On Saturday night That Stud Muffin I Married and I went to a Bring Your Own Lobster party.
I've never been to a lobster boil in Illinois, so I commend my hostess on her originality, but the evening left much to be desired. In fact, I couldn't wait to leave.
First of all, we were asked to bring live lobsters, and the two lobsters I bought cost me $50. Then there was the babysitting, which probably cost another fifty. And for $100, That Stud Muffin I Married and I could have gone out to a nice dinner, a lobster dinner, even--and the conversation would have been better.
Well, of course it would have been better. In terms of percentages, I would have been able to dominate as much as 85 percent of the conversation, my husband's contributions being to order the meal, pick the wine, laugh at my jokes, and pay the check. Whereas, at this BYOL party, I was forced--out of politeness--to let other people talk. And that can be such a problem at times.
Now, during the course of the evening, I alluded once or twice to Mamarazzi, and it's quite possible that one of these dinner guests will find his or her way over there, and then to this blog. For their benefit, I will now provide a precis of What Not to Do While at a Dinner Party:
1. Do not ask people personal questions designed primarily to elicit socio-economic information. This is a naked attempt to discover people's social class, and the intelligent among them will either resent it or find it silly. Or both.
Forbidden questions include: "Oh, you grew up in the Erewhon area? Where did you go to school?" "Where did you go to college?" "Oh, so you live in Oz? Where, exactly?" "Your house in Utopia--is it on the water?" "Is your place near that country club--what's the name of it again?"
For the record, when people ask him where he grew up, That Stud Muffin I Married takes enormous pleasure in answering "Indiana" or "Indianapolis," because in the Chicago area, Indianapolis is almost completely connotation-free. He really enjoys the blank stares he gets.
But me? I was in shock. I've been asked fewer questions at job interviews. It was unbelievable. What ever happened to "Seen any good movies lately?" or "How 'bout them Cubs?"
2. Do not warm up to people based on their answers to questions you shouldn't have been asking in the first place. This will make them realize that they've passed muster with you. And they will find you really pathetic. So pathetic that their eyes will well over with tears of pity for your sad little snobberies. And they will want to weep. Or laugh. But being well-behaved sorts, they will wait to laugh until they're in their car.
And then, a few days later, they will blog about it.