I may have had the most uncomfortable dinner of my life the other night.
We had an old couple staying in our house night before last through MYW. If you’re Mennonite you can skip to the next paragraph now. For anyway reading this who isn’t Mennonite, we put a pretty high value on hospitality and community and in that spirit have a big directory (Mennonite Your Way directory… MYW) of Mennonite’s and anyone else of like-minded spirit who have spare rooms or couch space because when you’re traveling it’s wrong to have to pay money to stay in a hotel (unless you want to) when there are people all around who can welcome you into their homes. Anyway, we have people here on a pretty regular basis, sometimes staying for just a few hours to sleep, sometimes for a week. Usually it’s awesome, you meet great new people, and it’s a wonderful experience… every once in a while it’s weird and awkward and everyone just wants it to be over. This was the latter.
The evening started out fine, we were sitting at the kitchen table talking while we waited for the enchiladas in the oven to get done, they mentioned casually that they weren’t used to big dogs, especially pit bulls like Daisy. I had this heroic vision in my head of how this evening was going to change their minds and I was going to show them the wonderful side of these creatures and they would walk away more well-rounded and understanding humans. As most of my heroic visions… it was not to be.
Daisy and Barney started playing… but playing noisy and rough. They were playing… not fighting… I know this because if Daisy had actually fought Barney he would not be laying with me on the couch now, she would have ended him. Nonetheless, when they get all riled up it can get a little noisy and ridiculous.
I yelled at them and they stopped, but the woman had the most horrified look on her face. I tried to pick up the conversation again but they were both frozen in terror. After about a minute the woman says “I was bit by a dog as a child and am deathly afraid of them. It took everything in me to be ok even sitting in this kitchen with them. Now I’m just terrified.” I was like “Oh… uh… sorry?” What do you say to that?
The rest of the evening (and because the enchilada took forever the even went on for what seemed like years) was just one huge awkward silence, with them looking at Barney like he was preparing to rip out their jugulars, and me awkwardly playing with my cup and occasionally panicking (I don’t do awkward very well) and bursting out with the only thing I could think to say “Can I get you something to drink?!?!” which was all the more awkward since we all had full glasses of water in front of us. Finally the man tried to break the silence and asked “So… how often does that dog attack people?” Geeze.
My only hope was the fact that soon David and Josh would be home for dinner and save me from this horrible, awkward, event. But at the last-minute David called to say he wasn’t going to be home for dinner, and Josh got an important phone call and was outside for the next hour. So the long awkward pause continued into a long awkward dinner without much conversation, only the sound of Daisy crying from our room where I had put her.
Most awkward dinner I’ve ever had with someone who wasn’t an inlaw.
My big bad killaz.