A hotel isn't like a home, but it's better than being a house guest. -- William Feather
My oldest friend in the world, J, came to visit me and her extended family this weekend. She landed here in Columbia on Friday morning, along with her boyfriend, S. It was like we had never skipped a beat. After 13 years, we still get along like peas 'n' carrots. I even like her boyfriend! We had breakfast and then hung out at my house for a little while. She told me she had to be in the Charleston area on Sunday for her family reunion (small world moment: it turns out her family and Repo's family are from the same tiny town near Charleston!). But until then, she would be hanging with S's friends nearby.
I had originally planned to go down for the day on Saturday to hang out with her and S's friends. (I was misinformed--I thought they lived on Isle of Palms, but it was actually James Island, where Folly Beach is located.) But they convinced me to leave right away and spend the entire weekend with them. I asked if I could bring Sammy, and after making a call, they said the hosts didn't mind. So I packed quickly and put Sammy in the car.
An hour and a half later, we arrived at the house. Two minutes after that, I realized I had made a bad decision. It turns out I was staying with The Assholes. Apparently, "hospitality" is a foreign concept to these people. Maybe I've been spoiled by Southern Hospitality, but these people really offended me. (And yes, they were from up north, so I'm not trying to be sterotypical, but....if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then....)
Have you ever gone somewhere with a group and felt totally left out? You're sitting there thinking, Why am I even here? That's pretty much how my stay went. It started the moment I walked in the door.
Only the host, Mr. Asshole, was home. He scarcely spoke a word to me. Mrs. Asshole was still at work and then had to pick up the kids from school. I was not greeted by Mr. Asshole or instructed on where to put my things. So I left them in the middle of the living room. Since they had a fenced-in yard, I put Sammy out there. Again, this was my idea. I was not told what to do with my dog. When I came back into the kitchen, Mr. Asshole was having a blast, talking to J & S. He never really acknowledged my presence. He made pina coladas for them, and then they went outside to sit on the patio.
Notice that I was not offered anything to drink? Or that I was not invited to join them? Yeah, me too.
An hour or so later, when Mrs. Asshole got home, she offered me something to drink. I was beginning to think it was only Mr. Asshole who was a jerk, until I realized that Mrs. Asshole didn't have a problem with letting me be the babysitter while they all drank and talked amongst theirselves. So I found myself coloring with the kid while they were outside. Gee, fun times. (To be honest, at this point, I would have rather been coloring. At least the kid was nice to me.)
Mrs. Asshole then began to cook dinner, and she then came over to me and said, "Were you planning on taking a shower before we go out?" I told her I was. She said, "Ok, well, can you take your shower now?" Normally, this would not bother me, but I was already feeling uncomfortable because no one was including me in any conversation, so I felt like I was being bossed around like a child. I went up to take a shower. Mrs. Asshole gave me some towels and showed me where I was sleeping. She told me I could bring my things upstairs to her sons' room. Then she showed me a bunk bead. This is fine with me. A bed's a bed. But then she said, "I hope you don't mind that my son will be sleeping in the bunk above you. And I'll change the sheets for you before we go to bed tonight."
She neglected to mention that her son had to get up at 8am the next morning for a baseball game. She also neglected to change the sheets for me. I am wondering--is it too much to ask that a guest have a room to themselves, with clean sheets? When I was little and company had to stay in my room, I just slept on the couch. Maybe this is just my family's way of doing things.
So I took my shower and then went back downstairs. I let Sammy in, and then I was informed that they didn't want the dog inside the house. This would have been helpful information if given in advance. Don't tell me my dog is welcome if he's not. If I had known this, I wouldn't have brought him because they made Sammy sleep outside. Maybe I'm being overprotective or silly, but Sammy is like my child. He sometimes sleeps in the bed with me, so for him to sleep outside in the cold is not something he is used to. He is an inside dog with very short fur, so he gets cold easily. He's not the kind of dog who is cool with being outside to begin with. He is right by my side 99% of the time. He felt like he was being punished, and so he whined and barked for most of the night while on the porch. This brought me to tears. So I stayed outside with him periodically to calm him down and try to explain things to him. The Assholes and J & S looked at me like I was crazy. I wanted to tell them to f--k off. If they had dogs, they would understand.
So we ate dinner, which was yummy. Then the three of them kept drinking. I again was not offered anything, and finally had to ask if I may have some water. And I'm still in the living room with the kid, only now we are watching a kiddie movie. The other adults are in the kitchen laughing it up. Fun times. So then it's time to go out to the bars. To be honest, I didn't want to go. I was tired and downtown parking in Charleston is a big pain in the butt. Especially at night on the weekends, from what I've heard. I hinted around at not going with them (because by this point, I had already decided I would be leaving in the morning). But then Mrs. Asshole turned to me and said, "Ok, we are going out to the bars now. We were thinking we could go in J & S's car, and that you could drive."
Can I just give my readers a word of advice? If you have a friend who doesn't drink and you are going to the bars and you want this sober person to taxi you around all night, let them offer first. Don't assume they will do it. I'm sorry, but this is only polite to let it be my idea, not yours. Sometimes I don't feel like driving! And I'm not your personal taxicab driver! And what's up with ordering me around???
Side note: Mrs. Asshole is all about some economy sized stuff. I have never seen so many economy-sized things in my life. Shampoo, cereal, olive oil, you name it. Everything in the house was in a giant container. I'm as much about saving money as the next person, but that was just weird. I don't know where she finds the room to store it all.
