I’m awfully sorry about your quiche matted carpet and Uncle Jim’s bruised belly and I know I probably should have waited for her to blow out the candles before eating. Please accept my heartfelt condolences about Bubbles too, he had a good run – are you sure I can’t help you extract him from the radiator?
On a big standard day, my social incompetence and I manage to co-exist swimmingly. Dinner parties, however, are a whole new kettle of fish. They provide the ultimate platform for public humiliation, larger and more well lit than Times Square on New Years Eve.
My very first experience of a dinner party was really more of a tea party. I was around 8 years old and had been invited to a house belonging to a friend of the vicar, along with some other kids from Sunday school, for sandwiches and squash.
So there I was, seated on the floor with a cup of strong blackcurrant squash, sipping from my cup as if it were a hi ball of bourbon and I a jaded war veteran, wise and windswept. The squash was far more concentrated than my mum ever allowed for me to drink and a deep, royal purple.
After setting my cup down, I engaged in the re-telling of old war stories with the ex-marine to my right and showed him my medals. Feeling rather parched from all my tale telling, I reached for my hi ball to find that it’d emptied its entire purple contents across the thick ivory carpet.
As I goggled at the bruise that had bloomed, the cup rolled a few inches to the right, mocking me.
‘Too busy to pay attention to me, huh? Look where that got you, jaded veteran my ass. ‘
Like any other normal person, I leapt up and apologised to the host for my clumsy mistake.
Is what I should have done.
Instead, I backhanded the sneering cup under the sofa and shifted myself over the squash drenched carpet. Now if I could just sit there until the house became derelict, I would be fine.
‘They’re going to report you to the police,’ The cup hissed from underneath the sofa ‘or even worse, call your mother.’
I continued to press my buttocks into the stain and felt the dampness begin to soak into my jeans and pass through my skin. I wondered what Ribena would do to me if it entered my bloodstream.
‘How about you tell them that you’ve acquired an illness that results in you spontaneously pissing purple, berry scented fluid?’ The cup suggested. After a few moments of careful consideration, I hissed back:
‘That’s stupid, they’d get worried and check with my mother. Now shut up and be a cup.’
A few Emerils later, people began to ascend from their seats and file out of the room. Utterly mortified, I remained where I was, buttcheeks clenching in fear and my face contorted with horror. To our superviser, I must have looked severely constipated, as she urgently attempted to usher me out.
‘I have to tie my laces, you go first,’ in my nervous state, my voice came out as a strained whisper and I barely noticed her glance at my Velcro straps before she left, clearly convinced that the child at her feet was seconds away from producing a pair of incense sticks to perform a demonic ritual with.
With the place now blissfully empty, my purple ass leapt up and slipped out of the house gleefully scot free.
I realise now, of course, what an asshole move that was and if the host of that tea party is reading this – I’m sorry and hit me up if you want to press charges.
But as you can see, dinner parties and I didn’t exactly get off on the right foot and our relationship was only destined to worsen.
In my opinion, the most dreadful type of dinner party is where the food is laid out buffet style and you get to serve yourself on a paper plate. Before you get the wrong impression, let me just mention now that I would usually be thrilled at the prospect of unlimited shrimp toast, but with so many watchful stares following you around whilst you pile your plate with a socially unacceptable amount of food and infinite opportunities for catastrophe, shrimp toast begins to look less appealing.
I mean, one minute I could be sprinkling my salmon with pepper and the next, have the host SCREAMING what the hell I was doing to her grandma.
Don’t even get me started on the paper plates, flimsy flimsy things that bend all which ways whilst you attempt to pile obscene amounts of food onto it. You end up having to perform some sort of frenzied waltz, tripping over a pair of Crocs and nearly splitting your head open on Uncle Jim’s beer belly, to get to your seat.
Once seated, you discover that it is near impossible to spear anything with your fork without the plate sinking into the crevice between your knees. A few bites later and it ends up looking like you’re trying to engulf your meal with your thighs.
And finally, I doubt I have to alert you to the fact that you’re spending an ENTIRE night in someone else’s house, filled with THEIR PRIZED POSSESIONS, children and idiotic goldfish that leaps behind the radiator when you tap the glass.
So by the time they kick you out onto the front porch with a pending restraining order, not only have you used their deceased relative as seasoning, but also made their little brats cry, ruined their upholstery, and slaughtered their dear pet.
You should have just stayed in with pizza and Netflix.
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Thank you for reading and I’ll see you in the next blog post.