A friend has been inviting us over forever. We never accept because my husband cannot stand hers – with good reason.

The most recent invitation came at just the right time. My husband was going to be out of town on business so I accepted. She really is a good friend, and I felt like it was going to start hurting her feelings if I never said yes.

My husband was overjoyed at his escape and wished me luck surviving the night. If only I’d known how much I’d need it.

Here’s what happened.

I arrived, having explained that the Mr. would be away. Her husband, let’s call him Dick, since that is so fitting, immediately started in on the off-color jokes.

“He’s out of town on business? I guess ‘Business’ is his girlfriend’s name?”

Hilarious. Imagine how funny it was the seventh time he said it.

While my friend, we might as well call her Jane, finished in the kitchen I took the kids into the back yard to play. Concerned that he wasn’t the center of attention, Dick came outside with his new pet: the biggest freaking bird I have ever seen. He got it an exotic pet shop and is teaching it to talk. Unfortunately it cannot yet tell him to eff off.

This bird, the size of velociraptor, started SCREECHING. The kids clapped hands over their ears in terror. Dick, naturally oblivious, began demonstrating all he’d taught the bird to do, which seemed to include exactly one skill: screeching.

This went on for 15 minutes. The kids were terrified. Jane came out at one point and I was sure she would tell Dick to put his stupid bird back in the cage. I could tell she was irritated but as usual, she said nothing. As she headed back into the kitchen, Dick, who of course had not offered to help with the meal, shouted, “Hurry up in there, or I’m going to feed the children to the bird.”

At this the kids started shrieking, which encouraged the bird to screech even louder. I thought, if I lived next door I’d call 911.

Dinner was excellent, but of course Dick never complimented his wife on the meal. The kids behaved far better than he did. He kept both elbows on the table, talked with his mouth full and acted like an ass. No matter what Jane said, Dick corrected her.

More like, NO fun with Dick and Jane

“I’m glad this soup turned out well. It’s the first time I’ve tried this recipe,” Jane said, meekly fishing for approval.

“NO IT’S NOT,” Dick snapped, insisting she had served it before. Never mind she’d clipped the recipe out of a magazine that had just arrived.

After dinner I once again occupied myself with the kids. Jane cleaned up while Dick polished off what would have been a nice supply of leftovers.

Finally, it was time to go. Jane offered to box up some of the brownies she had served for dessert for me to take home to my husband.

“Oh, no, I couldn’t ask you to do that,” I demurred. “That’s far too kind.”

“DON’T ARGUE!” Dick shouted at me. At me!

It took every bit of restraint for me to say, “Look, Dick, you may get away with yelling at your wife, but you’re not going to yell at me.”

Or maybe I should have said something. I guess I figured that, no matter how boorish he was, I was still a guest in his home.

So, I did what I always do. I resorted to snide passive aggression, thanking Jane for dinner and telling her how much I had enjoyed seeing her. I left without saying goodbye to Dick, and followed up with a thank-you note addressed only to Jane.

Naturally she’ll expect a reciprocal invitation now. Sorry, I’ve had enough fun with Dick and Jane.

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