Before dinner, they sit in the living room waiting for Granny. She is making lasagna, and it is best to leave her alone. The young man sits on the couch next to Lauren, holding her left hand in his right as they watch TV. He runs his index finger around the small $600 diamond he has bought her at Zales. She has declared it perfect; he has declared it as not nearly enough but all he can do.
Granny pads into the room wearing a sauce-splattered apron. “I think we’re ready.”
They stand and start toward the kitchen, but Granny doesn’t turn yet.
“I didn’t have any green vegetables, but I have some really nice red potatoes. So I baked those too.”
“Ok, Granny,” says the young man.
He looks at Lauren, and she smiles broadly. Lasagna and baked potatoes for dinner.
They move toward her, and now Granny stands in front of Lauren.
“You know, Laurie,” she says—no one has ever called her Laurie … “Laurie, you’re just beaut-ee-ful. Just beaut-ee-ful.” She puts her hands on Lauren’s cheeks and strokes them. “You remind me so much of that one girl. Oh what was her name? The one the president had so much trouble with.”
“Monica Lewinsky?” says the man.
“Yes! Monica! You’re beaut-ee-ful. Just like Monica.”
Lauren gives Gordon a side-eyed glance, but she smiles broadly and says, “Thank you!”
“Shall we eat?” says Granny.
“Sure,” says the man.