Have you ever socialized with a couple who couldn't help but to have raging, screaming arguments in front of you? Whether in a double date situation or in a larger group, it's just no good for anyone involved. Sister and I were just talking about married friends of theirs who do it fairly frequently in front of her and her husband and then last night the Rednecks had it out in front of us. Awk-ward. I'd like to know if there's a proper ettiquette in handling it. Ignore it? Try to steer the conversation toward a more neutral topic like politics or religion?
Redneck Wife and I were leaving to go to the grocery store to pick up frozen pizza for dinner. Because we like to bring the klass on a Friday night. We've done this plenty of times in the past without incident. Except most of the time she brings her kids with us, which...I sort of hate and also doesn't make much sense when you figure Brian and Redneck Husband are there at the house, perfectly able to keep the kids from burning anything down, killing small animals or other things of that nature. I know it's possible, because I've seen it. But last night the kids had another friend over and the Wife figured (correctly) we could get the errand over with a lot quicker without bringing them along.
We went outside to where the men were working on Brian's truck and told them. You would've thought she had just announced the end of life as we know it by the way he reacted. There was cursing. There was throwing of large heavy tools. There was a very loud, heated and insulting exchange between them. Brian and I made eye contact for the briefest second and I quickly got into her truck. She got in, shut the door and said I hate him sometimes and I had no idea how to respond. I pretty much just agreed with her and quickly and awkwardly changed the subject.
I thought of how I could've maybe handled it better. I couldn't really commiserate with her and talk shit about Brian because he's never come close to acting like that. And she's known Brian since they were little kids so she already knows that. We're not close enough friends for me to give her any advice, not that I usually would anyway. If I could say what I am thinking whenever this happens: You're too good for him. You're too smart for him. You have a college degree and he's a functioning illiterate. I know he was the first real boyfriend you ever had (Translation: the first real good sex you ever had), I know you accidentally got pregnant when you were on the verge of breaking up and then figured you were screwed literally as well as figuratively so you did the "right" thing, but it's never too late and you know your parents would be thrilled if you divorced him and would probably buy you a new house. I don't think he's ever going to change and I don't think you're ever going to be happy unless you leave him.
Maybe some people could say it. I can't. Maybe I should though? She told me last night she only has four close friends and that I'm one of them. So if that's how she feels about me, do I OWE it to her to say it? All of the above is true, but I just don't feel it's my place to butt in when she's never asked me what I thought about it; she mostly just complains a little and then we move onto a different topic. Eh, who knows. All I know is whenever we're around them and something like that happens, I have the insane urge to go home and blow Brian to show my appreciation for him not being a douche. Maybe someday I'll actually act on it.
One of the responses I got back yesterday via text when I sent out my Bad News Bulletin was from my excellent friend Kristen. It said, "So, we just keep continuing to have baby prayers, that's all. What do you think about going bowling this weekend?" That ranks up there in the top five messages I've ever gotten in my life. And yes, I think we are going bowling tonight. Because when life hands you lemons you should always turn them into balls.