Pam: “So when am I going to meet your father?”
Carol: “You don’t want to meet my father.”
Pam: “I don’t?”
Carol: “Take my word for it.”
Carol: “My father is old fashioned. Extremely so.”
Pam: “So what do you do?”
Carol: “I spend my life collecting perfect days. Like this one.”
Pam: “What would be imperfect about meeting your father?”
Carol: “It just would.”
Pam: “I’ll let you meet my dad if you’ll let me meet yours.”
Carol: “I don’t have a dad. I have a father.”
Pam: “Then I will meet your father and it will be a perfect day.”
Carol: “Would you do that for me?”
Pam: “I would do that for us.”
The next morning the two of them drove the long drive south to see Carol’s father. It was a warm spring day. They did not run the air conditioner. They rolled down the windows and let the wind blow through their hair. They stopped and had lunch at one of the several Cracker Barrel’s along the interstate. Then they drove, laughing and giggling. Every so often a little worry sneaked into Carol’s laugh. She tried to hide it from Pam but Pam could tell. Pam didn’t mention it. She didn’t want to spoil the perfect day.
Carol’s father met the two women at his door. Later after he grilled some hamburgers, the three went into the living room. Carol’s father, Marv, sat down facing the two of them.
“So, Carol, you want to know what I think?”
“Yes.” There was fear in her voice. “I do.”
“Well, Pam seems nice enough. But I am a bit disappointed.”
“Here it comes,” Carol said under her breath.
“You mean I spent all that money, raising you, putting you through college. You go out and can’t even make a living with that major of yours. I mean, c’mon. Political science. You’re still working at that retail job you’ve had for five years and you’re only making minimum wage. Then you go and waste yourself by marrying a…” He couldn’t finish the sentence. There was so much disappointment in it. “Your mother would be so disappointed. She expected better out of you.”
“Go ahead.” Carol’s voice was filled with the anger welling up from inside her. “Say the word.”
“What word?” Marv asked.
“You know, marrying a lesbian.”
“No,” Marv said, “marrying a writer. I’m sorry but I won’t be able to support the two of you.”