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Dialog Flex: "Some things are worth holding on to."
Edward sat rubbing his temples, his face pinched. It appeared he suffered from a killer headache. Not that I would blame him, despite his excitement about the technological changes over the past two centuries, it was a lot to take in.
Also, we'd listened to music ranging from Beethoven to Eminem. Edward really liked Elvis, even though the hip gyrations embarrassed him. We didn't bother showing him gangsta rap videos, afraid they would send him into shock.
"So it appears as if society has improved in terms of feeding the poor, lessening our workload, but now denigrates manners and respect of women?" he asked as he rested his head in his hands, his elbows on his knees.
"Not true," I said. "We are moving away from prejudice and bigotry, although there are some holdouts. Many people around the world enjoy far greater freedoms and individual rights than ever before."
He shook his head and pointed to the last video we watched. "In that the singer, and I use the term loosely, said 'bros before hos', and you laughed. In my time, no man would ever use such language to describe the female population. Why do you allow yourself to be disrespected in such a vulgar fashion?"
Alice shrugged. "Language changes over time as well."
Edward tilted his head and a crease formed between his brows. "Does that word not mean what it meant in my time?"
Alice and I both shifted in our seats. "No, it still means the same thing," I said, heat flooding my face.
He shook his head again. "I am sorry I fail to understand, but when you fought for equal treatment did that mean you lowered your standards of what that treatment should be?" He sat up and crossed his arms. "While some changes are inspiring, others sadden me, because there are some things worth holding on to."
We all sat still for a moment, an embarrassed silence filling the room. Without any provocation that I could see, Alice giggled. When I gave her a look she waved a dismissive hand at me. "Don't get your undies in a bundle, I was thinking about what Edward said and decided that must be why you like all those Jane Austen books. Even when being rude to each other, they were polite about it."
I smiled back. "And it's probably why you're so hung up on Jasper, with all his southern charm and manners."
Alice winked at Carlisle. "And we all know Esme is the epitome of kindness and politesse."
I turned and smiled at Edward, who seemed to be relaxing. At least his arms were at his sides instead of rigid across his chest. "Most of the women I know would slap a guy down who called them whores."
Edward's face flushed. "And yet you use that term so loosely."
I laughed. "Trust me, it isn't as shocking today as it was. You'll find that many things have changed, but people are still people. That isn't any different."
He ran a hand through his hair and looked askance at my jeans. "I am sure I will adjust, but it will be difficult not to react to some things. I pray your patience."
Placing my hand on his arm, I said, "I'll give you all the time you need."
"As long as it includes dinner, so will I," Alice said, getting out of her seat. "I want to try that new restaurant. It's a drive, but I'm craving some really good sushi. Besides, after being stuck in the house for a couple days, I need to get away."
Edward's eyes went wide for a moment before he closed them, took a deep breath, let it out, and opened them to look at me again. "I take it ladies go to restaurants now?"
"Oh, most definitely," Carlisle said. "In fact, taking a woman out to eat is considered a requirement for dating. Er, courting."
"And how are we to pay the proprietor?" Edward asked. "I don't believe I have any coin."
"Don't worry about that," Alice said. "Bella makes loads of money."
Edward's head whipped around to stare at her, shock written large on his face. "You work?"
Oh, poor Edward.