I met my friend Noah’s girlfriend last night. I thought, at the very least, she would be boring but cute. At best she would be awesome like Noah. He got with a neato girl in AmeriCorps, so I figured the worst it would be was that she was vapid and cuter than me.
I’m going to tell you this, but you have to promise not to tell anyone. OK?
I lied. I lied my way out of playing boardgames with them, as eating pizza with them was much much more than I could bear.
I feel a little bit awful about faking a stomachache, but I cannot stress enough how amazingly, jawdroppingly, caricature-like awful she was.
We came in the front door and she berated Noah for bringing us in at such an inopportune time. She had just been sitting down to pee, she told us, and she didn’t have a shirt on yet.
I figured she was nervous about meeting one of Noah’s old AmeriCorps friends. I figured she’s warm up, and we’d have a lovely evening of wheat crust pizza and Trivial Pursuit.
She announced that her house rule was that one must lower the toilet lid before washing hands, “because I’m a bit of a germophobe.”
I managed, during this time between rants, to introduce myself and Jason.
Before we could order the pizza, she had to explain all the foods she wasn’t supposed to have because of her (deep breath) asthma, acid reflux, and irritable bowel syndrome. She explained how each of them aggravated the others, and then ruled 80% of the toppings off the list. “I’m not supposed to each cheese either,” she added. “Oh, and I’m allergic to mushrooms.”
After determining that we could order two different pizzas so Jason and I weren’t subjected to her dietary restrictions, she continued telling us about how she can eat cooked onions but not raw ones, and how her IBS is affected by the amount of spicy food she eats.
This went on until the pizza arrived. As we sat down to eat, I was at a loss of conversation. This is a rarity for me, and I was a bit puzzled. Jason had already shut down, and was keeping himself busy studying the pizza in his hand.
I asked if they had watched the last season of “The Surreal Life”, because Noah had mentioned it, and I thought perhaps I could get her onto a more normal topic. Yeah, it didn’t work.
The most pleasant part of the night was when we got on the topic of CostCo. She and Noah listed the things they had bought, and we nodded enthusiastically, because we were hoping she wouldn’t go back to her dying cat stories. “Mac and cheese? A gallon of jalapenos? Really?”
Her monologue shifted to her workplace. She bitched about how everyone was stupid and she had to tell them how to do their work. She bitched about how the new people were all men, and they were all already promoted to her level. Then she bitched about how no one goes to lunch with her anymore.
I bit my tongue. Jason and I looked at each other. I made a decision. I slumped down in my chair.
See, I haven’t been a pathological liar since childhood. I didn’t lie about important things, or to hurt anyone – I just lied to see if I could weave a truth close enough to reality to be imperceptible.
Anyway, they asked what kind of board game we wanted to play. I explained that I wasn’t feeling well, as weakly shrugged my shoulders and pulled my hands inside my hoodie’s sleeves. “All this roadripping is catching up to me,” I offered as bait. “I think it was eating gas station food for four day, but I just have a bit of an upset stomach. I think it will go away if I can just sleep.”
Jason caught on. “You must be feeling like Silva and I did after breakfast this morning – you’ll feel better later.” Good, good. Nothing worth noting, but uncomfortable enough to leave quickly.
Noah’s girlfriend, in a hypochondriacic frenzy, offered me about fifteen different drugs for my fake ailment. The piÃ¨ce de rÃ©sistance was when she offered ibuprofen. I took it, sealing the “nobody suspects that I hate you” act.
I rested with my head in my arms on the table as she blathered for a little while longer. We only had to spend about 15 more minutes before we were ready to leave.
I can’t imagine how I would have made it through playing Trivial Pursuit with her.
I half expected Noah to mention something in the car on the way home (he drove us). “Yeah, she had a REAL rough day at work”, or “that was her evil twin sister.”
In reality, the car ride was nearly silent. I wanted to shout “You fucker, what are you doing? Do you realize that I hate your girlfriend in a way that is almost comedic?! I had to LIE because I didn’t want to be around her! That’s really not normal!”
Noah dropped us off. I gave him the monster I had knitted him (pictures to follow), and he left. As soon as he was gone, Jason and I burst into an instant debriefing. Luckily, Charles and Silva were there to bear witness to our fervor.
“The part where she described the scarring on her esophagus, duodenum, and stomach lining from heartburn!?
“Her complaining about our poorly timed entrance! She knew we were coming! She didn’t have to say anything!”
“I was so glad when you said you were sick!”
I’ve never felt like I was in a formula comedy sketch before. This was like the old “Oh my gosh, honey, I forgot to turn off the stove at home!” “Oh yes, dear, we’d better get going … heh heh.”
Anyway, these situations do happen, and when they do, the best thing to do is to say “Would you excuse me? I cut my foot before and my shoe is filling up with blood.” Then limp away.