Sunday, August 25, 2013


I was delighted to be a guest at a wedding shower recently. The event was at a local restaurant overlooking a small stream. The bride was lovely and gracious, overwhelmed at the number of beribboned Crate & Barrel boxes. The guests were friends and family happy to see one another with the addition of a few obligatory extras. 

I was assigned to the table with the mother of the bride, who told me how thrilled she was to welcome the groom into her family. The food was delicious and the waitstaff attentive. Despite all this, I couldn’t wait for the shower to end. I had the misfortune to sit next a remarkably self-centered woman.

This woman neglected to read the invitation: the guest of honor and the hostesses were of no interest to her. Nor did she think that anyone at her table could have anything to say that was nearly as interesting as her recent travels, the books that she read or the plays that she has seen. In fairness, she did ask the appropriate leading question but never stopped talking long enough to hear an answer.

This domination of the conversation was tiresome and the other guests soon had their own side conversations. But what was over the top was the way that this woman tortured the waiter about her food allergies. If her diet was so restricted, perhaps she should have had a sandwich before she came. I often told my children that they were not required to eat the dinner that I had prepared, but they did need to sit at the table and make pleasant conversation. (This woman never got that message).

The final straw was when the guest approached the mother of the bride while the gift-opening festivities were to start, asking if the cake was prepared in a nut-free facility. The mother of the bride turned and said, “I suggest that you call Famous Bakery and ask how the cake was prepared” before walking away.