So since I'm a big sucker, I end up going out with them, driving 4 semi-drunk people around in a car that was not mine. Mr. Asshole sat next to me. Whoop-de-doo. His arms were crossed the entire time, and he acted like I had cooties. Whatever. I didn't know where I was going and there was a lot of traffic and a zillion pedestrians. The 4 semi-drunk people all yelled instructions at me as to where to turn, when to stop, etc. Since I have not mastered the art of listening to 4 people at once while driving in these conditions, I came to an abrupt halt in the middle of the road and informed them that only one person need to speak and until then, I wasn't moving. I was pretty much at a breaking point and almost in tears by this time. Mr. Asshole was elected to give me directions, which he proceeded to bark out to me without so much as a please or thank you. Oh, and he and Mrs. Asshole had an argument during all of this.
My only revenge was that I had no cash with me, so other people had to pay for parking and my cover charge at the bars. Ha ha!
Needless to say, I was not having a good time and was again left out of all conversations. Luckily, I ran into Charleston Guy. It was so nice to see a friendly face! I had wanted to call him to tell him I was in town, but it was all so last minute and I was in such a crappy mood that I didn't call. I really doubt he and his girlfriend would have had fun with us anyway. I know he is reading this, so I hope he realizes how sorry I am, but also that he wasn't missing out on much.
I was so peeved and stressed out from driving around, I was really craving a smoke. I asked Mr. Asshole and S if I could have once, since they both smoke. They both denied having any smokes. So I bummed one from a very nice stranger. I hope a bunch of really nice things happen to these strangers, because they were so nice to me. Anyway, later on in the evening, we were all on a rooftop bar, sitting at a table. The two men proceed to whip out their packs of cigarettes and light up. Right in front of me, without even offering me one. That was pretty much the last straw. I was done trying to be nice or join in.
Luckily, Mr. Asshole was tired, so we didn't stay out very late. I went to bed right when we got home which was around 2am, but they stayed up until God knows when, talking loudly and playing music. This made it very difficult for me to fall asleep. Keep in mind that the porch is right outside the living room, so poor Sammy was also kept up and didn't get any sleep. Then, as previously alluded, I was woken when the son had to get up for his baseball game at 8am. I fell back asleep and got up at 10am.
I was the only one awake and I was hungry, and knew there wouldn't be any food offered by the hosts, so I helped myself to some Cap'n Crunch. In fact, I had two bowls. I ate it outside so I could hang out with Sammy. I hope he crapped all over their yard. I hope it was runny, too. And I hope the kids tracked it inside. On the white carpet.
A little bit later, the kids and Mrs. Asshole got home from baseball. They are nice kids, so I don't know where they came from. Oh yeah. They had two different daddies, neither of which were Mr. Asshole. That explains it. They loved Sammy and played with him the whole time. I hope they nag their parents for a dog for months. Ha ha!
J&S got up soon after that and wanted Starbuck's, so we went to get it. We decided to take a detour and check out Folly Beach for a minute. Then we went back to the house. By this time, it is about 1pm. Everyone was getting ready to go to lunch and then hit the beach, and I informed J&S that I would not be accompanying them because I was going home after lunch. I wanted to tell The Assholes, but couldn't find them. So I went upstairs to take a quick shower and pack before hitting the road. I figured everyone was getting ready for the beach, so I had time. J came up to ask me what I was doing. It turns out that they were all waiting on me so they could go to the beach. If they had bothered to talk to me, they would have known that I was under the impression that I had lots of time. Apparently, I didn't, because J told me that everyone was waiting on me. So I come downstairs, dripping wet, no makeup on, carrying all my bags by myself. I felt terrible--the feeling that I'm keeping people is a very unpleasant one for me. Everyone is staring at me when I come outside to my car, and load up everything by myself while they watch.
I noticed that Sammy's bed was already in the car. "Hmmm...I don't remember putting that there," I said. S informed me that he had taken it upon himself to put that in the car earlier. Well, it doesn't get much clearer than that, now does it? I was not really welcome to stay. Talk about feeling like they were trying to get rid of me! I went around back to get Sammy. I said, "Sammy, let's get the f--k outta here!" and he gladly went with me to the car.
"So where are we eating for lunch?" I asked when I came back.
"Well, actually, it's getting so late, we are just going to go to Subway." was the reply.
"Oh. Okay. I'll just follow you guys there."
"Well, we were just going to get it and go. We weren't going to eat it there since it's so late now. We wanted to get to the beach a while ago."
Well, if someone had taken the time to talk to me today instead of putting my stuff in the car, I would have known that, I thought.
"You know what?" I said, voice trembling, "I'm just gonna go. I need to be back by dinnertime, anyway."
So I got in my car and left. No one even made sure I knew how to get home! I had to figure it out myself. I had to pull over to look at the map. And also because I was crying.
The worst part about it is, J did absolutely nothing to make my trip easier. I know she saw what was going on and could tell I was not having a good time. I felt totally betrayed. She didn't stick up for me once! Right before I left, I mentioned to her that Mr. Asshole in particular had been acting like I was a leper or something.
"Yeah, I know. He's not the friendliest guy in town."
"Yeah, I sorta already figured that out," I replied.
I sorta already figured out what kind of a friend J is, too.