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I was voted off the island last night…
I have had my share of embarrassing moments in life. Aside from being short, I have terrible eyesight, have worn braces twice, and have difficulty pronouncing words such as spaghetti, hamburger, and supposedly. Talking to coworkers makes me nervous, my jokes are only entertaining in my head, and my ‘go-to’ line in heated arguments is ‘Oh really!’
While I don’t want to boast, I am intelligent and have beautiful eyes- at least, that’s what my mother says about me. Out of thousands of possible genes, I got only two decent ones. In spite of this, the statement that intelligent people do poorly in social situations is very true! There are 100 different stories I could share, but this one keeps me up at night.
I call it the night that I got voted off the island.
The 9th of October, 2020, was my first day off in months, if not years. It was like a generation had passed. Although it was only 11 days, you understand my feelings of exhaustion and lack of motivation. There were, however, several things that needed to be done:
1. Finish the laundry.
2. Mop the floors.
3. Remove the four rolls of toilet paper, three bills that need to be paid, and all my socks that are currently in the puppy’s hideout.
4. Finish winterizing the house windows because there is a thin layer of ice over my car every morning.
Simple list but slightly time-consuming. I even wrote it out on my phone and put an alarm on so I would stay focused.
What did I do? I headed to Walmart and bought my youngest a new TV, a copper-infused 3″ bed topper that should make me feel 20 again, and mascara. My next stop was Barnes and Noble, where I could find books related to my research topics. Then I attempted to help my middle child take some garbage to the dump. Actually, I watched him do that and kept him entertained with humorous Facebook memes. I then spent the afternoon on my couch researching/reading in between my naps. In addition, I helped my youngest edit his school paper and realized he is a better writer than me. That led to a few drinks, let me tell you.
Perfect day, right? Until that night! We were invited to dinner at the home of one of my husband’s coworkers. They were a couple with whom we’d done a few things before. There were drinks at an Alaskan hole-in-the-wall bar, dinners at each other’s houses, and even a family outing. As a result, our families were pretty intertwined. Right?
The wife nor I really shared much in common. In addition to being good friends, our husbands are always hunting and fishing together, so we really do try to be good supporters and find common ground by default. It was not always easy for us to agree on everything. We differed on most- family, kids, politics, religion, higher education, and women’s rights. Whatever you call it, chances are we disagree about it. However, our husbands were friends, so coffee and wine helped us maintain our friendship.
A couple of weeks earlier, I had upset the wife over a conversation about our husband’s work environment. It didn’t matter to me what was going on, I just didn’t want to get involved. It’s possible I didn’t even know anyone in the building my husband works in, and if I passed his co-workers at Fred Meyers, I wouldn’t know to greet them. As a result, I didn’t give a damn. This seemed like a reasonable stance to me. It’s a solid stance.
It seems that my lack of position upset her more than I knew. My nerves were high as I headed to the home, knowing that she was upset. However, if she had invited the family, she was offering an olive branch! With my husband and children, I entered, ready to put our differences aside and forge ahead.
Let me tell you what I walked into. There was her sister and her, both drinking wine. A cartoon was playing on the television while her children watched their iPads. Following pleasantries, my husband and her husband headed out to the garage to check out some new toys, while she and her sister continued talking. There was nowhere to sit in the living room and no one spoke to me. As my seventeen-year-old son stood next to me, he whispered, ‘What do we do now?’
I didn’t know.
Susie wasn’t telling her children to move so that the adults could sit down; she wasn’t even looking my way. My youngest slumped against a wall and started watching YouTube. I sat with my other son at the dining room table, far away from everyone. After 30 minutes, it was necessary to take a smoke break. I needed fresh air. I was humiliated. I was fuming and holding back tears of frustration while my son watched. Is this retaliation for a disagreement that I had nothing to do with?
In the midst of smoking my second cigarette outside, my husband came out and complains about how rude I was. In addition, he stated that I was making everyone uncomfortable and I needed to get over myself.
What the heck?
He proceeds to tell me that I am supposed to work this out with the wife. It is my responsibility is to find out what’s wrong with her and make it better by talking to her.
What just happened? I was humiliated in front of my children and was yelled at?
It was decided that the wife and her husband should come out to the front yard, and we should talk together. There was no way this was going to work out. This was her territory. She had all the cards in her hand. I was off my game. In addition to not being comfortable, I didn’t even have coffee with me.
Needless to say, my husband ignores my warning and proceeds to get the whole gang. Yea! It’s going to be a family affair.
She descends her front stairs like a woman on a mission. Her punishment of me for not agreeing with her would continue, and my husband would give her an audience. In anticipation of the showdown, I lit another cigarette.
This is what happened. Although our husbands are ‘besties,’ she does not need to be my friend. She said I disrespected her and her sister by sitting in the dining room at her home. Wouldn’t it have been better if I had just sat on the floor? I was told that I was starting drama in her front yard, and she refused to allow me to do so. The woman told me I wasn’t welcome at her house.
Watching from the front window, her children and sister laughed. My son was watching everything from behind me. It appears my husband shifted to the other side of the car to avoid the verbal abuse. I was left to deal with it on my own.
My youngest was told to leave the house by the wife as she walked back into the house. We all piled into the truck and drove off. There was nothing I could say. Could that have really happened? In spite of the fact that he had contributed to all of this mess, my husband tried to make jokes about it not turning out as he had envisioned. We ended up eating dinner at Fat Burger at 7:30 p.m.
My fight didn’t end well; I was voted off the island and had to walk the plank. Normal, I wouldn’t be bothered by this, but it got me thinking. What was the fight really about? It’s still unclear to me if all of this was due to my disagreement with getting involved in our husband’s work place, or if it was something else? I will never know.
I was up all night, tossing and turning. As expected, my husband slept peacefully. It didn’t bother him. His invitation to visit their home still stood; he only couldn’t bring me or our children along. That moment taught me something; I wasn’t bothered by not being her friend. It’s possible I have terrible jokes and I’m socially awkward. I may be the person who engages in conversation with historical references that no one cares about. But I like me. In my opinion, I am okay with all my faults, and I didn’t need her friendship to prove I was part of the ‘cool group.’
Besides, she didn’t make a proper pot of coffee…