Over the weekend I went to an annual holiday party given by friends from my old neighborhood. It was nice, uneventful and “Met Expectations” which is very significant, at least compared to last year.
I expected to be the only uncoupled, hell, the only unmarried person there. Yup. These were many of the same people I saw when “I Went To A Wedding Alone” and was seated with four other couples. The party was hosted by the very cool woman who had been there for me “When I Needed a Helping Hand,” and her husband, my former “Go-To Guy.” Good people.
As expected, I got the same inquiries about the kids, the new house (though I’ve been there for two years now), how the “new” neighborhood is, work, career, how I spend my time, etc. No questions about whether I’m seeing anyone. I hardly ever get that question. What’s up with that? But I digress. That is a topic for another post.
What was different this year was that I was ready for the whole scene. I expected the questions and the topics of conversations that really did not apply to me and to which I could not relate. I had my stock responses. I came to the realization that this is how it will be with these folks as a group, people from a past life.
It was a step up from last year.
At this same party last year, I found myself chatting with two very different women. One is a true, down-to-earth angel who has been such a huge help and selfless friend in my time of need and thereafter. She was the mother of the bride when “I Went To A Wedding Alone.” The other woman is the wife of my old boss. See “Riding With My Boss.” This woman, who I’ll call Ellen BlueBlood, has been a long-time acquaintance, but never a good friend, we never really clicked. She always seemed a bit snobbish to me. Ellen BlueBlood was going on and on about her University graduated daughter who was doing all of these wonderful things, being offered all of these fabulous opportunities, she was becoming such of special woman of substance, blah, blah, blah. It was ridiculous, really. Then the topic turned to the daughter’s boyfriend. This was infinitely more interesting to me, it had to be better than hearing the enhanced overview of her resume.
Ellen BlueBlood, however, was not impressed with her daughter’s boyfriend. She slowed her speech, shook her head, sighed. I don’t know if she clucked her tongue but she might as well have.
As if this universally summed up the reasons for her distaste of this young man, she said,
“His parents are divorced. We don’t like that.”
It just hung there. It just hung there like a fart.
My angel friend, intimately aware of the toll that the end of my marriage took on my family, knew that this was just a stupid thing for Ellen to say — in front of anyone, let alone me. I don’t remember exactly what my angel friend said, but she tried to correct and diffuse the sheer stupidity and insensitivity of Ellen BlueBlood’s remark. It didn’t work. Mrs. BlueBlood didn’t get it. It went right over her head. She went on to discuss the boyfriend and made truly legitimate complaints about him — i.e. he tried to break up with her daughter at a funeral. Yeah, she should have led with that. Now that’s a good reason to dislike the boy.
I said nothing. At the time, Ellen BlueBlood’s stupid comment hit hard. I was already feeling so vulnerable, being single at a party for couples, and embarrassed that everyone in the room knew of my troubles, etc. But then, having to hear such hurtful stupidity, and suddenly realizing she might not be the only person in the world who feels that way, . . . wondering whether some idiot will unfairly judge my children because of my failed marriage — well, her comment, as I said, hit me hard — last year.
But this year, when the same woman went on and on about her daughter’s international travels and appointments, blah, blah, blah. I was just bored.
Okay, maybe part of me hopes her daughter shacks up with a truck driving, gun rack mounted, sleeve tattooed, home-made cigarette smoking, tooth challenged, GED failing and criminal record having, good old boy named Bubba, — that is, until Bubba kicks her out of the trailer and she ends up with an unemployed, black as night rebound guy, who is a multiple baby mama having, “Up and Coming” Rapper chasing a record deal, whose grandmother raised him (of course), yet she is ten years younger than Ellen BlueBlood and cleans her office at night. Maybe part of me would enjoy that. I mean, really, if Ellen BlueBlood is scared of a stereotype, let’s give her a boatload of the really offensive ones, right? Yeah, I’m human— and perhaps a little evil. heh heh heh.
And oh snap, Ellen BlueBlood also has a son– a less accomplished son attending a second-tier (oh, the horror) college. Hmmm. Maybe I should hit that. Ha! But I digress.
In the end, this year’s party was uneventful. I deserve that. My realistic expectations were met, nod to my fellow Tweeter @blogginglily who described it as such. Unlike last year, no one insulted me (to my face) and I was– if not entirely comfortable– at least accepting of being with this group of couples. Bonus, since it was a white elephant Christmas gift exchange party, I got a present:
We all thought it was a candle holder, but a smart Tweeter @TX_Lisa pointed out that the side candles would drip and suggested instead that it might be a vase. So yeah, the party “met expectations” and I got a scary, hideous, slightly pornographic vase. Not too shabby.
Just Me With . . . the ugliest vase ever . . . and expectations met.
Hmmmm, I wonder when Ellen BlueBlood’s boy gets home from college for the holidays . . .
(And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson)
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Ha!
Other holiday related posts:
Blowing Off the Holidays — Just say no.
Time Management, Procrastination, Holiday Shopping and Moving — Some things will take exactly as much time as you allot to them.
All I Want for Christmas is My Kids — Splitting the babies after divorce.
A Good Neighbor, An Accidental Friend, and a Christmas Surprise — You never know the impact people have on each other.
Keeping It Simple At Christmas — Bells and whistles are not always required.
