Social Occasion Part 2

February 4, 2009

Speaking of International Relations (as David just did), one of the impossible tasks of modern life is to arrange a social event by email. It takes about 57 emails before schedules can be reconciled. I was trying to arrange a date and time when Mama and Mommy and Random Granddaughter and Mary and S and F can all have an international social occasion at the mommies’ house.The date Mary set doesn’t work for S and F. We arranged a week later.

I thought, dinner. The mommies said, how about brunch at 10 am? S and F said, we have an appointment and can not arrive until eleven. I said, how about 11 am? Mary said, that would be fine; I sleep late on weekends. The mommies said, that would be late because RG must take her nap by 1 pm. I said, I am making an executive decision, we will meet at 10:30 am.

Then the mommies asked, what about food preferences? T(hey have had guests who wouldn’t eat this or that.) I will email the guests today and ask what they like to eat and what they don’t like to eat. They are very polite people so they probably will tell us they eat everything. Nobody eats everything. RG hardly eats anything. (She will be the first five year old to suffer from anorexia.)

Mrs. Random is concerned I am taking advantage of the mommies to be my diplomatic social hostesses (which of course, I am), and said, we [Grandma and Grandpa] should pay for the food. The mommies said, don’t worry about it. Of course, Mrs. Random, in her Martha Stewart alter, is fretting about it.

Now RG is on deadline to learn Quechua and Romanian in three weeks. And the mommies said, RG may get bored with all the adults around and wander off and do something else in the middle of the social occasion (and perhaps provoke an international incident).

At the last minute, somebody will probably not be able to make it. I will sulk because all my careful scheming has come to naught.

Then there’s Bunny, the killer rabbit masquerading as RG’s favorite stuffed animal. He may decide to wreak revenge on me (for my bunicide in the woods) in the middle of the social occasion, ruining the mommies’ best tablecloth with bloodstains.

This is the first week I don’t have to go to work. I have a list of 10,000 things I need to do. Mrs. Random has a list of 10,0020 things I have to do. The 20 have to come before any of mine. Perhaps her 10,000 things come before my 10,000 things.

6 Responses to “Social Occasion Part 2”

  1. David Says:

    This occasion sounds momentous and fraught with peril.

    Of course you must do Mrs. Random’s to-do list first, if you don’t want a to-do of entirely another kind.

  2. pandemonic Says:

    That sounds too hard. Maybe that’s why I don’t do social occasions by email. I just launch the occasion and hope people come, no matter what I serve or who is invited. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

  3. modestypress Says:


    I bought a used window for the chicken house to be. That was one item on Mrs. Random’s list. 9,999 or so to go.


    Mrs. Random tends to have social occasions for one friend (at a time out of her two friends) or for two mommies and one granddaughter.

    I have been escalating. Who knows what will happen?

  4. spectrum Says:

    I sulk when events do not go as I planned them either. I also fall under the Mrs. Random mentality of trying to be the perfect hostess and stress the whole time guests are at my house. I cannot relax and enjoy the moment, because I feel I have to be “on,” and there should be no lull in conversation, activity, etc. Heaven forbid we all sit around and enjoy a moment of peaceful silence following a meal. I’d call it a disaster even if everyone else thought it acceptable.
    Last year we had overnight guests for a couple of nights. It was the first time I had ever entertained out-of-town, multiple night guests, and not to mention, they were people I had never met, they were friends of my husband and had 2 kids to boot. Before they arrived I was stressed beyond belief. After they left, I decided that all future guests of such nature should stay at a hotel, even if I have to pay. They were perfectly lovely, but I was a disaster and worried the whole time! I wish you much luck and keep us posted.

  5. modestypress Says:


    My suggestion (which I make to you as my wife would not be amused and you are safely distant from me) is that you locate at least three other people who also are victims of “perfect hostess (or host) syndrome” and invite them to a party where you will all together mess up and have a perfectly imperfect social occasion as an obsessive group.

    When I detected that my daughter and her partner were somewhat intimidated by Mrs. Random’s perfectionism (which made them enjoy visiting a little less rather than more), I suggested she have an intentional imperfection, perhaps leaving a couple of towels out of different colors. My wife was not amused and would not do it.

  6. spectrum2 Says:

    Ah, the towels, you reminded me of towels! I spent weeks shopping and buying towels-soft, fluffy, adequately sized towels. Once a sufficient enough were acquired (around a dozen towels and washcloths and a half dozen hand towels), I had to fold them and display them appropriately. For those of you who do not know, there is only one way that I can fold a towel that will satisfy me, it takes four folds. No edges, tags, etc., show. The monogrammed towels were already on display, but the cabinet towels must match, so that led to much distress for me to match the eggshell color. Oh, and when they arrived, they only used four towels! Four! They re-used their towels. I’ve never heard of such. We use our towels once then wash them. Reusing? I was secretly disappointed that I did not have a dozen towels to wash.

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