Well, I knew this would happen, right from the moment Neal suggested it.
He had perfect timing, as always, the same timing he has when he's playing tennis; he knows I hate it when he uses it on me. It's why we can't play doubles anymore. Which might have strained the problem in the first place. But he didn't have to suggest it.
I'd just thrown my keys in the hand-made bowl we left on the side-table, barely taken my Gucci's off when he brought it up. So casual, so airy, so what-a-great-idea-y. He thinks he's clever, and I was so blindsided, so happy to be home that I agreed. I always go along with his stupid ideas, like that time we were taking a road-trip and I needed to pee and I was going to wait until we found a proper place to stop, but he insisted everything would be fine, we brought toilet paper, I could just relieve myself (like an animal!) in the bushes on the shoulder. I'd had a little chocolate cake for dessert, usually I'm on a diet, but I threw caution to the wind on this trip, so I was in a crazy mood and I agreed. There I was, fifty feet in the bush pants and panties around my knees, squatting when a whole bus-load of students on spring break drove by. Some of them whistled!
So I should have been more on my guard, I know the tone he takes, it gets a little high because he's nervous, but he shrugs more because he wants it to seem like it's not a big deal, but it really is, and I missed it, and I fell for it and so now we have the Bedermans over for supper.
Frank and Hernia (Who, honestly, names their child Hernia?)Bederman. Neal had known him through college and they had reconnected on the golf course. Thick as thieves my mother would say. She was so right. Neal said I'd "love" his wife, we were so similar, great personalities, huge hearts; I tried. Lord knows I tried. I extended the hand of friendship many times, but that woman is just so unreasonable! She's so deliberate and pushy and arrogant! Last time we opened a bottle of good white wine, and she just sniffed and said she didn't drink Pinot Grigio. Apparently since some movie came out it's been too mainstream. She sniffed a little as she said it, too. Wrinkling the lines around her mouth.
I hoped they would be busy as Neal dialed on our fabulous little spin-dial phone, such a steal at $300. I was sure they wouldn't pick up, and then, when they did, I just "knew" they would have plans, or be too tired (she blew us off once with that lame excuse) but accept they did, and show up too. Even just inside the door, she was criticizing the short-notice (She could have not come...) and making sure I saw her expensive new Jimmy Choo's that Frank bought her.
The food was, of course, over-salted, over-fattening, and under-done, but I was pleased when I saw her scarf down my dessert Tiramisu, she didn't have anything bad to say about that, huh? Then Neal suggested we watch the latest thriller on our new 3-D television, the Bedermans, inconsiderate boors that they are, did not bring their own set of glasses!
They laughed a touch nervously, said it might be a bit far to drive just for one pair of glasses, we don't have more than two pairs, ha ha? It took every ounce of strength I possessed to keep smiling and say that it didn't matter I didn't need a pair, I'd already seen the movie (which I hadn't).
So now, here we sit, clustered on our leather sofa, the three of them enjoying the movie, and I battle a headache. Some people just have no idea how to behave.