In Vino Veritas It was just an odd dinner, all around. Two couples, both with men named Matt, and then me, the Post-Modern Drunkard freeloader, being brought alcohol and cooked food solely because I paid rent at the place everyone else decided to eat. As the fifth wheel, I should be the one feeling odd. But out of everyone, I was the most comfortable one there. The one who really should be feeling odd is Matt v2.0, because he's going to get dumped soon.
In fact, everyone but him knows that he's going to be dumped soon, that his girlfriend Liz is only looking for an out: either a new roommate for herself to replace him, or a new roommate for him to replace herself, before she gives him the axe. He must know something is up, since no one around him will talk about the future. It's not that there's another guy; it's just that he's boring and uninteresting, and that it was a mistake for them to move in together as fast as they did. It's a very odd situation, and I can't imagine being in it and and not at least being partially aware of it.
Maybe he keeps quiet because he's too polite or embarassed to bring it up, and it'd just be rude to say to a girl, "I know you're dumping me as soon as it's convenient for you, but for now, let's travel to the Carribbean together and then return and tell boring anecdotes about our trip to all of our friends who know that the axe is coming one way or another and are trying to not take sides." Are there couples who actively decide such things, or does it just seem to come about on an ad hoc basis?
It was probably not the best programming decision in the world for us to wind up watching "Intolerable Cruelty"--a movie entirely about ill-begotten love and divorce--to this crowd, since we have a) a couple that broke up and got back together barely a month ago, b) a couple on the verge of breaking up, if only one of them would mention it to the other, and c) me, a single man looking for someone to eventually break up with. Somehow, it managed to work out, but only because we all happen to be passive aggressive and not willing to confront our problems head-on, preferring to simmer and snipe and win our battles based on attrition and endurance.
At least, I assume that's what everyone else was doing. I was mostly just finishing off all the open bottles of wine, and then opening extra bottles to finish off. There are distinct advantages to being a single drunkard, and one of them is that you can just ignore weird sexual tension without it causing too much permanent harm. That, and you can drink heavily without anyone you care too much about looking at you disapprovingly.