(The entire discussion is held in the stairwell leading to Max’s third floor lair with Max positioned on the top stair, me at the bottom.)
Cassie: By the way, what are you planning to wear to that Sweet Sixteen Party you’ve been invited to? That’s next weekend.
Max: By the way, you read my mail?
Cassie: I saw the invitation come through. I didn’t open it, but I knew what it was. I’m smart like that.
Cassie: Then I saw the invitation upstairs in your room…opened…on the floor….and I checked the date….while picking up some of your dirty clothes…also on the floor.
Cassie: Yea so. That’s a fancy steak place you’re going to and you’ll need a new dress shirt. We’re going to have to go shopping.
Max: Oh God.
Cassie: Yea….well. Every time we get you a shirt for one event, you outgrow it by the next event, so….
Max: (somewhat proudly) Yea.
Cassie: Another thing….what do you get the girl for a birthday gift?
Max: A gift? Oh yea. I’ll have to ask around about that.
Cassie: Well….gather your intel and report back to me ASAP because I don’t want to have to go to a mall ten minutes before you need to be at the restaurant.
Cassie: Well…in the past–
Max: I know, I know. (Pause) Can Dad just bring me? You know, shopping?
Cassie: (slightly hurt) Of course. But you’d better have a plan all worked out about the gift. Dad won’t be able to handle that. He has trouble with gift strategy. Is she your girlfriend?
Max: No!!! Gawd!
Cassie: Just thought I’d ask…since I’m usually the last to know.
Max: No need to get pissy. I’d just prefer to shop with Dad, because it’s more peaceful.
Max: Yea. There’s no talking.
Cassie: You don’t speak?
Max: Not much.
Cassie: You don’t discuss the size or style or color? How do you communicate? Grunt?
Max: Or nod. I pick out the stuff and he pays. Simple.
Cassie: It’s simple?
Max: It is.
Cassie: I see. (Pause) I could be silent and simple. Shopping with you.
Max: Umm. I don’t think so. Also, we’re like really quick. We don’t worry about options and a gazillion choices.
Cassie: I can be a very quick shopper.
Max: Not as quick as Dad.
Cassie: Pfft. Well, get it all organized with Dad then. For this weekend. And figure out the gift for your non-girlfriend.
Max: (sighing) Will do.