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Jun 02, 2020 4:40 AM
Imrainai in Gilead
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Nick, oblivious to this entire conversation, is shoveling meatloaf into his mouth. 

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- she really shouldn't respond to that, she should really just shut up.

"I think it's really important that that some people be able to focus on specifically feminine work. It's harder for some people, focusing on really small-scale things like piano lessons and cooking a good meal, but - I think it's really important that someone be making sure that those things keep happening. And it's good to be able to think in terms of asking where God most wants you, and not where you'd most like to be."

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Fred laughs. "Oh, I agree with that, you can't be married to Serena Joy Waterford for ten years and not agree with that. It's just-- has Serena not told you who she is?"

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"...maybe not?"

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"Serena used to be a bestselling author! Courtship, homemaking, parenting, education, relationships, sex-- that last one was a bit awkward! She paid for the down payment on this place."

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"Oh, wow." And now she does remember the name. "That's very impressive."

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"It is not appropriate for a woman to teach men."

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"Then I'm glad you've decided to teach women."

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Serena's tone sounds like a warning. "I have not published a book in three years."

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For the first time in the conversation, Nick says something.

"They don't publish religious nonfiction written by women anymore. Too much risk that a man would read it."

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" - I meant I'm glad you're teaching me and tutoring refugees, ma'am. I appreciate it, and I'm sure they do, too. I'm sorry if it sounded like I was saying anything else."

Should've shut up in the first place.

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"So," Fred says, "how about those Angels? I can't believe they lost to the Revelations, we are not going to make the playoffs this year."

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"That's too bad," says Keturah, as neutrally as she can.

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Fred single-handedly maintains an entire conversation about sports! Which is pretty impressive, because Serena Joy doesn't care about sports and Nick doesn't talk. 

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This actually is pretty impressive, even though she doesn't care about sports at all either.

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Fred has a Lot of practice!

After dinner they have Family Board Games. 

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Oh boy. This could be either possibly fun or really terrible, depending largely on the games.

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"Let's let our newest family member choose!"

The games include: chess, Narnia stratego, normal Trivial Pursuit, Bible Trivial Pursuit, Settlers of Catan, and Prayer Warrior. 

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Choices, choices.

Chess will likely result in her being destroyed, but if anyone in the family is good at it that might involve opportunities to form more solid social bonds via tutoring and make sure people don't totally hate her. Normal Trivial Pursuit probably involves lots of pop culture questions that she won't know, and it looks bad to pick it before Bible Trivial Pursuit. If she picks Bible Trivial Pursuit then she will be destroyed and everyone will take this as morally significant. She doesn't know what Prayer Warrior is. Settlers of Catan is pure and good but also doesn't involve many opportunities for forming more solid social bonds. 

Narnia Stratego is her favorite game (if you play without the Narnia rules, anyway), and she will probably crush all opposition if she plays it.

"Oh, thank you. If you're sure. Does anyone like Stratego?"

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"I love Stratego! Good or evil?"

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Serena picks up a book. To her mind, if she scheduled Family Board Game Night, then her duty was executed and she definitely did not have to participate in it. 

 

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"You can be good the first time. It's a purely aesthetic choice unless we're playing with the special powers."

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"Oh, we always play with special powers! --No takebacks."

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Special Narnia powers have no place in any Stratego game; they reveal where the characters are too quickly, and they make the game unbalanced by giving the good side straightforwardly more and better powers. (Which is, to be fair, sometimes fun when you're playing with someone younger or worse than you and you want to give yourself something of a challenge.)

She has them all memorized and is going to crush Fred anyway.

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