I’ve finally given up the pretence that I’m going to get back to sleep before the alarm goes off, and got out of bed, having had what can only be described as an appalling night’s sleep.
Ashley’s Dad has been feeling a bit better lately, and decided last week that he fancied taking the family out for an Indian meal before his next bout of chemo starts (today). So Ashley booked a table, rounded up his brother and girlfriend, and I booked a babysitter. Anyway, we arrived at his parents’ house last night to pick them up, and unfortunately Graham didn’t feel well enough to go out, so we had to go without them. (Graham had wanted a special meal with a leg of lamb which we’d had to pre-order specially, so we had to go).
Ashley’s brother split up with his wife about three years ago, and now has a new girlfriend, who we’ve met a couple of times previously (only briefly). My God, I haven’t had to work so hard at socialising for a long time: I used up every conversational gambit I could think of (and more besides), and just got NOTHING back. Now I fully accept that people can be shy or quiet, but bloody hell, getting any sort of response or conversation out of her (or indeed out of Ashley’s brother) was well nigh impossible. Thank goodness another friend, Mike, was also there, as he helped the evening limp along a bit better. She wouldn’t even have a drink (god knows why, it would have livened her up a bit). I can’t tell you how happy I was when we finally left the restaurant. And to be fair, on the journey home, she was more chatty than she had been for the rest of the evening, but by that time I’d had enough!
So – the net result of the evening was: terrible indigestion for Ashley (always happens to him after a curry); pretty bad indigestion for me (more unusual, I generally have a cast iron digestive system); a sleepless night for us both (due to the indigestion); out of pocket to the tune of £20 for a babysitter, and the £25 we had to pay towards the meal as Ashley’s Dad hadn’t given us enough money to cover it (£45 which we really could have done without spending at the moment – times are VERY tough).
And to cap it all, when I asked Ashley’s brother what their plans were for Christmas (I was running out of conversational gambits by that point in the evening, and clutching at straws somewhat), he said ‘well, we thought we’d come round to yours – you’ve got the biggest house and you’re the richest’. I would so have love to replied ‘well, if you got off your lazy arse and got a job, you might well have a bit more money, you scrounging pig’. But I managed to hold my tongue (to Ashley’s relief). Mark my words, though, there is no way on God’s good earth that that lot with their bunch of three hideous unruly children will be stepping over my doorstep on Christmas Day. It may well be the season of goodwill to all men, but I’m afraid I’m drawing the line there.
Right, I feel a lot better for letting off all that steam, I think I’ll go and make a cup of tea now.