Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Cautionary Tale...

just in time for your holiday get togethers.

One time Doc and I went to a party with some people we don't spend a lot of time socially but had been around professionally. These types of get togethers have a lot of potential for awkward moments in general.

So, we were sitting on the couch and a certain person noticed a photo collage on the wall that had various family photographs. There were two photos of the hosts' kids at their weddings that caught this person's eye.

The following is the conversation that ensued:

Person: You know it's sad...we had our family pictures up like that with our 25th anniversary photo and our kids' wedding photo, but we had to rearrange them and take down *Steve's picture because his wife decided she wants another life.

Doc: Oh, that's too bad.

Person: Yeah, he found out on the Internet. He found emails about her seeing some other guy.

Me: How long have they been married?

Person: Four years. He told me that she spent the night twice with this other guy but she says they didn't sleep together.(I kid you not. He said that right in the middle of the party. Then he continued on...)Steve says he believes her. I told him that, of course, he had to believe his wife.

Doc: Hmm. (Desperately looking around for someone else to engage in conversation with...)

Person: Steve did everything for her. Steve's sister says his wife will never find another man that will take care of her the way Steve did.

Me: *Squirming and turning to the conversation back to Doc* Wasn't that broccoli and cheese soup good?! That was really delicious.

Doc: Yeah, that was some good soup.

Now, what in the world are we supposed to do with that? Why would you tell virtual strangers something so personal about your kid in the middle of a party? Does Steve know his parent is running around using his painful divorce as party fodder? Geez. Emily Post would turn over in her grave. (Assuming there was a real Emily Post and that now she is dead.)

I would like to put this statement out there...Perhaps this person thought that he/she was being "real" by sharing what was on his/her heart. Maybe. Perhaps he/she is so uncomfortable in social situations that their brain's internal monitor becomes disabled. Probably getting closer. But having been around this person in similar situations, it is more likely that he/she needs to learn which topics are appropriate to talk about in any given social situation and which topics make people so incredibly uncomfortable they want to run to the kitchen and eat more soup for emotional reasons. I'm just saying...THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK, PEOPLE. There is only so much soup in the world.

*Steve's name has been changed for obvious reasons that his parent wouldn't understand.


Kim said...

Bye-bye, Emily Post....welcome to the information age...NO secrets, NO shame. I hope you weren't embarrased for them....stories like these are part of the reason to attend uncomfortable have those uncomfortable tales to tell!

Farm Chick (at Heart) said...

Number one, I am jazzed that you posted. My friend Margaret will be happy too. :) Number two, WHAT IN THE WORLD?!? How were you supposed to respond to that weirdness? Was your inappropriate laughter kicking in?

Christina Zimmerman said...

haha., favorite remarks when surrounded by those conversations...."Oh that's too bad"...and..."Some people's kids"..then I politely find a way of escape..LOL :) Glad you had an entertaining evening anyways..hehe :)

Grammy said...

Oh my...gee...ummmm...I'm suddenly hungry for some soup. Wow. I guess some holiday memories are more heartwarming than others.