Our Massachusetts exploits end today. We closed on the house yesterday and the Bay State will soon be in the rear-view.
But, before I leave, I’d like to share one last mini adventure with you. One of those rare (if ever) experiences that leave you reeling and become written with indelible ink in the memory keeper upstairs.
One that began innocently enough as dinner with friends and ended as noted above.
“Steak medium rare with a side of MILF”
M I L F
Know the acronym? Sure you do. Or you think you do.
If you follow me, you may be wondering ‘What is she doing writing about such things?”
I’m taking liberties, that’s what. I’ll get right to the heart of it…
MILF = Majorly Intolerant Liberal Friends
See? Not what you thought or expected. I am usually one to hold the punchline to the end, but for anyone who found their way here because their engine locked onto the MILF train, I didn’t want you to have to wade through to the end and be disappointed.
So, no luscious MILFs here…just your average non-milf housewife with 50 Shades of Gray Hair sharing a small tale (with a big body) about her last adventure in the state we will remember as as ‘the second worst place we’ve ever lived’, which has nothing (well,maybe a little) to do with the story.
Now for the adventure with a tiny lead in from the last month…
The house sold, the estate sale done, the few possessions we wanted to keep all packed in boxes
and for the last 4 days…
The moving van picked and packed, dinner with friends, closing on the property…oh wait.
Dinner with friends…that’s what I want to share.
How a much anticipated evening of always good food and always good conversation turned into the Battle of the Bilge in this War of Potty Politics
We arrive around 7:30 to this lovely old home, the glow from within spilling onto the dark sidewalk outside guiding us to the wide open front door. The delicious aroma as you enter leads us back to the heart of the home…the kitchen, where the excited greetings are accompanied by big smiles and even bigger hugs.
Conversation starts immediately, flowing as easily as the wine, belying the fact that we’ve not seen each other in months and months. But it’s been that way since the beginning; easy conversation covering a wide range of topics from dogs to chickens to jobs to renovation projects to current affairs to politics to…..ahhhhhhhhh, politics.
The men hung around the stove, talking their talk. The women meandered outside, walking their walk, joined a little while later by the men, come to usher their ladies inside to take our places at the table set with obvious thought and care. The centerpiece platter of perfectly grilled porterhouse and filet sat alongside a lovely old wooden bowl filled with the late fall bounty of assorted greens, veg, and herbs, as colorful as anything you’d find outside clinging to the trees. Perfect.
As the genders had separated early, I was not privy to the conversation the boys were having during their tour of duty in the kitchen, but as is common, it had been politics (nothing wrong here). As is also common, especially here in the northeast where conservatives are the minority, and my other half being one of said minority, they are of opposing views (again, nothing wrong here).
However…Emily Post’s advice was forgotten this night. What should not be discussed at the dinner table, was.
The opposing sides continued their politically charged discussion while seeming to enjoy the fare lovingly and expertly prepared. I was not overly thrilled with the topic as I don’t enjoy discussing politics at most times, but never less than at the dinner table. My other half however, has no such qualms. Politics are his ‘go to’ subjects; his opening, middle, and closing statements. I usually roll my eyes, try to divert, try to zig when I see the zag, try to interject something funny to deflect, anything to change the subject. Not this night.
Perhaps because the country is in such political turmoil right now? Maybe because the left and the right seem to be going for the jugular lately? Could it be because it’s ALL we see and hear anymore? On the news, in the paper, on the radio…snipe snipe snipe snipe.
Whatever the reason, the subject was as much a part of what was being fed as the steak and salad, but much less easy to swallow. I sat, as I usually do, quiet on the subject. I sat, quiet, but becoming more and more uncomfortable as the two-way conversation became a two-on-one way conversation. I could feel it. The tension was rising, the food was becoming stuck in my throat, and the wine was not helping.
It was getting personal, but only on one side of the table.
The battle had begun.
The lines had been drawn.
The tempers and voices rising.
Demands to “Shut Up” issued.
But…again, from one side of the table.
One side of the line drawn in the salad bowl.
One side, two like-minds, two voices as one…
“Get out of our house”
Our last adventure in the Bay State.
Our goodbye dinner with highly educated, worldly, creative, well-rounded, the highest level of professional, acutely attuned to current events friends…could think of nothing more constructive to say when faced with as true a believer of his point of view as theirs, than…
“Shut Up and Get Out of Our House!”
You got it…
Majorly Intolerant Liberal Friends
Only, sad to say, since the communication I received the following day was not an apology but a justification that ‘my damned husband had pushed them too far’, I’m not sure the F still applies.
Intolerance in any form, whether of one’s beliefs, color, religion, etc. is the root of what’s wrong with the world; what has always been wrong with the world. It starts wars between countries, helps create extremism, causes rifts in families, drives wedges between friends. I, for one, am saddened to say the least. I’ve never held that friends can only be friends if they all believe the same thing. I do, however, hold to the notion that respect for one’s individuality goes a long, long way toward keeping one’s friends.
But even more to the point…I’m disappointed that people I’ve held in high regard, considered enlightened, and I believed were very aware of the power of communication, would find themselves in the position of reacting to someone, a friend no less, with opposing beliefs and a willingness to stand up for them, would result in their lowering themselves to the level of a petulant child.