I just have to blog on this, although I think watching/hearing me tell it probably lends more to the story as I get thoroughly pissed off and demonstrative with language, voice inflection, and hands.
My husband’s birthday was on Wednesday and as I stated in the post, my father in law, Pop, invited two strangers to come for dinner at our home. Let me explain… when I say strangers, I mean not only did I NOT know them, but my husband did not either. Having two extra people is not a big deal typically, but it was a day I worked, which meant I was up at 6AM, got the kids to school, worked, picked them up, ran errands, then had to CLEAN my house as strangers were coming, help them with their homework, and fix dinner… and since there were two extra, we could now no longer sit at the kitchen table, but had to eat in the formal dining room.
They were slated to come at 6:30. They showed at 5:45. I had baked the potatoes, but not stuffed them. I had baked the cake, but NOT made the icing. The steaks were on the counter, but were not ready. The salad was not made. The table was not set. Now I have 3 80 year old New York/New Jersey Italians sitting in my family room with the TV blaring (did I say I don’t watch TV?) and I’m freaking out in my kitchen.
My husband strolls in at 6 and is horrified. He immediately sets the table. By this time I have the twice baked potatoes stuffed, the icing is kinda sorta started, but the steaks are still sitting on the counter and the salad is sitting in my refrigerator… unmade. He then makes the salad while I get the steaks started.
Now, let me also tell you that when there is a birthday in this house, I go ALL OUT. All out. I pull out all stops. Cake, special dinner, special gifts, a lot of pictures and love love love… it’s all about the birthday recipient. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it only has to be enjoyable and special. So this dinner was salad, twice baked potatoes, filet mignon, homemade cake with VW’s chocolate icing, and the kids were to decorate the cake. (They created a white sports car on the cake with the decorating icing in honor of his wrecked now being painfully rebuilt Supra.)
Dinner is ready at 6:40. I call the kids in, get them washed up and we go sit in my formal dining room at this enormous spread. Five minutes into dinner, Pop’s cell phone rings. Loudly. I am horrified. I hate the fact that when we are at dinner in a restaurant, he will hold an entire phone conversation. Loudly. It irks the stew out of me. So now he is at his son’s birthday, talking on his cell, at MY table. But oh, it gets so much better, because the phone call was NOT for him, but rather for this woman/stranger/wife that is sitting next to him.
Just to clear the picture here… picture Good Fellas or Sopranos. The older people in the movie. The accents, the loud voices, the way they move… it was in my house. I am a quiet person. The more noise there is, the quieter I get.
She proceeds to have a cell phone conversation at my dinner table. It lasts 2 minutes before she excuses herself into the other room. No, “let me call you back”, she HAD to have this conversation RIGHT THEN. After another 2 minutes, her husband gets up and joins her.
Five minutes go by, I’m staring at my husband incredulously that these two boorish people have come to my home to eat a celebratory dinner with my family, at the invitation of my boorish clod father in law, and they leave my table and take a cell call.
She comes back, apologizing profusely saying it was her daughter; her 48 year old daughter. My husband, always the gentleman says, ‘Oh, it’s your daughter. You know, you’re always a Mom, no matter how old your kids get.’ I say nothing. She continues and the next thing I know, we’re listening to the sob tale of her daughter whose husband is asking for a divorce.
No offense, but I don’t give a shit. I’ve cooked a special dinner for my family to celebrate my husband’s birthday. I don’t give a shit if the husband is leaving her daughter and she is now stuck with 5 kids under the age of 3, 2 dogs and 3 cats. It’s not MY world. My world is here and now with MY family and she was in MY house at the invitation of someone ELSE.
After dinner, and dessert, the kids are going bananas, as kids do, to have their Dad open their gifts. And of course they are more excited than usual since they picked out the gifts. (The new controller so he can play the gamecube with them, a new race car game, and a book to help him with his old race car game. THEY picked this stuff out.)
Meanwhile, the man/stranger/husband proceeds to explain to me why he thinks his son in law is REALLY asking for a divorce… and I look over and my kids are hovering all around my husband and he’s starting to open his gifts and I’m not seeing ANY OF IT! I stop the man, look over at my family and say, “Can y’all move over to the dining room table to do this so I can get pictures?”, to which they all come over and sit across from me, so I have a good vantage point.
This is where I get really pissed.
Pop looks at me and says, “D. You are being rude. He was telling you a story.” I flip out. I said very sternly, “Pop, it is my husband’s birthday. I am watching him open his presents and taking pictures. I CANNOT be everyone to everybody” and I turned away.
After gift opening was finished, I turned to the man and said politely, “Now, as you were saying, your daughter in law has this flat on Park Avenue…” and he proceeded with his story.
I’m still boiling at how f---ing rude everyone was in my home. But why in the hell should I be surprised? Why at dinner, they were all laughing at how were at the beach the day before when Keith Hernandez’s wedding party showed up... and the three of them stayed for the wedding. I finally said to Pop, “Wait, are you telling me you CRASHED Keith Hernandez’s wedding?” to which he replied, “No, it was just there when we were there and we saw Joe Namath, and Frank Gifford.” And I practically yelled, “Pop! If you SAW these people at the wedding, YOU CRASHED their wedding!” I was appalled.
My husband told me later that the woman/stranger/wife, actually went into the reception, walked up to the bar, and got herself a couple drinks. I was speechless. Where in the hell were these people raised? My husband said, “Hey, if they had no problem crashing my birthday and talking on their cell during dinner, what makes you think they would care about crashing Keith Hernandez’ wedding?”
I got a thank you note the other day, which kind of sort of offsets the rudeness. A little. I wonder if they sent one to Keith Hernandez.