By John Barth
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Plus he needed to locate himself a brand new secretary," trim younger Mrs. Matthews cherished so as to add, "once his workplace squeeze grew to become his trophy wife"—and his unofficial deputy account supervisor, dealing with regimen portfolio transactions from her personal workplace of their Stratford residence, "where regrettably i cannot regulate him. " yet "Eew, mother! " Tiffany Barnes is exclaiming within the kitchen of 414 Doubler force, the place she's ladling extra fats off the osso buco broth. "Even with out this glop, the stuff's so greasy! " "Delicious, though," her mom insists. "And we purely have it a pair instances a 12 months. " "We have it just a couple occasions a year," her just-arrived different daughter corrects her. An English significant herself, Ashleigh loves to seize her family's slips in grammar and utilization, in particular her English-teacher mother's. sufferer Judy rolls her eyes. "Dad says I should still open a cabernet to respire ahead of dinner," the woman then provides. "He'll be up in a minute. he is doing stuff within the storage. " "Just take a flavor of this marrow," Judy invitations either women, indicating a very huge cross-section of shank bone within the casserole, it really is middle of brown marrow totally an inch in diameter, "and inform me it is not the main scrumptious factor you ever ate. " "Ee-e-ew! " her daughters refrain in unison. Then Tiffany (who's taking an optionally available path at Fenton known as The Bible As Literature that her secular mom frowns at as a left-handed method of sneaking faith into the curriculum, even though she particularly re spects the colleague who is instructing it) provides, "Think now not of the marrow? " Judy chuckles proudly; Ashleigh groans on the pun, musses her sister's hair, and is going to the wine rack to seem for cabernet sauvignon, making a song a retaliatory pun of her personal that she'd visible on a bumper decal past within the week: "Life is a ca-ber-net, outdated pal ... " Sipping similar part an hour later with a store-bought duck pâté within the lounge, the place a faux log crackles convincingly within the glass-shuttered hearth, "So bet who simply received that apartment on the a long way finish of Spartina courtroom? " Joe Barnes asks his spouse. "Mark and Mindy Matthews! " "Mindy," Ashleigh scorns, no longer for the 1st time: "What a lame identify! " even though basically nineteen, she's allowed nowadays to take part a pitcher of wine along with her mom and dad at cocktail time and one other part at dinner, due to the fact that they be aware of rather well that she beverages along with her university associates and think that she's much less more likely to binge out like too a lot of them on beer and difficult liquor if, as in such a lot ecu families, the average intake of wine with dinner is a kinfolk customized. Tiffany, having helped with the osso buco, has withdrawn to the sisters' bed room and her notebook computer till the meal is served. "That ranch apartment? " Judy asks. "Why could the Matthewses change their great position in Stratford for a run-of-the-mill ranch condo? " Her husband swirls his wine, the higher to aerate it. "Because, one, Mark's procuring himself a cabin cruiser and needs a waterfront position to compliment it. And, , by the point they circulation in it will be no run-of-the-mill ranch residence, think me.