomething: Deliverance (#2.12)" (1989)
Nancy Krieger Weston: C'mon, you're telling me we can't get back to the car and there's no phone? Oh, man, Ethan is gonna go nuts. We have gotta figure out a way to get out of here.
Hope Murdoch Steadman: Oh, they'll figure it out.
Nancy Krieger Weston: You know what they're going to figure out? That we're dead on the highway is what they're going to figure out. Oh, this is so weird.
Ellyn Warren: Oh, you guys, I am so sorry. This is all my fault and I am really sorry.
Hope Murdoch Steadman: It's not your fault.
Ellyn Warren: Of course it's my fault. My God, I wouldn't go in the cave, I get us lost, now we can't even get back tonight. You're all mad, and I am really really sorry.
Nancy Krieger Weston: No, no, it's not that we're not mad, it's just something that happened.
Ellyn Warren: You should be mad. My God, I'm a jerk. Don't treat me like I'm some invalid child.
Melissa Steadman: [setting down hiking pack gruffly] Listen. Ellyn. We know where we are. Now we can either camp out here tonight and wait until the cave opens in the morning, or we can scream at you. Which do you want?
Ellyn Warren: I just want you to be honest with me, okay?
Melissa Steadman: Okay. It's your fault. Does that make you feel better?

Melissa Steadman: [having put money into a malfunctioning soda machine] Great.
Ellyn Warren: Sometimes if you bang it on the side...
Melissa Steadman: That never works.
Ellyn Warren: It does too, I do it all the time.
Melissa Steadman: It doesn't work.
Ellyn Warren: It does! God, just try it.
Melissa Steadman: The tilt light's gonna go on. You want something else? Get a different soda if you want.
Ellyn Warren: I don't want a different soda. Just hit it!
Melissa Steadman: You hit it!
Ellyn Warren: [hitting the soda machine] Oh, God, you're such a wimp. Ow.
Melissa Steadman: I'm a wimp?
Ellyn Warren: Yeah, and you're arrogant.
Melissa Steadman: Yeah, and you're a pain in the butt.
Ellyn Warren: Yeah? Well you're too competitive and you always need to be the boss.
Melissa Steadman: I do not.
Ellyn Warren: You do too.
Melissa Steadman: I do not.
Ellyn Warren: You do too.
Melissa Steadman: I have to be the boss? I have never been a boss my whole life.
Ellyn Warren: Yes, you're worse than Michael.
Melissa Steadman: [truly offended] Worse than Michael?
Ellyn Warren: [cracking a smile] I'm afraid so.
Melissa Steadman: [strangling Ellyn] Worse than Michael?
Ellyn Warren: [laughing] Okay, okay. Almost as bad.
Melissa Steadman: That's more like it. And I don't get blisters.


"Thirtysomething: Fighting the Cold (#4.15)" (1991)
Prof. Gary Shepherd: Oh. Whenever I try to take pictures of the moon it always ends up looking like a street lamp in a parking lot.
Melissa Steadman: Well, you don't know the secret.
Prof. Gary Shepherd: What secret?
Melissa Steadman: Ansel Adams. Hernandez, New Mexico. Always remember the moon is a sunlit object. Expose accordingly.
Prof. Gary Shepherd: [rolling over to go back to sleep] Okay. Now I know the secret.
Melissa Steadman: [still taking pictures of the moon] Yep. You do.
Prof. Gary Shepherd: [stirring and looking back up] Were you... were you taking pictures of me just now when I was asleep?
Melissa Steadman: [sheepish] Sort of.
Prof. Gary Shepherd: Think they'll turn out?
Melissa Steadman: [shrugging] Don't know.
Prof. Gary Shepherd: [going back to sleep] Well, let me know if they do. But remember: Gary is a moonlit object. Expose accordingly.

Susannah Hart: You all had so much more of him. More time. More memories. I feel cheated. And, uhm, I think a part of me hates you for it. All of you. It's wrong. It'll change. But right now...
Melissa Steadman: You shouldn't have come up here telling me he loved me. I mean, we should have all been huddled around you saying you how much he loved you. He did love you. Really. I think more than anything. Gary can't lie. He's transparent when it comes to that. There's no way he can hide anything. He gets that idiotic grin on his face...
[realizing]
Melissa Steadman: ... present tense.
Susannah Hart: I'm so angry at him. He changed everything in my life. I used to know exactly what I wanted and how to get it. But Gary... I started to become this other person with him. Now? What am I going to do now? He changes you then he goes.
Melissa Steadman: [shaking her head] You changed him.


"Thirtysomething: Another Country (#3.12)" (1990)
Melissa Steadman: [watching as Nancy lays down on the floor and begins to stretch out her back] You okay, Nance?
Nancy Krieger Weston: Yeah, I'm fine. You know, it's just that I've gotta go to the dentist today, and then I have to go to the Art Center, and then pick up Ethan, and my back is conveniently out.
Melissa Steadman: Ooh. How's the pain? Is it, uhm, like stabbing and agonizing? Or is it more, you know, existential?
Nancy Krieger Weston: It's kinda both: agonizing and existential.
Melissa Steadman: Oh God, I know what you're going through.
Nancy Krieger Weston: You do?
Melissa Steadman: It can be really depressing. Cause you've succeeded.
Nancy Krieger Weston: Right.
Melissa Steadman: I mean, I never realized how happy I was being a failure until I became successful.
Nancy Krieger Weston: Right!


"Thirtysomething: Michael Writes a Story (#2.13)" (1989)
Michael Steadman: The clock over the door stood at 2.43. Harrison watched the progress of the minutes. The second hand moved with the thoughtlessness of an underwater plant, caught in a lethargic current. Harrison carefully arranged himself on the stool and listened to the sad, tubercular sighing of the coffee urn. Once again his eyes were drawn back to the clock.
Ivy Dunbar: [as a customer in the café Michael is writing about] Well, this isn't very interesting, is it?
Melissa Steadman: [as waitress] I don't understand. Michael used to be very imaginative.
Ivy Dunbar: I'm very disappointed. It lacks focus, intent, detail.
Gary Shepherd: [as customer reading a newspaper with no print on it] I'll say. Look at this. He's got me reading a blank newspaper!