Monday, June 30, 2008

Guess who's coming to dinner

My husband just called me at work and said "Guess who's in town?"

The false enthusiasm in his tone could mean only one thing. Somehow, some way, my husband's college friend Simon (not his real name, and certainly not what I call him) has somehow persuaded Customs and Immigration to allow him to return to the United States from South Korea, where he writes for an English language newspaper. Only in Seoul could this man obtain a job that involves stringing more than three English words together. He's a native speaker of English, but I know plenty of them who aren't capable of putting together a coherent thought orally or in writing, and Simon is one of them. This does not prevent him from having many opinions, on many and varied subjects, all of which subjects he knows more about than you do, and all of which opinions he's happy to share with you.

Maybe now you're thinking "Oh, but maybe he makes up for that, with charm, or manners, or at least daily showers?" Well, you're thinking wrong, my friends.

This is the man who vomited profusely in my sister's back yard at our engagement party. We gave him substantial props for actually leaving the house first; he doesn't generally extend this courtesy, as the upholstery of many friends' cars can attest to.

This is the man who, at our wedding, after who knows how many drinks, told my dear friend and her husband (Jewish) that he was not surprised that she worked as a fundraiser for a nonprofit, since "Jews are so good at making money". At the audible gasp from others at the table, he said "What? It was a compliment! I said that they're GOOD at something! Just like the Chinese!" (pointing to the Chinese best man). (My friend and the best man high-fived and my friend's husband yelled "hey! Get all the Blacks and Mexicans over here so he can compliment us all at once!")

This is the man who had a hard time understanding why I wanted him to stop telling the story about the back room of a strip club in Hong Kong when my children (then 5 and 2) entered the room.

This is the man who, at least monthly, forgets the twelve hour time difference between Seoul and Washington DC. The upside is that at least a 3 AM phone call no longer causes an "Oh my God, who died?" panic attack; I just know that Simon's been enjoying a mid-afternoon cocktail or ten, and I unplug the phone.

"He wants to have dinner! I can get my mom to babysit!"
"You know, your mom has been looking EXHAUSTED lately. Seriously, don't bother her...you guys just go, have a good time, and I have the kids"
"No, I think my mom's been missing the kids. She'll be happy to babysit"
"Really? Because she just saw them on Saturday. And Friday. And Thursday."
"Yes, but she really missed them yesterday."

See, I'm not the only one who wants to avoid an evening with Simon. Aside from his utter lack of social skill, airy disregard for personal hygiene, and inability to hold his drink, Simon is also a marathon talker, who wants to confide his many troubles at great length, and who wants his friends to "be there" for him. Meaning the evening will start out with a lengthy (and nearly entirely one-sided) discussion of everything that's wrong, all of the sons of bitches whose fault it is, and how he can't get a frickin' break. And that will be the fun part. Then we'll end up half-dragging/half-carrying him to my husband's car, and decanting him into his sister's living room late in the evening, while she tries to bargain with my husband to just take him to our house. All of those rumors about how North Korea is always kidnapping people in South Korea and dragging them off to mysterious indoctrination camps outside of Pyongyang, and Simon remains at large.

OK, I don't have time to hang around here blogging all day. I have a few hours to develop an airtight excuse and to mercilessly abandon my husband in his hour of need. Later.

32 comments:

liss n kids said...

Aside from the South Korea part, I know just who you're talking about! Right down to the 3AM phone calls! Uhmmm...emergency dental work? Burst an appendix? Broken leg? Eat some salmonella tomatoes? Good luck!

FranIAm said...

Holy crap. Get out of town. Now. You can come here.

Bring the boys. Your husband will understand, when you return.

It just has to be.

I will leave a light on and we will be waiting.

DCup said...

You crack me up. Even in your time of need, you can be funny.

Now, I think you use the boys. Can they be bribed to fake being sick? All it will take is for one to be "sick."

Suze's Sass said...

Make yourself sick in the backyard. Sure it's gross - but it'll get you out of dinner.

CDP said...

Liss--my stomach does hurt...could be salmonella, could be appendicitis. I'd better head to the emergency room and find out.

Fran--on my way. Assuming that you're inviting me to your REAL house and not the campsite?

Dcup--Sure, I'll use them. I have few if any scruples, as you well know.

Suze--see above...the combination Salmonella/Appendicitis would surely cause me to throw up in the backyard, right? I think I'm covered.

Sauntering Soul said...

My officemate and I have been feeling dizzy, faint, and like we're going to vomit all day. She has been smelling a sulfur smell which I failed to smell but we've both felt like crap all day. Tell your husband they were working on your building and fumes were wafting through your office and you are feeling really sick. Tell him you will vomit if you eat one bite. Because I fear that's what would happen to me right now.

And yes, we had the building maintenance guys come up and because they could not smell the sulfur smell they were not concerned about us.

pistols at dawn said...

Look, if you don't like the way I ogle you every time we're out, you could say something.

I wouldn't change my behavior, because that's just what the sonsabitches want me to do, but you'd feel better.

Worker Mommy said...

Run far and fast.

If I had to hang w/someone like that for even a second I'd be vomitting profusely myself.

CDP said...

SS--that's not sulfur, that's brimstone. We're in hell.

Pistols--you have your visa renewed and your return flight to Seoul booked, right?

WM--yes, self-fulfilling prophecy.

enc said...

Fingers crossed you wiggled out of this one. This Simon sounds like a real piece of work.

Shamelessly Sassy said...

good luck with Simon. haha. Fabulous blog, by the way.

CDP said...

enc--I did, and he is! I'll probably write more about him later.

SS--thank you!

BeckEye said...

Heyyyy, does Mr. Awesome have a brother??

CDP said...

Beckeye--Mr. Awesome himself is single, so why settle for a substitute. Send me your phone # and I will fix you right up!

Gnugs said...

:) It's good to know that everyone has one of those...

Dr. Zaius said...

Ack! Wotta maroon. You should call Customs and Immigration and tell them that he is a regurgitation terrorist, then tell them the story about your sister's engagement party. Maybe they will disgorge his visa and expel him from the country. Give him the old 'heave ho'! They might spew the poor retch, and put him out of your misery. ;o)

susan said...

We used to know a guy (very difficult to say friend but he was more than an acquaintance) who'd steal you nicest things and give them to other people as presents thinking you'd never meet the other person and notice the antique Martin guitar or the unique jewelry. We eventually got far enough away that he didn't visit anymore but he liked to call us at 2 or 3am just because he was a jerk

Michaéle said...

Another dinner party from hell. Tequila, my sister....lots and lots of tequila.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

So let me get this straight, you don't like this dude right?

CDP said...

gnugs--yes, you're not alone

Dr. Z--who says "what a maroon" anymore? I miss that! Problem is, he's a US citizen, so any investigation would result in the South Korean authorities revoking his KOREAN visa. Meaning he'd be stuck here, rather than 18,000 or so miles away. I'll keep quiet for now.

susan--you blogged about him, didn't you? I think I remember it. Yes, your guy was definitely worse.

Michaele--as bad as your dinner party was, our guy would have made it seem like polite conversation.

Dr. M--you are always so quick on the uptake.

BeckEye said...

(555) 555-5555

dguzman said...

Oh man, good luck getting out of that. You could always tell him you have West Nile virus; you caught it from me, your birdy pal.

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