There comes a time in everyone’s life when you have a friend who is married to or dating someone you just can’t stand. This annoying situation is a little easier to navigate when you’re single and can get away with more girl time but once you’re married, you start to do things as couples. This is when things can get tricky, especially when you or your husband don’t like their significant other. Dinners together sound as much fun as being water boarded but your wife or husband says you’re going. Here’s where “taking one for the team” becomes your mantra.
Women will put up with a lot and bite their tongues to protect their friendships. Besides, you were friends with her for months before you realized she was married to an over-bearing idiot. You can’t understand how your lovely friend, whom you adore, puts up with his less than appealing behavior. Your husband, however, may not be as keen on enduring forced interaction with your friend’s undesirable other half.
So what are these undesirable traits? They’re pretty much universal. Overly competitive, obnoxious, rude, jealous, braggy, extremely superficial or completely full of themselves, all qualify as traits that leave you wanting to fake an ailment to avoid being in their company. And when your partner is dragged into playing nice with the offensive bloke, you will soon experience the 3 stages of, Forced Unpleasant Social Situations, or F.U.S.S; because that’s what your partner will eventually be making when he has to go to another dinner.
Stage 1: Fun and Games
It starts out as mildly annoying but nothing you can’t handle. You and your spouse exchange knowing looks and playful glances that include eye rolling. You might even have a nickname for this person, like “Sixty Dollar Jerry” or “60” because he likes to make it known every time you see him that he doesn’t drink wine that costs less than $60 a bottle. “Jealous George” or “Annoying Amy” give you plenty to talk about on the car ride home. It may be something that bonds you and your husband together as you have more appreciation for each other after the painful encounter as in, “God, I’m glad you’re not like that.” It’s all fun and games until there’s one barbecue too many and then you enter:
Stage 2: The Negotiation
Being good friends with her you will, of course, go to her couples Pampered Chef party. Your husband on the other hand, doesn’t want to play anymore which leaves you first pleading and then having to strike a deal. You negotiate that you’ll only stay an hour. The terms of the agreement will include; a time limit, a code word to signal the escape, and a promise of a “get out of jail free” card for next time. It’s not long before Jealous George sticks your husband with the dinner bill again and you enter:
Stage 3: The Hostage Situation
You must force your spouse against his/her will to accompany you. You’ve run out of excuses and fear your friend will catch on that your husband doesn’t get that many headaches or stomach aches and can’t possibly have that many business meetings. You feel guilty even lying to her but you’re obviously in a delicate situation. You’ve heard your husband say, “I can’t stand that guy” a million times. Now it’s, “No, I’m not going.” You must bribe, cajole or threaten him to go and when he’s there, it’s nothing short of a hostage situation. He gets stuck listening to “60” go on all night about the vulgar people who drink cheap wine. You may be in the clutches of Annoying Amy while she brags about being natural when you know for a fact that she has 500cc’s in her chest. You look to your spouse for a rescue and once set free you promise you’re never going back. But you probably will. Have a glass of wine and give one to “60”. Tell him it’s an $80 bottle and when he raves about it you can laugh your ass off, because it was only $18. A sense of humor and a cocktail will certainly help you get through your next F.U.S.S.