Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Two: Ma’am and the dinner party…

Nowadays one needs a playbook before attending a dinner party. There is a list of topics safe to discuss, and those that are not. There are the schematics of who is who and how they are six degrees of Kevin Bacon.

We are walking to a dinner party at a friend’s house several blocks from our home. I feel like the coach before the Super Bowl discussing the play-by-play with Confused Husband. He sighs dramatically and tells me to stop chastising him like he is a child. I mention the Christmas of 2000 and my former friend(yes, former) Kara and her Christmas Party. It went something like this: On the way to the party, I repeat myself EASILY fifty times telling Confused Husband that Kara and her hubby got their boys the Playstation2 that they have been wanting as their big Christmas present and they were hiding it at our house in the basement. Crestfallen, he says he saw it and thought that it was his gift from me, (are you smoking crack?!, you, my friend are getting socks, underwear, and whatever gifts the kids have made you!).
I go over and over NOT to bring the Playstation 2 up at all! We get to the party, ring the doorbell, and Kara’s eldest son Alex answers the door. Confused Husband says: “Hey man! are you psyched for your PlayStation 2?!” Alex goes tearing through the house yelling: “Mom did you get me a PlayStation 2?!” Needless to say, that was the last time I saw Kara. Her husband followed us home to collect the Playstation 2 from our home. We didn’t even make it out of the foyer into the actual party.


Fast forward to now. I inform him that I REALLY like these friends and would like to keep them! I brief him on Kyle and Craig a wonderful Gay couple who are living in the English basement of our friends Jen and Stu’s home. Kyle used to live next door to Jen and Stu with his wife Grace and their three children. But then Kyle fell in love with Craig, Grace’s hairdresser and he moved out. For the benefit of the children, Kyle rented Jen and Stu’s basement apartment so he could still co-parent the kids with Grace. Grace is now dating a man named Frank, but we aren’t sure if Frank is a Scientologist or Jehova’s Witness so don’t talk about any cult-like stuff or mention anything about Tom Cruise for heaven’s sake! Confused Husband stops walking and looks at me: “Why would I bring up Tom Cruise? How random is that! Plus, if he is a Jehova I could have him spread the word to his flock not to ring our doorbell because we are uninterested in joining. Maybe if he put in a good word, we would stop getting visitors!” I reiterate: “NO!”


Then, I share that Bev and her annoying nasal talking husband Greg are going to be there and I lower my voice and say: “I think he is a closeted Republican, so no political jokes period!” he looks like he has just swallowed something tart. I share that:” Greg has recently taken up whittling wood and that would be a safe subject to venture into.” I also point out: “Greg’s first work is that giant wood piece in their garden a replica of Nessie the Loch Ness monster. “
Confused Husband says: “That thing! I thought that was a giant wooden penis! He better not quit his day job!”(I don’t enlighten him by saying: “Well actually, he did quit his job to become a professional wood whittler and it obviously is affecting their marriage!”)


I tell him about Theo:” who makes Vegan candles which I don’t understand because I thought that wax was not from an animal, to begin with.” I instruct Confused Husband: “not to share with Theo his love for Yankee Candles and all of the marvelous scents. Because I am pretty sure they are not vegan candles, and I have smelt Theo’s candles and they smell like body odor. So don’t offer to sniff his candles either.” He glares at me and retorts: “Why would I go up to some strange man and ask to sniff his candles?!”

