If there is a wrong thing to be said at any time, you can pretty much guarantee I’ll say it. A few years ago, I went to a 4th of July cookout, and right after I arrived – so I can’t even blame booze – I just caught a mention of this one guy I had a crush on in high school, and pretty much yelled at the top of my voice, “damn, [that guy] where the hell is he?” Then, when everyone turned to stare at me in horror, I continued, “what, he didn’t show? He was always an as*hole!” At which point somebody really quietly piped up, “he died of cancer yesterday.”
Last night wasn’t quite so bad, (seriously, what could be?) but I think I caused a bit of a domestic between Asterix and Hockey Girl, by inadvertently informing her of the guys’ run in with the police on Monday. Oops.
It was particularly a shame because I was really pleased to go to dinner with just them as a couple – maybe my as-yet-unmade remove ABBA Girl plan is somehow coming to fruition anyway. Even though I am liking her more and more, there is still something about Hockey Girl that… unnerves me a bit. She is friendly and all, it’s just that for some reason, I feel like a jibbering idiot in her presence, like a desperate court jester trying to entertain the prom queen enough to earn my place at her table. Urgh.
The dinner got off to an okay start, but then the Viking asked them about what last name they are going to chose as their married name (I had no idea they were even engaged, she doesn’t wear a ring and has literally never mentioned a wedding in my presence). Hockey Girl laughed and rolled her eyes, and said that Asterix was the most boring man in the world for wanting to chose “Johansson” (which is neither of their last names), as it is the most common family name in Sweden. He pretended to get offended but then said that it was weird enough they were inventing a new last name together, why make it weirder, and we all laughed.
Then she turned to me and asked what we would do about a name if we got married. I swear my heart nearly stopped – talk about putting us on the spot! Asterix looked at me and demanded, “do you want to get married?” Stalling for time, I thanked him for the offer but said he appeared to already have a fiancée. Without cracking a smile he said, “no, I mean to Anders.” Yeah, thanks for clarifying, I really thought you had just proposed. I stuttered and stammered then blurted out, “I’m told it’s manners to wait until you’re asked,” which I don’t even believe but heard somebody say once and for whatever bizarre reason it popped into my head.
Hockey Girl acted like I’d said I was fine with it if the Viking slapped me every once in a while to keep me in check, and went off into this rant about how women of our generation willfully chose passivity. Rather than shriek, “we’ve been dating a few months, I don’t even want him to propose, back off you obnoxious weirdo!” instead I chose to quip something about why would I even want to marry a football hooligan anyway, and they were all like, “what?”
Cue those exchanged looks that I don’t know if Swedes imagine the fourth person at the table is blind to, or they just don’t care, before, after about a year, Hockey Girl said something like, “that makes sense, you just use him for animal sex?” and I let go of the breath I had been holding and smiled, “finally you get it!”
We all laughed, but the atmosphere of the dinner was all scratched and wonky, so it was excruciatingly polite conversation until we finished eating, then we called for the bill immediately. As we walked home afterwards, I asked the Viking if he thought I’d caused a fight, and he thought for a moment, then grinned, “yeah, she’ll castrate him,” and he flung his arm around my shoulders and kissed the top of my head.