As I’ve mentioned before, I find “fancy” events far more stressful – and often far more boring – than I do enjoyable. I’m not sure if it’s the thick cloud of pretension that hovers over the room, or the fact that it’s “inappropriate” to do shots at the bar, but I find it very hard to relax at these things.
One thing in particular that bothers me is the seating arrangement. At most of these parties husbands and wives are not allowed to sit together. I have no idea why. It’s some “fancy” dinner rule. Which gives me an immediate anxiety attack because BR is like my security blanket at these things. I want to sit beside him. So instead you end up sitting next to someone else’s boring husband and attempting to make small talk with him for a couple of hours.
And you know what? Men don’t usually want to talk about the things that you’re interested in. They want to talk about themselves and business and money and the stock market and cars and gadgets. And since I’m cute, blond, stunned, and a probably a bit drunk with absolutely nothing to contribute to the conversation, I usually come across as a total airhead-slash-trophy wife. Or worse.
Random husband: So what do you do?
Me: Oh, you know, I take care of him.
Random husband: And what does he do?
Me: Actually, to tell you the truth I don’t really know. Some kind of “business”… or something… haha.
Random husband: Are you a hooker?
But luckily since BR refuses to wear a dinner jacket or real pants, we’re usually able to avoid such high society soirees. However, as I’ve also mentioned before, sometimes we just can’t get out of them. There’s one in particular that we get suckered into regularly that I find particularly painful. It’s a charity ball for the arts. Actually, it’s probably technically called a fundraiser, but whatever.
Now don’t get me wrong – I have absolutely nothing against supporting the arts – I’d just much rather make a donation than have to attend the actual party.
I know nothing about art. Nothing. And for whatever reason, I find the wealthy art crowd to be particularly snobby and difficult to mingle with. Plus I don’t always like the art that’s being showcased and after a couple of cocktails, the odd, slightly inappropriate comment sometimes slips out.
Me: Oh my god. What an ugly piece of shit.
Random patron of the arts: I’m sorry, what did you say?
Me: Oh… I didn’t realize you were standing right behind me. Umm, I said what a lovely piece… of art. It’s very… interesting. You know, with the line… that goes this way… and then that way…
Random patron of the arts: Uh huh…
Me: Yeah… um, will you excuse me? I just have to run over to the bar and chug something.
Anyway, one night at this particular event, BR and I actually got to sit beside each other during dinner. Thank god. I was seated in between him, and a lady from Mexico who seemed quite friendly and chatty initially.
Now – as a side note – BR has a very bad habit of taking food off my plate. All the time. This has caused me to drastically change my eating habits. So instead of casually enjoying a meal, I now have to scarf my food down as quickly as possible, as though my life depends on it. Or I will literally starve to death.
BR: Blondie, I’d like you to start portioning out our meals in proportion to our weight.
BR: I weigh approximately 40% more than you, so I should be getting 40% more chicken fingers than you.
Me: (blinking and staring)
BR: Here is a calculator. I’ll be checking the math to make sure you don’t “cheat.”
Me: What is wrong with you. Seriously.
BR: Oooooh, looks like you have something delicious left on your plate… yoink! Now it’s in my mouth.
Anyway, back to the story. So we were sitting at the table making small talk with this woman, when BR very blatantly reached over me and grabbed a half-eaten piece of buttered bread off the side plate, and shoved the whole thing in his mouth. I tried to be subtle and whisper at him.
Me: BR! That’s not my bread!
But it was too late. The Mexican lady was staring at us, appalled. BR had grabbed her half-eaten piece of bread and shoved it in his mouth. I looked at her and shrugged my shoulders and tried to make light of his faux pas.
Me: Oh, haha… he’s really hungry!
BR: Oh, I’m sorry! I thought I was eating Blondie’s bread!
This excuse backfired for at least two reasons: First, because you’re not supposed to scarf anyone’s bread, and second, because proper etiquette dictates that you’re supposed to know who’s side plate is who’s.
But I wasn’t mortified. I actually thought it was kind of awesome. Even though she wouldn’t speak to us for the rest of the night. Unfortunately I ran into her in the bathroom later, and when I offered her a half-hearted wave and a smile she rolled her eyes at me and just kept walking.
So if we have to go to this event again, I’ll make sure I feed BR before we go so he won’t be so ravenous. And maybe I’ll read up on a little “art history” beforehand. Or I’ll just fling myself down the stairs to get out of it. Either way…