“Mom! Sarah’s parents are taking her. I want to go too!”… “Please,” she added as an afterthought.
I laughed out loud at my nine year old’s inchoate cunning. The peer pressure card had worked on me. “Alright, if precious Sarah’s parents are going, then…” I said through gritted teeth.
With nagging apprehension, I drove my daughter to this new entertainment attraction in our city that claimed to sell and buy bottled dreams. As I entered the exhibit, I realized the owners had outdone themselves in executing this far-fetched idea. The place resembled Disneyland in its extravagance and the Pentagon in its vastness. Hundreds of tents had been erected with large banners bearing illustrations of what was concealed inside: academic, inside joke, on a hunch, transcendental, surreal, spiritual, DoA and endless other categories. I meandered along a large tent with my daughter as I tried to decide the safer option between magic and pets.
“There is more to it than meets the eye, Mr. Jones.”
I whirled around to see a willowy redhead trying to charm a handsome man in a plush suit.
“It is not just about the luxury and decadence. But I suppose a man of your stature already has the means to experience these.” She pressed her body closer to his. “It is the forbidden pleasures that interest you. Yes?”
He flashed her an enigmatic smile and extricated himself from her grasp. “Only one thing interests me woman. Can you provide it?”
She smiled confidently back at him.
Her fake smile turned nastier as she grasped him by the arm once again. She turned to give me a look that said plaintively, “I know you want it too but can you handle it?” before leading the gentleman away.
“Lilly, we are leaving.”
Without uttering a word of defiance, she turned towards the exit, gave me a reproachful look and started walking.
I wonder where she gets that ruthless honesty from.
“Honey wait!” I surrendered for the second time. “We will buy one but only after I have tested it myself.”
She seized the opportunity without wasting a breath. “Yes! So what do you want?”
…Continued in Part II