And as the song reflects passionately on Nate's dilemma -- Control yourself/ Take only what you need from it -- Trip's fiancée Maureen joins Vanessa on a balcony overlooking the game. "I remember my first time here," she says sympathetically. "Intimidating." They introduce themselves, and Vanessa agrees with her statement. "I feel like a Republican at the Kennedy Compound!" (The dutiful reader will note that the comparisons of Vanessa Abrams to California's Austrian-born, uncouth governor do not end there.) Maureen reassures her possible future sister-in-law: "Oh, don't fret. Everyone loves you. They're probably already designing the campaign posters."
(A family of trees wanted/ To be haunted) Vanessa looks at her a moment, realizing that she's been trapped somehow, and asks her interlocutor to elaborate. "I assume you saw the Hall o' Governors? Politics is a van der Bilt birthright. And with Nate's charm, and your background..." Vanessa's lovely and multiethnic brows threaten to hurl themselves heavenward from her face, and she begs Maureen's pardon, but Maureen is unflappable and kind in her intentions: "Nate mentioned you're kind of an activist in your community. A documentary filmmaker?" Vanessa calms down, grateful for this evidence of our continuing development as a nation, and to her credit is able to evade the clutches of this flattery. For even one person to take her seriously as a "documentary filmmaker" surely rates this day high above all others, but never shall we let it be said that Vanessa couldn't look a gift horse in the mouth and come up with complaints about its carbon footprint.
"Oh, yeah. Well, I think you've been misinformed. The only thing Nate's ever voted for is American Idol." (And I would have said Carrie Underwood, for obvious reasons, but now I'm thinking Lambert, for obviouser ones.) Maureen smiles knowingly -- The memories, like looking through a fogged mirror -- and extends still more empathy: "Trip was the same way. He wanted to be an archaeologist in college, like Indiana Jones. Now he's Law Review at Yale..." -- and reader, forgive her, because that phrase is nonsense -- "...And about to clerk for the Supreme Court. Grandfather can be very persuasive." They turn again, to watch the game, and Vanessa reflects.
Decisions to Decisions are made and not bought
But I thought this wouldn't hurt a lot
Nate and Trip fight it out, Nate bursting forward suddenly ahead of all his kin, for a final touchdown. William claps his grandson on the back as he's grinning at Dan. "Welcome to the next thirty years," Maureen says proudly, and a little wistfully; Vanessa's lips grow tight, without a smile at all.
I guess not