Game of Groans and a Dinner

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Game of Groans.”

Think about an object, an activity, or a cultural phenomenon you really don’t like. Now write a post (tongue in cheek or not — your call!) about why it’s the best thing ever.

Part I:

“Did you see the video about the Boxer? She gleefully asked. It had to be another YouTube video about a dog being a dog and doing something completely doggy. Olivia loved animal videos and loved passing them on to all her friends through any form of social media at her small fingertips.

“What? No….let’s watch it after dinner” said John, her father.

“Are you sure you haven’t seen it?” she asked one more time, never lifting an eye from the small screen in front of her. “No,  it can wait until after dinner” he firmly suggested.

Both of his daughters sat their phones on the table beside them. Monstrous plates of salad with a few thick slices of steak sat in front of them. Hearty food, but summery. It was their dad’s go to meal, also it was easy and  quick to make in less than 20 minutes.

Two daughters and Margaret, John’s girlfriend, sat at the round dining room table and looked at each other. Struggling to think of a conversation topic until the girl’s dad came to the table. Margaret looked at John’s older daughter Jane under the dimmed dining room lights and politely smiled. She smiled back- the pause in the conversation was awkward for them all. Nothing came to mind. It was a relief to Margaret to see John side into his chair.

Olivia looked at the plate, “Pass the dressing.” She shook the bottle by one end vigorously. “Dad, oh my god, Jessica is literally like an alcoholic,” in an all too nasally voice. She was always eager to share any and all random thoughts with her father.

Backing up a few times to fully elaborate the story plot, every one sat there, waiting for her to get to some organized thought. The overhead light threw shadows across her round, freckled face adding moodiness to the 19 year old’s story.  “Yeah, I couldn’t believe it. She called me up to hang out. After I finished hanging out with Christie, I went over and, she was so upset cause Tom had just broken up with her, but she like had cheated on him with seven guys! Seven guys! She was bawling her eyes out,” she stopped to take a bite and immediately resumed her tale.

Margaret’s mind numbed with each phrase Olivia uttered. Now why is Jessica an alcoholic? I’m sure I’ll find out eventually.

“And there she was in bed with a bottle of wine. Like literally laying there with a bottle, offering me a glass. I said no, cause like I had my water bottle and it was white wine. It’s so gross, ugh, disgusting. White wine is so disgusting! She drank the whole bottle! And blamed me for drinking it! But I had my water bottle…” she rattled on and on.

Her dad just sat there waiting for his chance. “So this was the boy we met?” referring to the fraternity boy Jessica had hooked up with the first week of the first semester of their freshman year. Tom had hit on Olivia once when his girlfriend was out of the room. In the end though, it had been Jessica who was deemed the disastrous room mate. So much so that she moved out of their dorm room. Yes, John and Margaret knew every “Literal,” “Like” and “you know” of every  drama packed saga that was Olivia’s first year away.

Margaret broke the fly-on-the-wall cardinal rule and tried to be part of the conversation, “So why do you still talk to her?” wondering why, if this person had been such a horrible roommate she would ever talk to her again.

“She called me. What was I suppose to do? Hang up?” and exasperated Olivia uttered with a slight ugh sound at the end just to put emphasis on her answer.

Margaret felt compelled to add some additional advise, “Well you don’t have to answer or just politely say you don’t have time..” Olivia snapped back. “Alright, I’ll just drop it!” Clearly agitated with his dad’s girlfriend. What right did she have to comment any way.

Margaret felt bad. Not for chiming in, but because she realized she wasn’t part of this family. Or maybe she was, Olivia would have never have been so rude to a guest. Margaret guessed she was just supposed to sit there and listen and keep her mouth shut.

“I mean, she was like, literally her best friend in high school.” She heard the voice in her head, spoke in the same nasally voice Olivia had just used. The meal went on with more of the saga revealed and combined with John’s fatherly stories of similar experiences. He hoped both girls would take to heart and remember them the next time a similar incident happened.

Jane’s phone rang beside her. “Oh, oh, oh it’s Michelle, let me get it.” An obsessed Olivia cried, grabbing for the phone. “Let me get it!”

“Helllloooooo?” Olivia answered in an even more nasally voice, drawing out the “O” to make it sound as if there was someone with a speaking impediment.

The two girls howled with laughter. This had been their own hilarious game they had learned from yet another Youtube video. A picture pops up, follow by a guy’s voice announcing the object and then the name of the object appears underneath it. But the guys voice too has the same strange speech impediment and the word is spelled the way the guy is announcing the object. This video, titled “Retarded Foods” always, always makes the girls laugh, sometimes until they cried. It sent shivers up Margaret’s spine.

The giggling subsided as Jane took the phone and walked into the kitchen to continue the conversation while finishing up the coconut cream pie for desert. The pie was big and white with tufts of toasted coconut flakes.

Jane hung up her phone and Olivia chimed back in, “Michelle is so nice, like really nice.” Which lead to another recanting about when Margaret may or may not have met Jane’s favorite college roommate Michelle and now post college social buddy.

Over pie the girls sat and talked, college drama, friend drama….it was just a little too much for Margaret who was expected to passively sit there. It was an early start the next day for Margaret and an excellent excuse to make a hasty retreat for her own home. She thanked Jane for the pie and, of course, told her how delicious it was.

Margaret knew she couldn’t handle another night of “The Real World.” She had been there and done that long ago. And John hadn’t a clue.

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