“I don’t like that one either,” pronounces the boy, as his father holds a plain, crewneck sweater.
“Are you going to like anything?” He’d vetoed twenty.
“Sweaters are for fancy boys.”
“Okay, I understand with the argyle ones, but this is hunter green. Hunter. Nothing fancy-boy about that.”
“Why can’t I just wear my hoodie?”
“Because sometimes in life you have to be fancy. Meeting daddy’s friend Lorraine is one of those times. She’s taking us to a fancy restaurant. Isn’t that cool?”
“I’d rather go to a place we like.”
“Lorraine wants it to be special. She wants you to like her.”
“Well, I don’t like Lorraine.”
“Now, how do you know that without meeting her?”
He plays at the carpeting with the toe of his sneaker.
“Daniel. What makes you think you won’t like Lorraine?”
He looks at everything around him except his dad, even checks out a sweater. Finally, “Does she make you eat things you don’t wanna eat?”
“Huh? No. Why?”
“She likes to eat smelly cheese.”
“How do you know what kind of cheese she likes?”
“I find wrappers in the trash, and little scraps. Always after I have a sitter. So I know you see Lorraine and then bring her back after I’m asleep and she makes you eat fancy cheese, not the orange stuff we like.”
Now the father is quiet.
“She changes you, makes you fancy. Mom liked our kind of cheese. I don’t want to change. Or you.”