New Year’s Resolution: Stop Being a Bad Guest

Did I tell you what a bad guest I’ve been lately?  No?

It started with me inviting my entire family to a friend’s house on Christmas Day.  No, we weren’t invited to their house–we invited ourselves to their house.  And on Christmas day, of all days.  It couldn’t be Arbor day or even a Friday night.  Nope, it’s gotta be Christmas.  Why?  The Doctor Who Christmas special, of course.  We don’t get BBC America and that was the only station showing it.  But our friends do get BBC America.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s the only station they get since that’s all they watch.  There’s probably a really long wire from the BBC studio in England strung across the Atlantic ocean directly into the back of their tv.

We had to rearrange their entire living room so we could all fit around the tv and we had to bring additional furniture: a bean bag chair and a chair made out of bungee cords.  No, I can’t really describe it, but it’s bouncy (obviously.)  It wasn’t long before our host had to decree that the “person sitting in the bungee chair cannot bounce during the show.”   Boy11, being the one in the bouncy chair, kinda sorta tried not to bounce but you could see his heart wasn’t in it.  BoUnce.  Sit still for 4.329 seconds…boUnce.  Sit still for 4.329 seconds…boUnce.  I had to toss him off the chair.

But the worst part is that my host ended up having to cook dinner for us.  Oh, it’s a long story and I tried to bring food and do the cooking myself, but it didn’t work out that way.  The host ended up missing the pre-show special.  Bad, bad guest.  Next year we might have to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special through their front window with our noses pressed against the glass.

Later in the week I ended up at Jo-Ann’s house.  Thank the Lord she’s known me for 26 years and met me at my all-time low socially awkward stage.  I’m sure you’re thinking, “Yeah, we all went through that socially awkward stage,” but mine was extra bad.  You know how every graduating class has those 2 or 3 kids who are just so weird that no one can stand them?  I mean, really, no one can stand them? Yeah, that was me.  I’ve alluded to it with my friend Barbetta.  When she found out that I was in the high school band (clarinet) she said, “The band?  Oh, then you must have at least had geeky band friends then, right?”  I had to tell to her that even the geeky band members were lofty heights higher on the social ladder than poor little me.

The only thing, really the only thing, I had going for me was my sense of humor.  The problem was that I was such a social pariah that no one was willing to speak with me to uncover my wit.  For some unknown reason (see “Thank the Lord” above), in the first week of 10th grade during hell on earth gym class, I initiated a conversation with another student for the only time from 4th-12th grade.  The other student was Jo-Ann.  I made a few funny comments and we’ve been friends ever since. For the most part I’m better now socially, but Jo-Ann stuck with me through my years of extreme awkwardness.

So, there I was last Friday at Jo-Ann’s house.  She made the terrible, terrible mistake of showing me her daughter’s Monster High dolls.

Oh my word.  Oh. My. Word.

See, now that I take lots of pictures of people I have front-row insight into how women view themselves.  It drives me absolutely bonkers for a perfectly normal looking, attractive woman to cringe and cower at a picture of herself.  I cannot tell you how angry and frustrated I get at the distorted self-images women have.  I am furious at a society that pushes unrealistic expectations on women.

I haven’t looked at little girl toys since I was a little girl and I don’t have daughters so I haven’t been aware of the ridiculousness that’s thrown at little girls.  Seeing those Monster High dolls at age 40 was like being tossed into the deep end of a murky and slimy pool.  These dolls are misshapen caricatures of the female form, complete with a perpetual porn star arch of the back and anorexic arms and legs.  Here’s a picture.  

And so the ranting began.  While Jo-Ann sat there being her usual quiet self, I went on and on about how unconscionable it was that anyone would make something like this and don’t women have enough problems with their self-images without this crap and why would any store be willing to sell such atrocities to children and more than that, why would ANYONE GIVE THESE TO THEIR DAUGHTERS?

It wasn’t until poor Jo-Ann started muttering about, “Well, the first one wasn’t so bad and she uses her own allowance, so I don’t actually buy them for her…” that I realized I was railing against Jo-Ann.  Sigh.  Well, I guess she’s used to my social awkwardness by now.  I hope she forgives me.  What a bad bad guest.

And then Rob, Jo-Ann’s husband, went to get us food from Checkers at my request. Rob and Jo-Ann had never eaten there. Before he left I said, “You are going to get a lot of fries, right? They’re the best part of Checkers.”  Rob answered, with great confidence, “I’m going to get a LOT of fries!  Fries everywhere!”

But when he came back there was only 1 small fry for Rob, Jo-Ann, and me to share.  I began to tease him a bit about “what happened to all the orders of fries you were going to get?  Lots and lots of fries, you said.” Rob has a pretty awesome sense of humor, but he just Wasn’t In the Mood.  Apparently, putting in a large order at the Checkers intercom wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be. He said, “I meant to order fries, but then there were all these kids meals, and all the different drinks, and, and…I got confused!”

So, I backed off and then promptly forgot that all 3 of us were supposed to share the teeny order of fries.  We sat down to eat and the fries were in front of me and I proceeded to snarf up the entire thing of fries without offering any to anyone else.

Aw man.  I just realized that I totally forgot to reimburse Rob for buying us dinner.  Uuuuugh!  Bad, bad guest!

On Darling Husband’s birthday this past Sunday, we were celebrating at a friend’s house.  Boy11 made a cake and we were cutting pieces to eat.  Mmm.  Cut a piece, swipe a little frosting off the cake plate with a finger, cut a piece, swipe frosting with finger.  After receiving a few sidelong glances it dawned on me that maybe people don’t like it when I stick my finger in the frosting left on the cake plate.  I mean, if I saw someone else sticking their finger in the leftover frosting on the cake plate, I might feel a little grossed out, too.  Sigh.  Bad, bad guest.

New Year’s Resolutions:

Do not invite myself to friends’ houses on Christmas day forcing them to cook for me.

Do not rail against my friends’ kids’ toys.

Do not make fun of someone who just bought me dinner.

Do not lick the frosting off the cake plate.

…  Wait, scratch that last one.  Let’s change it to:

Do not get caught licking the frosting off the cake plate.


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