Last night at dinner I commented on Max’s eyebrows.
Cassie: Your eyebrows are handsome, Max. Your face is so handsome…you have good eyebrows that bring out your eyes.
Max: Ummm…. (Silence. Then, avoiding my gaze, looking directly at Scott with eyeballs that seem to be rolling every which way) That’s just too…ummm…can I please be excused?
Scott: Sure. (Max clears his dishes from the dining room table and departs for the kitchen.)
Cassie: What?! (I say, looking at Scott) He’s handsome!
Scott: (In a hushed tone) Yea…well…word of advice. As we enter these troubling times of pre-adulthood with the boy, it’s probably best not to comment on anything having to do with body parts, overall looks, hair, facial hair or the lack thereof, pimples, voice changes or, you know eyebrows. No verbal observations on appearances whatsoever.
Cassie: I think he’s genuinely pleased when I compliment his trumpet playing or his card tricks…his photography. (Scott nods.) I’m his mother. I can say whatever I want.
Scott: Well…I’m just suggesting that he’ll probably be happiest if you appear to be ignoring him…you know, even if you’re not. It’s a touchy time. (Pause) And then there’s Chloe…to come. Christ. (Scott sips his red wine.)
Cassie: He used to adore me.
Scott: Those days are….
Cassie: I know. I know.
Scott: But what do you think of my eyebrows?