I went to dinner with a friend today and it took everything inside of me not to stab her with my fork.
I’m going begin this entry by admitting that— maybe— I didn’t wake up until around 5:00 pm today. Don’t judge me. It’s a Saturday, I’m not a student anymore, I live with my parents and I don’t have a job. I’m not exactly in a place where I can be a paragon of productivity here.
Because I woke up so late, I only had enough time before my dinner plans to get ready and fool my parents into thinking that I had gotten up a lot earlier than I had.
Mother: “You missed the sun today.”
Me: “No, I didn’t. I’ve just been in my room all day.”
Father: “Really? Why?”
Me: Searches head for reasons that’ll abort the conversation immediately. “Cramps.”
Father: Blushes and dissipates into the air only to reappear in a parallel universe where he never brought up his daughter’s menstrual cycle.
By the time my friend picked me up, I was starving. To make matters worse, the restaurant was packed so we had to wait for a table and even after we were seated, it took a long time for our food to be ready.
This friend is a Chatty Cathy and she usually dominates the conversation. My friend Tabitha and I went out to a bar with her once and made a drinking game of this. We took swigs out of our drinks every time Chatty hijacked the conversation to make it about herself. Eventually, by process of elimination, Chatty had to be our designated driver and once we were thoroughly sloshed, we persuaded her to take us to get food. That night, I slapped a man’s hand with my foil wrapped burrito thinking he was trying to take Tabby’s nachos only to find out that she never ordered nachos in the first place. My bad.
I’m sure hanging out with Chatty sounds like a drag but it’s really not that bad. I’m lazy and I appreciate it any time I don’t have to put any effort into something— like a conversation. Plus, for once, it’s nice not having to say “Oh, I don’t have a job right now” or “No, I’m not studying anywhere.” Sure, it’s because she doesn’t care to ask me what I’m doing but even though I know that I’m in a transitional period right now and that the reason why I’m not studying is that I’ve already graduated, making those two statements out loud always makes me feel like a loser.
Well, guess whose New Year’s resolution it was to become a better listener.
Oh, Chatty was being her regular chatty self in the car on the way to the restaurant, while we were waiting outside on a bench for a table to open up, and while we were waiting for our food but the minute we were served something unexpected happened: it was MY turn to talk.
Suddenly, she wanted to know everything about me. She was bombarding me with so many questions that after about half an hour, the fork still hadn’t reached my lips. Keep in mind that I hadn’t had anything to eat all day. When I was finally able to quickly shove some pasta in my mouth, I didn’t even get the chance to chew my food because she was asking another very specific question requiring another tediously long answer.
I haven’t wanted to cry so badly since I forgot to save my philosophy paper junior year. I had to box most of my plate up and wait to get home to finally eat properly.
In a masochistic turn of events, I prolonged my reunion with not-hunger by making a stop to rent a movie to watch because you know who keeps you entertained during dinner but doesn’t ask you questions while you’re eating? Movie characters.
I’ve decided to end my imaginary feud with the very employed but very undeserving-of-my wrath video clerk. He keeps to himself and he never asks me “Hows it going?” which means that I never have to engage in small talk with him. This is all I’ve ever wanted from another person.
I could marry him. We could decorate our home with all the sweet free movie posters he gets and not talk some more. Sure, I’ll leave him the minute he leaves his job as a video clerk but we’ll always have the memories and let’s be real— I can’t ride the coattails of someone who leaves such a sweet gig to go to medical school and “become the best version of [himself] for [me] and the kids.” Pfft, who does that?! Everyone knows nightclub promoting is where the real prestige is at.