Chapter 11: Bratty’s Weekend Visit
Peace had returned to the caninelover household. SO and I were getting along great. I was relieved it was now clear that Bratty was not welcome to live with us after graduation. Towards the end of 2017, and just prior to my job ending, I received a wonderful new job offer that started the week after New Year’s. The timing was perfect – I could collect my nice fat severance, stuff it in the bank, and start the New Year with a great new gig.
At the start of 2018, Bratty was in her final semester of her undergrad. She was admitted into a post-bac program in the fall of 2018 geared towards completing med school pre-requisites. During her last semester, Bratty had an opportunity to present her final senior paper at a college seminar not far from where we live. The university paid for travel costs and Bratty let us know she’d be staying with us that weekend (from Thursday to Sunday). No problem, except we’d been invited to a small dinner party at my friend’s house that Saturday evening. SO and I both felt it would be awkward to leave Bratty alone but also didn’t want to cancel our plans.
I reached out to my friends and explained the situation, and asked if would mind if Bratty came along. They said of course it was fine and they looked forward to meeting her. Bratty agreed that she would rather go with us than be on her own that Saturday so our plans were set.
SO accompanied Bratty to watch her presentation at the seminar during the day, and then they drove straight to my friend’s house. I drove separately and met them there. My friends (a married couple) have a son who is in his early 30’s and active military. This son (who we’ll call Tom, but not his real name of course) lived in Colorado but was visiting prior to his next deployment. Tom is a nice young man, though a bit immature and definitely indulges in some frat-house type of humor. Of course Bratty immediately felt a disliking for Tom. When he sat down at the dinner table next to Bratty she made an odd, childish face expressing her displeasure. I noticed and definitely didn’t appreciate it but let it pass.
After dinner, we were sitting outside by their lovely fire pit to enjoy some post-dinner conversation. Bratty was tired after a full day of presentations at the seminar and wanted to head home. We had too cars so no problem - SO hands over the keys to his car and said he and I would drive home together in my car. Bratty then asks him where they parked as she couldn’t remember.
Now I should pause here and mention that the guest parking for my friends’ house is maybe a 5 minute walk straight down the street. You would literally walk right into it. Apparently, despite the obvious location, and despite the fact that she was fully present when the car was parked initially, Bratty couldn’t remember. Before SO could answer my friend’s husband jumps in (trying to be a good host) asks Tom to walk Bratty out to the car. Tom obeys and they walk away together. He comes back a few minutes later and doesn’t say anything. Later, we left to head home and thanked our friends for a very enjoyable evening.
The next day SO mentioned that Bratty was upset that my friend’s husband asked Tom to walk her to her car. Apparently Bratty was offended and felt it was misogynistic for any man to assume that she was not capable of getting to the car. I pointed out that Bratty wasn’t capable of getting to the car. She couldn’t remember where it was and specifically had asked for help. So this ticked me off too. My friends were nice enough to include her for dinner and her behavior was immature and rude, in my opinion. I told this to SO and he said he didn’t catch her expression at the table and just shrugged his shoulders at Bratty’s comments about being walked to the car.
A few weeks later I met up with these friends again at a local hike (SO was out of town on a business trip). My friend’s husband mentioned that Bratty was a bit abrupt and rude with Tom when walking out to the car. I apologized but my friend said it wasn’t necessary. They had no hard feelings but he felt like he should mention it. I said thanks and all was fine from there.
I decided not the mention it further with SO, mostly because with Bratty set to graduate I figured she wasn’t going to be around much anymore. I just sort of made a mental note to avoid offering future invitations to her, which I was mostly good about keeping except for one time a couple of years later (where of course Bratty caused more drama – with the same friends LOL).
Bratty returned to college to finish out her semester. The next time I saw her was a few months later when SO and I travelled to her graduation, which was the scene of the Great Graduation Gift Fiasco. Fun times.