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Dinner Party Disaster
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"Et Les Desserts" dinner party last night was French-themed, delicious salad, so-so entree, and a carrot cake from a local bakery. The people who were there (12 of us) were, all but one, people I know well.

At first the conversation was pleasant and general, talking about past events we've shared as a community, lightly touching on current events (e.g., upcoming State of the Union Address), and the sorry state of English grammar these days in the news media, but then descended into an argument about retirement benefits and social security.

The two main opponents, the host and a guest, have been friends for 20 years (I don't know how a friendship can survive that kind of abusive exchange) and they've had this argument many times, from what they said. By now you'd think they had learned to agree to disagree.

But no, one of them has to be right, and will sacrifice all his friendships on the altar of rectitude. His view is right and he gets louder and louder until he shouts everyone down. Those he shouted down (or who did not want to be part of the fracas) retired from the dining table to the living room. The rest stayed at the table and yelled at each other.

Pretty soon the one who had to be right realized that his audience/opponents had moved quietly into the living room and he followed them in, and started all over again. His main opponent (our host) tried to end it by saying that they were never going to agree so could they cease arguing for now, but the aggressor wasn't going to change topics, even when his wife kept tugging on his arm and telling him to stop.

He couldn't stop. He was totally possessed by the need to be right and wasn't going to stop until everyone caved. I've never seen the host and hostess angry before, in all the years I've known them, but they were angry last night.

The party broke up shortly after that.

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