I was going through some old writing and I stumbled upon this gem. It’s crazy to look back and see how different I was and how different the world was. This is from almost a month ago. It’s called: “The Complete Guide to Dying Politely While at a Dinner Party.” I promise it has nothing to do with corona virus.
Back then, in the bygone days of February, you could not only go to a dinner party, but you could also joke about it. Nowadays, if you tell someone you went to a dinner party, they will freak out before you even have a chance to explain that you brought two yard sticks taped together to ensure you stayed the correct distance away from all human contact. AND you’ve been emotionally distant from all humans for years, so you’re good there, too.
Anyway, I never posted this article because it is a longer than typical blog post. It’s a two parter, even. But I happen to know that you now have more free time than you used to.
And so without further ado:
The Complete Guide to Dying Politely While at a Dinner Party (from the days before corona virus could actually kill you at a dinner party)
They say you should write what you know, which is why I decided to write about dying at a dinner party.
Now, before you get all judgy and spew hateful things at me like “You’re clearly not dead”, I’m going to cut you off and say you weren’t there, so you don’t know. And I know you weren’t there because this was a classy sort of a dinner party attended by classy people who would not read my blog.
It’s not that my friends are fancy. It’s just that many of them are trying overly hard to prove that they are adults by engaging in adult activities such as flossing, having a mortgage, and refraining from blowing the paper cover of their straw at the person sitting next to them. (Actually, that last one they don’t do anymore because they no longer use straws since plastic is bad for the environment, and being concerned for the environment is an even MORE adult thing than refraining from blowing the straw paper at people.) They also throw dinner parties sometimes.
A dinner party is just like a normal party except for 2 key differences:
1.) The food that is served requires silverware
2.) Games and other fun activities are not allowed, being replaced by lively conversation
As in introvert, dinner parties are basically one of the circles of hell. Now, I don’t want all my extroverted friends to take this statement the wrong way. I do mean one of the outer circles of hell reserved for the less-evil people, such as people who order a week’s supply of food in the drive-thru lane or people who don’t pronounce the ‘H’ in ‘Human.’ (There’s no such thing as a Uman being and if you say it that way, you can go to Ell.)
My point is I didn’t want to be at a dinner party in the first place, but I make myself do a certain amount of social activity per week. And that “certain amount” is one. Only one social activity per week. And I do include honking at people who order a week’s supply of food in the drive-thru lane as social activity. I honk at them, they flip me the bird in response. I don’t see how that’s any different from someone asking me what I do for a living and me responding by stutter-mumbling for five minutes trying to make “unemployed blogger” sound less awkward.
Really what happened to me at the dinner party was just a freak accident, unless of course the hostess was actually trying to kill me, which is really the danger of any social activity.
Yet another reason why I limit them to one per week.
There we were, done with all the courses (In case you’re interested, we started with the salad-and-main-entree course, which was then followed with the dinner-rolls-she-had-accidentally-left-warming-in-the-oven course.) It was time for dessert, which was a generously large serving of fresh mango slices (FYI: Having fresh mango slices and calling it dessert falls on the adult spectrum somewhere between worrying about the environment and using the word “refinancing”.)
I wasn’t sure if I’d actually ever had real mango before. I know I’ve eaten mango-flavored items, but maybe not real mango. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but giving into the peer-pressure of eating everything I was served like the other guests, I charged ahead and ate a piece of mango.
Spoiler alert: I did not like it.
And yet, I did not stop eating it.
Somewhere around the third piece of mango, I coughed and it felt like a jalapeño had suddenly sprouted out of my tonsils. I was confused and wondering why it felt like something was in my throat and why I was coughing every thirty seconds. I politely sipped some water, but the feeling didn’t go away. So then I took a large swig of water, which also did nothing. I started to wonder if I had swallowed a spider.
Now, maybe at the sorts of grown-up dinner parties you go to, you find it nearly impossible to accidentally ingest a spider without realizing it. You may think people only really swallow spiders while they are in deep sleep, lying in an easy-to-reach position, with their mouth hanging wide open. All I can say to that is, again, you weren’t there. It’s possible that at this particular dinner party, there were spiders everywhere and multiple guests had ingested a few spiders by this point and were just too polite to say anything. You don’t know.
With that in mind, I decided I wouldn’t say anything either, thus proving to the other people in the room that, while I may not be able to really participate in a debate about which contains more antioxidants: berries or mangos (I swear, that was the actual debate at that moment), I was adult enough to handle swallowing a spider without abruptly declaring, “I need an adult!” I just needed to figure out some way to dislodge the spider that was apparently trying to climb back up my throat using a pair of those spiked boots tree-trimmers sometimes use to climb trees.
Since the water I had drunk hadn’t washed the spider out as I was promised it would many times in my youth, I decided to try something else: more mango. I began to voraciously eat mango slices, gleefully thinking of the rock-slide I was bombarding the spider with.
While I had successfully cleaned my plate of mango slices, giving me more adult points, the feeling in my throat hadn’t gone away, I was coughing more frequently, and now the whole of my mouth was tingling.
Unfortunately, that is when it occurred to me that there was a possibility that I had not in fact swallowed the world’s most indestructible, unswallowable spider. It could in fact be that I was actually allergic to mangos.
I looked down at my clean plate, moments ago a badge of honor, now a plaque of shame. I had tried to stop my body from having an allergic reaction by eating massive amounts more of the food my body was reacting to.
That was the moment I realized that I definitely needed an adult.
(Read the exciting conclusion next week! It could be exciting. You don’t know.)
March 19, 2020 at 5:49 am
An interesting tale. I will most certainly look out for the conclusion. Did you die or did you recover? Such tension!
Anyway, you had me smiling in these dire times.
March 20, 2020 at 12:47 am
I was invited to a dinner party once. ONCE!