Indian food and olive branches ….

Kennith and I went out for dinner last night.

I thought (it’s my blog so it is all about my perspective) that Kennith was really in an old man grumbling sort of mood.

I got in the car and he started explaining an incident that occurred.   He was getting quite worked up over something that is pretty minor.  As he told the story, he really got vexed and it ended with: “if they just understood and applied basic statistical modelling this would never have happened…”

I tried not to make my eyes go big.  I do get a bit afraid if people start to bandy around statistics, and refer to it as basic principle.  It took me years to understand that “the mean average” was not the “average of the angry people.”

Kennith went on to another issue.

I have learnt from experience, and my anticipation of being ready to say ” yes we are” when the waiter asks “are you ready to order?’ to half listen.  Nod at the right times, and even pull my mouth just like so in empathy, all the while keeping an eye out for the friendly yet elusive waiter.

I volunteered – after I had my drink – that Kennith was a bit obsessed with being right all the time.  To which he indicated that the issue was not that he was right all the time, but that everyone was wrong, and just needed to bow to his superior knowledge.

I might be paraphrasing, but that is sort of the gist of what he said.

I suggested that he should recognise that being right all the time is not as important as maybe just accepting some responsibility for things. And that maybe he was not right all the time, and MORE IMPORTANTLY TO STOP TELLING ME THIS EVENING ABOUT HOW RIGHT YOU FUCKING ARE!!

Kennith had ordered a beer and it arrived.

He ignored my prattling on about how he should desist from proving how right he was.  He was deeply engaged in reading the bottle label.

“Hah!” he said showing me a real close up of the bottle, “see I was right, this beer is made in Singapore and not India!!”

I took a sip of my Millers – which I really have no interest in knowing where it is from –  to eye Kennith steadily over my beer glass.  I indicated that he was maybe doing the “thing” again — the having to be right all the time thing.

His defense was that the beer was not from India.

He was right, and should he not crow about being right when he was right ….. I decided it might be easier to cast my eyes down at the menu and look if there was any biryani available.  There is no sense in arguing with a mad man with a glass bottle in his hand.

Kennith never knows when to stop, he said to me “Well you never admit to being wrong!!  When have you ever admitted to being wrong?”  {does this sound like an evening-out going down the shit pipe at a rapid rate?}

To which I answered: “I admit to being wrong, and that I have made a mistake ….often …. what I do not admit to is being sorry.  That I seldom can admit to!  I really struggle to say “I’m sorry!”

Kennith went on to tell me about how he was right about the positioning of the restaurant, though I disagreed.  He called the waiter over to affirm his rightness.

I ordered another beer. I might have been three ahead at this point. I figured that there was no way we were going to have sex, I might as well just get drunk.

In a desperate further attempt to try to divert the conversation away from all the things Kennith is allegedly right about — and he did go on a bit — I brought up the fact that my family is not one for saying “SORRY.”

We are more of the kind that hold a grudge for 25 years.

Totally forget what it was we originally started fighting about.  We pass the grudge on to the next generation and call it a “clan feud” which sounds better than saying you are arguing about petty shit.  We do have a tendency to get drunk at funerals and then have an absolutely family argument about shit that happened decades ago.

Kennith reminded me that I had not spoken to my brother in more than 5 years.

He lives a few suburbs away.  I speak to the one in Scotland.

I agreed, and said that I really did not have animosity towards him.  A few things had occurred, and I am quite well adapted to sever ties with someone and move on with my life.

I really am far above beyond interested in having gang fights on the hill, and having a shit fit on Facebook.  I simply go into a shut down mode, and remove all traces of the person from my life.  I don’t do anger, I do disinterest like a super hero though.

My brother Shaun and I have not spoken in years.  The reason is irrelevant.  I am sure it is one of those things whose truth is embedded in the person telling the tale.  The reality is somewhere in the middle.

I got home last night and decided to send him a message and pretty much say “hey here is an olive branch, and if you want to get together and move on then, I am fine with that” — notice how I did not say sorry, but I sort of meant it by my actions.

My brother declined my olive branch.

Okay, he did not tell me to shove it up my arse.

He did indicate that there will be no olive branch exchanging, no cups of sugar lending, and definitely no boerewors on the Sunday braai together – he was very polite, and said “no thank you” like a gentleman.

In the end I did have biryani.

I was quite sober.

The meal unfortunately was not brilliant.

Kennith will tell me all the points in this post where he was right, and continues to be. {sigh}

Leave a comment


  1. Alexandra

     /  April 11, 2013

    I notice Kennith hasn’t commented yet. The whole time I was reading it, I was wondering what his response would be.

    I’m the opposite, I’m sorry for everything but my DH is sorry for nothing.

  2. Hilary

     /  April 11, 2013

    laughed my ass off for this – thanks for sharing!

  3. Tania

     /  April 11, 2013

    Very familiar… It may not resolve my situation but it is good to know that I’m not the only one… somehow affirmation that I’m not crazy or weird… as sometimes some of my dearest and supposed to be nearest try to brainwash me into thinking…

  4. Had a pretty shitty start to the day and then my colleague played that Louis Armstrong song and I was crying at work and then I read this and I laughed and I laughed and I laughed. Thank you:)

  5. Mike Manning

     /  April 10, 2013


    I can’t seem to find your email and have a quick question about your blog. Could you email me?


  6. I’m sorry Celeste!.
    Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but it sounds like your brothers reaction has hurt you.
    And tell Kennith, he is a man, that means he is NEVER right, even when he is!

    • reluctantmom

       /  April 10, 2013

      Hi Sharon

      I would have preferred a different reaction from my brother, but he might need a few more months/years to decide to renew our relationship. I think I do want to avoid a situation where one of us dies, and the other is standing there going, shit I wish I had done this differently.


      • Jenny

         /  April 11, 2013

        You are not alone in that family thing. My siblings live two blocks from each other in Brisbane: and don’t talk. I hardly speak to either of them. Sad. But I think death will happen before it all ends. Isn’t it sad?

  7. Ha ha ha, sounds just like my husband!!

  8. Ha – this is tragically hilarious!

  9. Ros Koch

     /  April 10, 2013

    ah, this sounds so comfortingly familiar.


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