Last night I endured another slow build up to polarised debate from my beloved (MB from this point) and his friend of too many years to count.
As a couple we don’t go in for much socializing and a weekly treat is a visit from MB’s buddy. Let’s call him BH. I say treat, but I analysed it last night and got more and more frustrated with the lack of urgency on BH’s behalf.
With an aging pet to care for I am often up at the crack of dawn administering drugs and providing food. I’m usually in bed by 10pm ‘school nights’ which I stretch to 11pm on Friday/Saturday. As such a prompt arrival from BH would be appreciated and this has been pointed out with little (or sometimes temporary) success on several occasions.
We should know better but, as good hosts, we make sure that we are ready for BH’s arrival from 8pm. The weekly ritual then follows:
8.15pm MB texts BH to ask if we will see him shortly. BH texts back to say that it should be soon. BH lives 10 mins drive away.
8.35pm MB wanders the house muttering “where is he?” or “BH!” and other little catchphrases which were amusing the first time around (on average 18 months to 2 years ago). These usually include references to prog-rock lyrics.
8.55pm I join in. Without the catchphrases or prog-rock references.
9.10pm to 9.30pm BH deigns to join us, is subjected to a short interrogation from MB (and sometimes me), is given a drink and joins us in the snug for a review of the week gone by and often amusing banter.
This week, BH arrived at 9.20pm (nearing his personal best of 9.50pm), and all was well until we got onto the subject of THE RIOTS.
Politically BH is on the left, MB on the right and I’m somewhere in between.
I could have scripted their exchanges shortly after the first plasma TV theft was reported, and a wiser person would have made their excuses (sore head, early start, scarlet fever) and left as the debate began.
But no, I chose to stay. Worse still, I join in and try to find some common ground.
After what felt like an hour of send in the tanks vs nurturing our youth I gave up. I told them that I was sick of it, there was enough conflict in the world and I was going to bed.
This morning, I’m glad that MB and myself don’t hold grudges, and I’m counting down to the repeat of the ritual in 6 and a half days.
Wish me luck.