One evening later that week, Cass, to her horror, found herself dining with Daniel and Samantha. Daniel never called his child bride to be by her nickname.
Sam never talked much in his presence. She just looked at Daniel adoringly. It made Cass cringe. It proved to Cass that love is also deaf and mute.
Cass had already sat through a lecture on why her career was stalling, despite Sam having invited her to dinner to celebrate Cass’ promotion. He had implied that he had a friend who would like to meet her,” Tick Tock!” he laughed.
Cass wondered whether his charm offensive was deliberate to isolate Sam from her friends, to make her more compliant. It just did not make sense, Sam would never do anything she did not want to do.
“I am quite happy being the mad cat lady, thanks.” smiled Cass nonchalantly.
“Oh no you are not, all women want to have children and they need someone to look after them when they do,” he said confidently.
“I don’t.” Cass could not quite believe how tactless he was. She had never met such a smug conceited human being. She felt angry with Sam for inflicting him on her.
“Besides babe, with the new shared leave, there will be more sharing in child care,” Sam finally piped up.
“Oh I could not possibly look after the children my darling, I would get bored. You would be so much better at it,” he actually patted the back of Sam’s hand. “But without that, you know how much I earn, we could not live off your salary.”
Cass was waiting for the time when he would drop into the conversation how he was a successful partner of an international management consultancy. Her prat quota had been filled. She excused herself to the bathroom, with a detour outside for a cigarette.
After serious consideration Cass decided to duck out after the main course, citing some excuse to run away. She wondered if you could suffer a brain embolism resulting from nuclear prat exposure.
When she got back to the table, Daniel decided dominate the entire conversation with a diatribe about His Choice of Wine and Why it is So Superior to whatever Cass would like to drink.
Daniel liked to EDUCATE people on wine. He congratulated himself that Samantha’s palette has improved so much since he met her. For the sake of her friendship, Cass decided not to beg to differ.
Cass thought that it takes a certain superior level of prized arse hole to take the all the fun out of booze. Cass could actually feel herself becoming more and more sober with every fun wine fact Daniel deigned to bestow on Cass.
Cass was numbed so much by Daniel’s white wine noise that she could not remember what she had eaten. She remembered vaguely agreeing to meet Sam to look at wedding dresses. “You Girls have fun now. Don’t worry about the price, I just want you to look good.”
Cass thought darkly, Daniel could be used by the CIA to interrogate terrorists. Is this what had happened to her best friend, she had been brainwashed in compliance by this idiot’s monotone misogyny. Sam could not really like him, could she? He was not so old as to have missed women’s liberation or reality?
Cass hated the way he called them “Girls”, she was over thirty, she certainly was not a girl. Just because Daniel’s own daughter could have been at school at the same time as Sam, does not make Sam a girl.
Cass made her excuses, “Work, you know how it is.” Then she hot tailed her way out of there as quickly as she could.