Life in the Boomer Lane and Now Husband’s friend Judy was coming with them to attend the Rally to Restore Sanity. She was driving from New Jersey to their house on Friday evening. The phone rang. LBL picked it up at that exact same second that NH came rushing into the room, yelling “There is something wrong with the heat!”
Judy: Oh my God, I missed my exit to get to I 66 because of the construction! What should I do now?!
NH: The furnace is totally broken and we have a guest coming!
LBL: Just stay calm!!!
NH: Don’t tell me to stay calm! We need heat!
LBL: It was working last night!
Judy: No, they are working NOW! That’s why I missed the exit!
You get the picture. The result was that LBL helped Judy as much as she could, and NH whipped himself into a silent snit. Among his grievances: LBL turned the thermostat off and didn’t tell him (Woo Woo Cold Weather) and they had a guest coming and there was no food in the house (OK, so LBL forgot. NH then ran to the store to get something.) and they had a guest coming. The cat’s bowl was empty but that had nothing to do with a guest coming, so LBL ignored that part of it. LBL did the only sane thing she could. LBL went into Full Tilt Boogie Defensiveness and announced that ALL of jer guests said they loved staying at her house because she totally cared about their comfort (The truth is LBL was on WordPress. Seriously.)
NH countered with “Not everyone will be honest with you.” Just as that bombshell was dropped on my head, Judy called back and had yet another crisis on the road. LBL spoke to her, hung up, and walked back into NH’s study, still holding the phone. They then had the following elementary school playground exchange:
“I’m really pissed off at you!”
“I’m really pissed off at you too!”
The phone rang. Judy was now zeroing in on their neighborhood, but she needed LBL to stay on the phone to tell her every single right and left turn until she came to their house. By the time she arrived, NH and LBL were viciously throwing large scary daggers at each other by opening their eyes as wide as they could and moving their eyebrows up and down really fast.
Judy arrived, disheveled and exhausted. They sat her at the dining room table, threw a half a Capri sub from the Italian Store onto her plate, and assumed their places on either side of her.
Judy took a bite and announced “This is great!” then noticed their eyebrow and eye war. “Is there something wrong here?”
“Yes,” they both shouted, “but you are our guest and we don’t want to bother you with our personal concerns. We just happen to hate each other.” That was followed by each of them hurling verbal accusations at the other non-stop, giving their eyebrows a temporary rest.
“Do you have a napkin?” Judy asked. “Oh, and maybe a glass of water?” LBL procured each one for her and slammed them down next to her plate.
Our mutual diatribe continued.
“Well,” Judy finally said, delicately patting her mouth after she had polished off the entire sub and they had thoroughly worked themselves into a stupor, “It is clear to me that the crux of the issue is that each of you cares a lot about my comfort. And I am so honored by that. I just love you guys.”
With two sentences, they were completely disarmed. Although the intoxicating scent of hot peppers and oregano had helped.