Genre: Young Adult
CONTEXT: Jen is dating Alexander. She's meeting his father for the first time.
Alex’s father looked nothing like a mob boss. His cheeks were a rosy red, his hair thin and graying, his smile big and toothy—with a single gap in the front. Were it not for the nearest tables packed with eight burly bodyguards, she could be fooled into thinking he was any man meeting his son’s new girlfriend.
“Oh, look at this hair… You are punk rocker!” he announced, thrusting up his forefinger and pinky, pretending to bob his head to music.
“Dad!” Alex cried, bright red.
But Mr. Petrovich just giggled along to his joke. Jen – who’d never expected the menacing mob boss to giggle – started laughing, too.
“It’s her hair color, Dad,” Alex said, flustered.
Jen took pity on him, and grinned so he’d realize she hadn’t been offended. “A lot of people think it’s hair dye.”
“Ah…” Mr. Petrovich leered at her. “You know what they say of red-haired women? They are very passionate. And have very great tempers.”
“Dad…” Alex sputtered.
“Alex’s mother—there was a woman of great temper, too.”
“Dad, come on!”
“This son of mine,” Mr. Petrovich said indulgently, beaming proudly between his embarrassed son and Jen. “My Alex, he is talking of you all summer. Saying this girl is pretty and this girl is making me laugh…”
Jen felt herself flushing this time. Mr. Petrovich chuckled merrily at the discomfort of his companions and raised his drink in salute.