LD and I have a tenuous tradition of date night on Saturday. She sends her kids to Dutch classes in the afternoon which is sometimes additional time for us to be together, but she gets a babysitter for the evening. Today, she had to catch up on work during the afternoon, so we only had date night. We both agreed that given our situation, we also need to strengthen friendships and relationship, so she invited Eyeball to go out with us.
It was a fun evening. We hit three nice restaurants and had drinks and appetizers at each one. Eyeball is a very blunt person with no filter. My behavior on this night, right before February, was caused by this bluntness. However, whereas back then I took her comments as a deliberate attack, I am reasonably confident now that she's on the side of acceptance. She is brutally honest, but sympathetic. For example, early in the evening, she referred to me, half-jokingly, as "home wrecker." I shrugged and accepted it. That is a label and one way of looking at it. But Eyeball then said, "Of course, that wasn't a home, and there wasn't any wrecking; that's my opinion, anyway."
Later on, we were talking about tattoos and she asked me, "Didn't one of your wives have tattoos? I mean the young one." Anyway, it was all good-natured ribbing of the particularly biting kind that close or long-time friends indulge in. At one point both Eyeball and LD needled me for thinking I was superior to other people (which I really don't think is true), citing the fact that for years I did not know their names or talk to them. Well, it is true I don't pay much attention to people until they show me something that wows me. But in my defense --- and I wouldn't say this in return to Eyeball, though Friar agrees with me --- Eyeball herself doesn't exactly brighten up the room and engage people with her warm personality. She is well-read and travels and watches good TV, but she projects a somewhat sour or reserved exterior. It's only after a while, as with me, that she starts to thaw a little.
I'm really glad we went. Eyeball is officially neutral in the Rift, but it proving to be, if not an ally, a refuge from attack.