Imagine you welcome your adult friends, Sharon and James, into your home for dinner. While you’re eating together and chatting amiably, you notice that James doesn’t take any of your cauliflower puree.
“James, you need to take at least one bite of the cauliflower puree,” you tell him.
Then, you notice Sharon is playing with her fried liver and trying to hide it under her pile of cauliflower puree.
“Don’t you like the liver, Sharon?” you ask her. “You’ll have to finish that liver, or you won’t get any of the chocolate cake I made for dessert.”
Of course, you don’t carry on this kind of talk at the table with other adults. We don’t openly scrutinize what our guests eat. We remain cheerful. We pretend we don’t notice and are mortified only inwardly if our adult friends reveal in some subtle way that they don’t like what we’ve cooked. Of course we…