The Dinner Party

So, my husband has been working with this absolutely gorgeous, consultant for the past three years. The type with long hair, wears blue jeans to business meetings, and always looks absolutely cool. When the girls in the office hear that he, let’s just call him Mr. X, is coming to town, some of the girls head to the bathroom to fix their make-up. Others say, they couldn’t care less. (Who are THEY kidding?)

Mr. X is married. He has four kids, very similar in ages to our own — 4-12. These two Dads scored tickets for a professional basketball game. So, they set up an outing — just the dads and both 9-year boys in our respective families. They had a fabulous time. The kids, even though they just met, got along swimmingly.

I still had yet to meet the guy… Finally, the opportunity presented itself. Mr. X and family were coming to town for an overnight event. My husband invited them to dinner. Sounded logical, and nothing I couldn’t handle. So, it was a date. Saturday, 4 p.m.

I planned the menu — roasted pork loin, Edamame, one of my gorgeous salads and hamburgers for the kids. For dessert, blue Jello and raspberry bars. I cooked away…. Four o’clock came and went. No sign of them.

At 4:30, Mr. X called. They were 3 hours away, and would arrive by 7:30. This concerned me. Bedtime is sacred — they would arrive at 7:30 with four more kids, ready for dinner. Dangerously close to interrupting my own night-time peace that I so look forward to, day after day.

I fed my own kids while we waited — and tried to keep the roast warm, and moist.

Mr. X and family arrived at 8 p.m. I was steaming… yet, when I took one look at Mr. X, the steam just kind of… escaped. I met the beautiful children, which instantly merged into our household of boys… but where was the wife?

“Oh, well, she’s stressed out… you know how it is getting four kids ready to go some place,” he said. “She’s just giving herself a few minutes in the Van by herself.”

I thought: Yes, as a matter of fact I do know what it’s like… in fact I’ve been cooking all day with four kids in the house. And WOW, now I have 8 of them!!

Mr. X was charming, conversational, and was very easy on the eyes.

Twenty minutes later, the wife walks in. Can I just say… well, I won’t say it. In your mind, just say, it wasn’t a compatible-looking match.

She hands me a grocery store plastic bag, full of trash, and says, “Can you throw this out for me? I just cleaned out the van.”

Well, I thought, very nice to meet you too.

We introduce her to my children, she talks to me about how she had to buy everything at Pottery Barn Kids, and now she knows better… WhatEver.

Then, she turns her attention to my oldest son. “Now, are you going to give me a tour?” she says. “Didn’t your Mom and Dad teach you that you’re the one who’s supposed to give your guests tours of the house, now that you’re such a big boy.”

No, we didn’t teach him that, and I didn’t want this woman lurking through the floors of my house looking into our bedrooms and bathrooms. We were lucky enough to have the first floor cleaned. “Just the first floor, OK?” I said.

My son obliged and gave her the tour — of the first floor. I was busy serving kids, trying to get this whole thing over with so that I could get my own kids to bed.

The kids were adorable, and well-mannered. Mrs. X comes back into the room, and starts giving the kids some lecture about their manners. The woman made no sense — but I was tired, and at this point, busy serving and ignoring her.

However, I did notice that while we were all busy eating, she wasn’t. She was busy hovering over the table, looking at my stuff, and telling me about her stuff. This was a serious concern. If she didn’t hurry up and eat, she messed up my time table. I couldn’t put food away, I couldn’t load her plate in the dishwasher — she was really clogging things up.

I politely offered, and pushed the food, to no avail. Soon, she retreated to the bathroom – for about 20 long minutes. When she came out, she had our garbage bag liner in her hand, and asked my husband too kindly throw this out for her. (No, he didn’t check to see what in the world was inside.)

I whispered to my husband that I didn’t think we’d be rid of them until 11 p.m., at this point. He assured me, he’d get them out of here before then. Then he whispered, “At least we’re not stuck with them for a weekend at the lake!”

“You actually considered that,” I said, almost yelling now. “Well, he said, I got along great with him and the son…”

She saw my husband’s coffee pot, loaded and ready to go for tomorrow morning. “Oh, I hope we’re going to have coffee later,” she said. “I LOVE coffee.”

I said, “Well, he doesn’t drink it at night — we need our sleep.” She pouted. I decided to push my point, and hold my ground and take control of this one here and now. Then it dawned on me. This is not a woman I should upset. Instead, my husband started making the coffee. I watched my evening of peace flash before my eyes and drain away.