My First Grown Up Thanksgiving — Kind of — Thanksgiving in my house, without my kids
Craigslist Angels — One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure — Giving Away Christmas Decorations Can Be A Very Good Thing.
Fuck the Ellen BlueBlood. I’m sure she has a plethora of STD’s from her husband’s devoted fidelity!
Ha! Well said.
That is all it takes for me to dislike someone without ever meeting them. Though I bet she felt like an idiot and kicked herself afterwards! I still wonder what that gift is though!
It is a vase. I like it. You can send it to me!
When I divorced, I was telling my mother about some women I had met who were newly divorced. My mother, in disgust, said to me, “Why don’t you find some nice friends, ones who are not divorced?” That cut me to the bone.
“Yeah, right mama. Married women do not want to make the acquaintance of a single woman, one who is considered attractive. So, I am not nice anymore? I cannot believe you feel that way about me.”
She never apologized or back down from her stance.
Ouch. Wow, that would have cut me to the bone, too.
LOL…pornographic? Picture five lovely blossoms fanned out in the vase. I still want it. I have a ploy for shutting up people who ask personal questions in public after years of my being divorced. They want to know how the preacher husband is and where he is. Aaaaack
I dazzle them with a friendly smile, and say, “Oh, call me sometime and we can catch up. Do you have my number? Well, I am still in the book. Look me up and call. We will talk over old times and catch up. Do you want me to write it down? Do you have a pen and paper?” I just keep talking until they don’t want to know anything and never call. However, two years out, I will see the same people and they start it all over again. Next time I am out trying to enjoy myself, I am going to give out his phone number so they can ask him about his new life.
Try that tactic and you will not have nosey questions again. Someone might actually call instead of wanting you to spend a nice evening, grocery shopping trip, hair appointment time talking in public about your life and ex and kids.
HUH!! I didn’t know you were blogging…and blogging well I might add! guess I was too busy fondling my own Porno-Vase that I didn’t notice. Great story!
your twitter friend,
Thanks for visiting the blog and for the support. Be careful with that Porno-Vase, you’ll go blind.
“No questions about whether I’m seeing anyone. I hardly ever get that question. What’s up with that? ”
Perhaps they read THIS! https://justmewith.com/2011/11/30/ive-declared-myself-undatable/
Or perhaps THIS! https://justmewith.com/2011/12/06/timing-is-everything-undateable-part-two/
Just a thought. . .
No, you see, that’s why I wrote those posts. I was sharing my fears that I’ve involuntarily, inaccurately and unfairly been categorized as only a mother so there’s no need for discussions about men or romance. Whether I’m dating or not, it is still nice that someone would think I might be, that I could be. An acquaintance the other day asked if I was seeing someone and it made me feel soooo good. I thanked her for asking. It made my day. Oh hell, maybe I just need to get laid.
1) Maybe the people who ask are trying to not embarass you when you tell them you have a bunch of studly men that service you. “Yes. His name? Ummm, well there is Jose, Marcus, Joe, Chris, Carlos, and a few others.”
2) If it is any consolation, I am miffed that anyone would even get so personal unless we talk often. “Girl, it has been so long since you called me, now, tell me all about your love life.”
3) If you were seeing anyone, chances are he would be at the party with you.
“Yes, but he refused to come with me.”
4) There were plenty of noncontenders asking me to bed, not out, mind you. I was insulted. “Let me brush my teeth and bring over a bottle and get to know you better.”
4) When I did say “No” to the question about dating, and when I said “No” to married men and just had some women friends, the word got out that I was a lesbian. “I will be out of town and get in at 2 am. How about I visit you before I go home. My wife keeps close tabs on me.”
5) If someone is concerned about me, I would prefer it be in the area of my children and my vocation, not between my legs. “Is your twat getting any attention?”
6) You cannot win with any answer to “Are you seeing anyone?” inquiry.
You had me at “studly men who service” me. Sigh. But I digress . . .
Really? They don’t like that his parents are divorced? UH, good luck finding anyone who might fit the bill for your daughter, asswipe. Do people actually think this way?
And is that really a vase? My first thought was it’s a poor man’s menorah. Obviously a re-gift.
Happy holidays, lady!
Interesting. Thanks for sharing so much with us.
Great story! I liked it.
Hi, my name is Heather! Please email me when you can, I have a question about your blog!
[…] want to insult her or put her on the defensive. And, unlike my snobby ex- neighbor, see Holiday Party post, she wasn’t judging me because I am divorced. Marla was genuinely surprised, really […]
WOW, she sounds like an incredibly horrible and extremely insensitive human being. Also, I get really annoyed when people go on and on about their kids like that. Because that means their children are going out into this world with puffed up egos and larger than life expectations. It’s just a huge disservice to all involved.
I can’t believe that the fact that his parents are divorced is such a sore spot. Yikes.
Also that is the most hideous vase I have ever seen in my life. LOL!!!
Ha! Thanks for your comments. Yes, this girl’s ego must be huge; she’s filled with ideas of superiority and entitlement. Maybe along the way she’ll see the world differently than her mother sees her in it. Her father is more down to earth, see post, Riding With My Boss. The whole conversation was wrong in so many ways.
P.S. I still have that vase.
“It just hung there. It just hung there like a fart.” You have no idea how much I love those words! Genius
Ha! Thanks, it did hang there like a fart. It stunk.
This was hilarious. 🙂
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