Enough With the Bouillabaise Already

Remember the old Mary Tyler Moore show? One of the running gags was Mary’s disastrous dinner party skills, often involving a failed dish of Veal Prince Orloff (which, it turns out, actually exists).

Well, we’ve found our Mary for the 21st Century. Only this time its her guests, and not her hosting skills, that are the problem. Meet occasional journalist, editor, author, and complainer Wendy Squires, writing in the Herald this weekend:

Remember the dinner party last year? The one I got up at dawn to shop at the fish markets for? I went to a lot of effort and was really looking forward to a fun night.

But as usual, it happened with a whisper that spread along the dinner table and before too long it was as if all conversation was put on pause. The fun was freeze-framed. The dealer had been called and – forget my bouillabaisse – his arrival was all that anyone was interested in.

Yeah, the sleazebag didn’t stay long but he certainly made an impact. The guests all separated into bedrooms and bathrooms, returning half an hour later with dilated pupils and chattering mindless gibberish. No one ate my food and, as I was the only straight person in the room, bothered talking to me.

Sounds like Wendy needs some hosting skills, rule number one being never complain about your guests, followed closely by never be boring. Which is not surprising, as she’s been repeating this same damn story since at least 2009:
I have seen dinner parties go from being about food (after I have schlepped to the fish markets, spend a mortgage on food and a day on preparation mind you) to guests pushing solids on a plate anxiously waiting for the dealer to arrive and the real party to begin.
If you live in the inner-city, a trip to the fish markets is not a “schlep”. But never mind. I’m with her guests on this one. If I were invited to someone’s house only to be regaled with stories from her latest Trafalgar Tour, I’d be sneaking off to another room to share a private giggle with the others, drugs or no drugs.
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