MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE
OUR RESIDENT FUNNYMAN & FURNITURE/DESIGN EXPERT, TIM ROSS, TELLS A FAMILIAR TALE…
Our resident funnyman Tim Ross on the emotionally fraught realities of entertaining
“What time are they coming again?” he asked, barely managing to conceal his negativity. “Seven thirty!” she replied curtly. “They’re your friends, you should know what time they’re coming over.” “They’re actually both our friends and it was your idea to have this stupid dinner…” His voice trailed off as he walked out of the lounge room and into the bedroom to look for his keys.
She sucked in the desire to let fly and instead shifted all her energy into putting the tea light candles into the small glasses she had bought from Ikea.
He found his keys and snuck out the door, beginning to ruminate as he made his way to the bottle shop. Why did she always invite these people over when all it did was cause stress? She’d made him go to Bunnings to buy some pot plants to put on the balcony while she spent hours making a tart that she ended up burning because she got distracted gossiping on the phone with her friend Stacey. Then she threw a shoe at him when he suggested it would have been easier and cheaper to go to The Cheesecake Shop. Then she got angry because she couldn’t remember her Spotify login (she didn’t want to repeat the extreme embarrassment from the last dinner party when the Spotify ads started playing just as they sat down for the entrée, and her obnoxious friend from work, Steve, called them tight for not paying for their music streaming).
He stopped his quiet contemplation long enough to make some quick calculations on the cheapest bottle of wine he could buy that would still look reasonably fancy. He settled on an obscure Argentinian Malbec at $14 a pop.
He was dreading Jo and Derek coming over, with their patronising comments about the apartment. “Oh, it’s such a cute size! I loved living in a little apartment while I was studying. God, I ate some tuna back then,” Jo would say before whipping out her phone to show off some photos from their recent trip to Italy.
Then Derek would talk about his investment properties, bore him about the six-pack of craft beer that he’d brought along and sniff the Malbec for five minutes before downing it like a glass of cordial.
He would drink fast and furious, too, still smarting over being berated earlier for wanting to wear jeans rather than chinos. “It’s just Jo and Derek coming for some pasta, not a job interview to work in the Apple store,” he’d say, ducking nimbly as the second shoe was thrown at him.
The night would drag on, the same conversations would be had over and over and when they finally took the hint to leave, Derek would struggle with his Uber app and he would end up ordering one on his account, knowing full well he’d never see the 50 bucks it cost for them to get back to their huge house in that horrible suburb.
He ended up with four bottles of Malbec, some Prosecco and a dessert wine. Heavy with dread, he gingerly opened the door, bracing himself for the latest barrage. Surprisingly she was sitting on the couch watching Narcos. “Jo called,” she said. “They can’t get a babysitter. They’ve cancelled.”
HE MADE SOME QUICK CALCULATIONS ON THE CHEAPEST WINE HE COULD BUY THAT WOULD STILL LOOK REASONABLY FANCY … AN OBSCURE ARGENTINIAN MALBEC AT $14 A POP SHOULD DO THE TRICK.