Surrounded by the luxury of Tiffany’s house, Sara was intimidated into near-speechlessness, managing only an occasional small sound to acknowledge Tiffany’s nonstop talking. Her new friend’s monologue slipped from designer shoes to gluten-free diets to the oh-so-muscular gardener with barely a transition, but finally she stopped to take a sip of her wine. Sara realized that she was expected to speak. Frantically searching for a suitable topic, she picked up a bud vase from the table and bent her head over the roses. “These smell l-lovely,” she said.

Tiffany burst out laughing. “Aren’t you adorable!” she said. “They’re totally plastic.”

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