Confused Husband sighs dramatically and says: “This is harder than studying for medical school to become a doctor!” I wonder out loud, “and, you would know this how?… Are you a secret doctor and I have never known this?”
I move on to another couple that will be there as well, Chloe and Hannah. But they identify as “They’s” not she or her. He looks perplexed: “Well, what if they are only singular? The word “they” means more than one person! So can I say you?”(Oh he is going down a slippery slope on this one!) I tell him:” Just use their first names PERIOD!”
I also brief him not to stare too much at Grace’s awful hair color and cut. She stopped going to Craig because of him cheating on her with her husband. She now goes to Chloe from the “They” couple, but Chloe is partially blind and therefore has issues as a hairdresser. But she does have a handicapped parking pass and people are wondering if she should even be driving? So don’t bring that up! Nothing about handicapped or parking okay?!” Confused Husband looks annoyed and shakes his head.: “I mean I was going to mention that handicapped dog on wheels that I wanted to adopt for the handicapped parking pass! That was going to be my story for the night! Now I have to think of something else!”
I am GOBSMACKED!:” What are you auditioning for the Tonight Show?!, what do you mean by your story for the night?! Are we going to a dinner party? Or are you practicing your standup?!”
He looks as though I have just told him that there is no such thing as Santa Claus. He loud whispers to me: “Walk slower! I have to think of something!” (At this rate we won’t get there until morning!) I am also lugging this berry-baked cheesecake that I was assigned by Jen to make. It weighs a ton! Confused Husband is too deep in thought to even offer to help carry it! I should have wheeled it in the wheelbarrow!
He attempts to try out his schtick on me: “How about if I tell them about the time you were picked up in the Gap by a lesbian and had coffee with her before you realized you were on a date? That was HILARIOUS! I bet they would have a laugh at that!”
OMG! He is so ANNOYING! “Why don’t you pretend to be a Monk and practice a vow of silence?!”

We finally arrive at the dinner party. Jen answers the door and is thrilled with my berry-baked cheesecake! She whisks us in and announces to the group: “Our arrival and this FABULOUS gluten-free dessert are here!”
I am so perplexed (What gluten-free dessert?!). I just smile. I excuse myself and dash into the loo. I pull up the recipe on my phone. I scroll through it, at the very, very, bottom it has a gluten-free section! I look at Jen’s text. Again, at the bottom which I didn’t read, it says: “Please make the gluten-free one. FUCK!!!!! I Google: “What happens if you eat a non-gluten-free item?” Various scenarios come up. I mean nothing life-threatening other than some stomach and digestive issues. It’s not like I am giving a diabetic sugar right?
I begin to sweat. Knowing my Charlie Brown luck, if I don’t divulge I would probably wind up murdering people. I would be known as the Berry-Baked Cheesecake serial killer. My weapon of choice is a faux gluten-free berry-baked cheesecake. I can just see the Netflix series now trending with a picture of me with bad hair because the only other survivor was Chloe the blind hairdresser, who forgave me and visits me in prison, and styles my hair. Who am I a known serial killer to say no to such a kind offer? Plus I am in prison for life, so does it really matter what my hair looks like?


Ugh! Exiting the loo I pull Jen aside and explain my faux pas. She looks so disappointed in me. Like I have committed the ultimate sin. I offer to send Confused Husband up to Whole Foods bakery, to purchase gluten-free desserts, and for the rest of us, we can eat the berry-baked cheesecake. Jen is thinking. She scowls and says: “It isn’t fair that some of us can sit here eating this but for the gluten-free people they have to eat whatever from the bakery now is it?”So now I am being shamed for being able to eat gluten? Will I leave this dinner party with a Scarlet letter a giant G on me like a modern-day Hester Prynne?
There are whispers amongst the guests like I have just brought in a Tupperware filled with cocaine.
I long for the days of a simpler time. When there wasn’t all of this over-analyzing
I mean how much thought is going into this? Are we trying to figure out a world crisis?! Why is EVERYTHING a BIG deal?! Why is there so much discussion and thought and debate put into dessert?! What happened all those years of people eating Velveeta, Cool-Whip, sugar-coated cereal, pop-tarts, microwaved TV dinners? Okay, some are now obese or dead but for those of us still, here I mean as Marie Antoinette said” Let them eat (gluten-free)cake!

Published by

Kat Akcakanat

Wife, Mother, Teacher, Artist, Writer, Friend.

6 thoughts on “Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Two: Ma’am and the dinner party…”

  1. This had me in stitches and reconfirmed why I only ever socialise with people that I know very well. Mind you I’m missing out on a lot of entertainment and in this scenario our spousal roles are reversed – I’m the bewildered husband with my much more extra erred and knowledgeable husband giving me the playbook on people. You are so talented Kat, should be writing for a magazine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think we have the same “loose-lipped” husband! I love this on so many levels. What you can’t talk about in today’s society is a LONG list. Hey, at least, whittling is still safe, but sorry you were gluten-shamed! Thanks for the laughs!

    Liked by 1 person

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