"I've been working on my social skills,"
I couldn't help pricking up my ears, because it's not something I've heard him admit to in such a straightforward way before.
"You should work on yours. They make a big difference," he went on to advise his brother.
"Yes I might do this evening," answered Tom. "Not sure if I've got time. I've got plenty of charisma though."
"No you haven't. You've got more intelligence than charisma," Ali pronounced.
"I think he can be quite charismatic on a good day," I felt obliged, as Tom's mother, to say in his defence. Then seeing the blank expression on both their faces I thought I'd better balance it up by adding: "You both can."
They looked at each other, as if silently working out whose turn it was to deal with me.
"Mum," said Ali eventually. "We're not talking about life. We're talking about our characters' skills and attributes in Eve Online. It's a game."
And they both give me their look that makes me feel like a dinosaur exhibit in the Natural History Museum.
"Ah. I'll go and get the pudding then."
I know my place.
Looks like quite a good game actually. I'm not into spaceships though: I prefer to have a little avatar. The boys explained later that the avatar is the spaceship, but that somehow doesn't do it for me.