Her husband made a plate for her, and she stood and ate, while I started to clean up. Then, somehow, not sure this happened, but she got control of MY SINK. I’m not sure when in my life it happened, but sometime and I was unaware of it before this night, I got possessive about my sink! She had the sprayer, and she talked and sprayed and sprayed the sides of my sink, she scrubbed furiously, and she kept spraying — she splattered the kitchen with her spray. I couldn’t stand it. I wanted my sprayer back.

She sensed this irritated me. So, she quickly changed the subject, “I love your shirt!” she said.

Soon, she put the sprayer down, and she disappeared, while I toweled off my kitchen. The kids were happy, running around and playing, and my husband decided to go have a look for her. She had disappeared again into the basement bathroom.

While she was gone, my husband and I conspired against her. I pulled out a disposable coffee cup, with lid. My husband poured the coffee and sat it on the now, nice and clean and cleared-off counter. She would have coffee “to go.”

After a long absence of 30 minutes, my husband found her in the laundry room, dousing our tablecloth with Spray-n-Wash. “You don’t need to do that,” my husband said.

“There is nothing wrong with me doing this, now is there,” she said. He left her alone.

When she appeared upstairs again, we had her coffee ready to go, and kids out the door, and everyone waiting for her in the car.

At this point, I had a million questions about everything… but I didn’t ask. I’ll just say, Mr. X, was not THAT cute anymore.

Mr. X, if this happens to be one of those nights that you do stop by my blog — no offense. But really, the night was really, and truly, weird. Still wondering what in the world was in that trash bag.

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27 comments to “The Dinner Party”
  1. I found myself hoping this was a wild piece of fiction. Sounds so unreal…! Nicely written. And I agree with Yogamum – this woman isn’t normal…probably! 🙂

  2. I’m sitting here reading, reading…. at patience of Job you exhibited. By the time I got done I realize my mouth is hanging open at the strangeness of her. And did I mention the patience you exhibited. And to think you missed a whole weekend at the lake with her. Wow…you could have written forever on that!!

  3. Okay, she sounds very anti-social and what was in the trash bag?? Obviosly…she’s a binge/purge…that’s my take! She has issues, she is obsessive, she didn’t eat with you, she held you up..she’s all about control and binge/purge is all about control. Wow!! Hope they don’t come back anytime soon!

  4. Goodness me, how bizarre. I was also beginning to think you were writing fiction, Susie, because it’s hard to believe someone would behave so strangely. I agree with Sherry that she has some kind of control issues: arriving late (or spectacularly early) is also one way of a controlling a situation.

  5. Definitely something going on…Mind you, maybe its the cumulative impact on someone already well-equipped with issues of a decade or two of watching other, increasingly younger women drool over her husband.

    The sort of evening that’s more entertaining to read about than endure – patience of Job is right!

  6. She sounds like someone who lives her life on the road and is missing a home. But that still does not explain the garbage bags. You dealt with her great… coffee to go!

  7. did this really happen, susie?
    It sounds impossible and you posted about it–you are some tough cookie but I already knew that from reading and reading and having met you and yours in FL.
    any pics–you always have such nice fotos of the lake, etc.

  8. All true. All true.

    About that trash bag — she gave it to my husband, and I missed the whole thing. He told me about it later — and I was all ears!! I assumed he looked, and I said, with baited breath…. “well… what was in it?” Of course he didn’t look — and the garbage men had already come and gone!

    No pics — I was, kind of busy, and didn’t really want to record the night… if you know what I mean.

  9. Bizarre, but she sounds like she has OCD….you have a lot of patience, because I would have not put up with that. Nope, I would have lost my gasket, but I admit to my emotional/mental issues freely 😉

    Penelope Anne

  10. You get a gold star for the restraint you showed. I think I would’ve decked her.

    And you really NEVER found out what was in that trash bag? You could hold a whole contest just around guessing what the contents were!

  11. Oh my! I am with Joyful Days…my mouth was hanging open…she sprayed your sink???????? Oh my!!!!!!!! She doused your TABLE CLOTH?????????

    Now Susie, I am all for late nights after the kids go to bed and 11pm is not late for me but truly….the way she made herself at home in your house!!!!!!!

    I think Mr X must be a SAINT!!!!!

  12. wow. very bizarre. we had some friends come and stay with us just before new years, and the first night the arrived the wife/mother disappeared into the bedroom immediately, the husband said she wasn’t feeling well, and we didn’t see her until the next morning. It was very bizarre, but then the rest of the visit went fairly well (other than their inability to schedule anything or think ahead, but that’s just their personalities, which we adjusted to fairly well) but Ms. X. wow. surprising she is not ex-X, frankly.

  13. Oh wow..what a fruit cake. Those poor children.
    And you wonder why they were so late…I’m sure it was all her!

  14. Pingback: A Blizzard Party | Susiej

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