Brad Meets The Families

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Brad Meets The Families

Back in the living room, Brad reveals that he's the owner of four bars, and jokes that it's "more of a family-friendly business," and then has to explain that he's joking. Prof. Browne and Stepmom both look like someone farted -- like, cabbage farted -- and Stepmom's like, "Let's eat!" Okay, honestly? Maybe if Bettina is in AA, or comes from a Southern Baptist background, a bar owner isn't a great choice of husband for her, but for educated people to act all scandalized? It's like the inevitable scene in a Wharton novel when one of the gossipy tertiary characters lowers her voice to confide, "She's an actress, you know," and everyone else polishes their pince nezes uncomfortably -- where is Bettina's father from, 1913? Not everyone wants to bother with college; not everyone can afford college, Dr. Snobfest.

Stepmom is snotty about the bar thing in an interview, then quizzes Brad about it at the picnic table. He explains about the late nights and "cash transactions," and says there's a "stigma" that goes with the business, but it's done well "for my family and I." And on first viewing, I thought Prof. J. Browne said, "Me." Like, correcting Brad's English, which is a dick move and wouldn't have surprised me at all, but on second thought, I think he's just clearing his throat in an attempt not to laugh uncomfortably at this plebe. Which…is a dick move and doesn't surprise me at all.

Bradterview: These people don't think I'm good enough; I feel judged.

In the kitchen, Stepmom gets bitchy about Brad clearing the table; Prof. Browne interviews that Brad isn't what he'd choose for Bettina, "and the fact is, her first husband was a wonderful, wonderful man. And she will never find anybody who's any better…" He shrugs. "Love is blind." God, what a jackass. And a weirdo! You love her ex so much, why don't you marry him since he's single now? Jerkweed!

Out in the garden, Prof. Browne asks Bettina why she would "choose this." "That's a good question," Bettina says. No, it isn't, Bettina. It's obnoxious and manipulative. Prof. Browne starts to say he wishes Brad had a PhD, and instead of telling him that she's an adult and also that he's being rude, Bettina makes the mistake of stooping to his level and argues that many of the people she knows "in real life" don't have college degrees, including one of his own daughters. She thinks she's scored a point, but Prof. Browne just looks pained at the reminder, probably because he pushed said daughter out to sea on an ice floe, or whatever it is people like him do when their children don't live up to their arbitrary standards. "Young lady, your Eliot paper was derivative and riddled with footnoting errors. We will be enjoying some cucumber sandwiches at the faculty club; you and your trifling intellect may stand outside by the bicycle racks."

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