Earlier this week, I had to have a difficult conversation with M, a friend from work. As usual, it ended in tears.
The previous Friday, I had invited M and her husband to an art exhibition where they proceeded to get completely plastered. Things weren't too bad at the gallery but it soon deteriorated when we were invited back to the gallerist's house.
For a start, M's husband decided to plant his arse on a piece of furniture that was not meant to be sat on. To this day, I'm not quite sure why he thought it was ok to make himself comfortable on top of a low lying book shelf adorned with pieces of sculpture and a small television set. But let's not over analyse.
The gallerist absolutely cracked it and proceeded to tell him off in front of all the other guests. Sure, maybe the gallerist over-reacted but M's husband didn't help the situation by boasting about his own furniture-making skills and how he could easily have fixed the piece had it been damaged under his weight. Yeah, right. We're talking about a fancy custom made book shelf that was built by a famous Western Australian furniture maker that probably cost as much as a small house in Frankston...not a quick assembled, mass-produced shelf from Ikea called Möög.
Meanwhile, M, who was too drunk to pour herself a drink, spilt sparkling mineral water all over the gallerist's jarah coffee table. Trying to be helpful, M's husband then attempted to clean the spill with the gallerist's collection of imported art magazines. It was about as stupid and as futile as BP's recent attempts at cleaning up the oil spill in the Mexican Gulf.
About this time, I decided that maybe I should go (and to try and drag M and her husband along with me). My exit strategy was simple. I got up and started to say goodbye to the other guests hoping that M and her husband would follow. Encouragingly, M stood up. Discouragingly, after hugging me goodbye, she sat back down. It was then that the gallerist followed me to the corridor and instructed me to get them out of her house. Talk about awkward.
Flash forward to the start of the working week and a different kinda awkward. I call M into my office and proceeded to recount the horrors of Friday evening and the awkwardness it had caused (not to mention the verbal apology and the $20 I spent on buying the gallerist flowers the next day). The whole time M looked at me, her shoulders tense and her eyes glossy. I really should have let her go after she apologised but I made the mistake of trying to then change subjects and, on a more positive note, asked about the rest of the weekend. She bursts into tears and rushes out of my office.