BG: My fiance Sam has known his best friend Robby since they were children and Robby has been with his wife Nicky for ten years, so Sam has been friends with them for a long time. I should probably admit right now that I’ve always found Robby and Nicky to be unbearably smug and pretentious, but I’ve gritted my teeth and dealt with it because of their long time connection with the man I love.
Also, there’s a five year age gap between Sam and myself. We got together when I was 22 and he was 27. Robby and Nicky (who are both Sam’s age) have made assumptions about me based on my age – before they even met me, they were asking Sam if he really wanted to get serious with someone so young and immature. Even now, whenever we get together they make jokes about having to hide the booze from me, or if we get together in the morning, they’ll ask if I’m still drunk. I’d also heard that they’d told some of Sam’s other friends that I took drugs, but until I heard it myself, I ignored it. For the record, I don’t.
A couple of years ago, we received an invitation to Robby’s 30th. He had invited a bunch of their friends to spend the weekend at Nicky’s parents’ holiday house in the mountains. I rang Nicky the week of the trip and asked her if we needed to bring anything. “No, just your lovely selves,” she assured us.
At the time I was working in retail and couldn’t find a cover for my Saturday shift. One of Sam’s friends, Ben, also had to work Saturday so we arranged to leave Saturday afternoon and spend the night and all day Sunday there.
Ben drove. During the trip, we could hear a strange rattling sound so we pulled over several times, even pulled in to a service station at one point, but couldn’t locate the source of the sound. Sam and Ben couldn’t see any immediate danger so we continued, Ben driving very carefully.
We arrived at around 8pm. There were about a dozen people there already. We said our hellos and Sam asked Nicky where we should put our stuff. Nicky developed a deer-in-the-headlights look. “Uh, well if you’d arrived earlier, you wouldn’t have gotten a room,” she told us. We assured her that we didn’t need our own room – a cot or a mattress would be fine. That was when she dropped the first bombshell. We wouldn’t be getting a cot, or a mattress, or a pillow, or a blanket. She directed the three of us to the lounge room, where there was one small lounge and nothing else. That would be our sleeping quarters.
Now, perhaps I hadn’t been clear enough when I’d rang her during the week. Perhaps this was partially my fault. Still, when you’re sending out written paper invitations to a pre-organized weekend retreat, isn’t ensuring that everyone has appropriate bedding kind of necessary? Also, they’d both known that we were arriving late. Ben found a blanket in his car, so I slept on the lounge without a blanket, and Sam and Ben slept on the (tiled) floor, sharing the blanket.
The next morning, Nicky cooked breakfast while Robby informed us that heneeded to collect our money before we ate. Um, huh? I looked at Sam, who looked a little sheepish. “Yeah, Robby told us that we all need to put in thirty dollars for the weekend,” he said. Each, i.e. sixty dollars for Sam and me.
Sixty dollars to sleep on the floor of his wife’s parents’ place? When we’d come here to celebrate his birthday? And brought a present? How could he even look us in the eye? When Sam pointed this out, Robby dropped the rate to $10. Sam ended up paying, but Ben and I refused.
After breakfast, the boys went to take a look at Ben’s car. They found that the wheel nuts had come loose, and that was what had been making the rattling sound. This was more than a little frightening – to think how close we’d come to loosing a tire! The car had been serviced by the manufacturer that week so Ben rang the manufacturer, who agreed to pay towing costs. We arranged to get a lift with someone else and the whole thing was finished so far as I was concerned. But when I was packing my stuff up, I heard Nicky and a couple of other girls in the kitchen talking about us. Basically, they were saying how irresponsible we were for driving a car in that condition and that we must have been, “fully high on speed”.
I was cold, tired and grumpy. I’d bitten my tongue for too long. I went in to the kitchen and explained how the situation with the car had not been our fault, and how I resented her assuming that I’d taken drugs, when she had absolutely no basis for such an accusation (that weekend was actually the first time I’d gotten drunk in front of them – Sam and I have an arrangement where I’m DD for his friends events and he’s DD for mine.) I started quietly and calmly, but was getting pretty heated towards the end. I realize that yelling at someone in their own house is unforgivably rude, and if I could do it again, I would have waited until we left before confronting her. I’d just had enough. Nicky played the injured party and for the entire next week, she put up Facebook updates about how, “Some people need to learn manners and not yell at people in their own homes,” and, “If I’d known I was going to get yelled at, I wouldn’t have bothered throwing a party.” How can you say you’re throwing a party when you’re making a profit from your guests?
I’ve not had a lot to do with Robby and Nicky since that weekend and Ben wiped them completely, but Sam is still close to them. It just goes to show – you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your partners friends! 0803-10