Saturday, August 23, 2014

Welcome to the Cocktail Party

This evening, Tom declares the two of us could write a better sitcom than Welcome to Sweden. He says the dialog is awkward, the acting is a shitshow, none of the characters are likable and Bruce the American is a real boob. Tom says everybody learns Day 1 you take your shoes off when you walk into someone's house in Sweden. He wonders how it was even possible for Bruce overlook everybody hovering around the doorway hopping around on one foot trying to get their shoes off.

Personally, I think Bruce probably did see the shoe-shucking fandango. Bruce's eyes grazed over all the socks just like a clue nobody noticed except Columbo. I think this happens a lot. Like when I corner people at cocktail parties and thoroughly cover one of my favorite topics, such as blog monetization or the magic of a well-balanced compost pile. I might pause briefly at several intervals to insure my victim is still nodding politely, but I tend to disregard their wild darting eyes and murmured prayers for rescue.

The foot in the mouth is the worst, even if the foot is shoeless. It's a minefield out there. Simply exclaim over how much you're looking forward to soccer season... with an injured soccer player. Or despair over your boring job with someone who just lost theirs. Anyone of us can go horribly wrong without a pinch of effort. Or maybe because of it.

Here are some classic dust-ups I'm keeping a keen eye on:

Kissing Friends Right Smack on the Lips
Is it an affectionate greeting, or
A great way to swap cold sores?

Bear-Hugging while Sweaty
Is it a friendly display from someone who just wants to be loved, or
A prelude to 10 sticky minutes in the restroom toweling off the front of your shirt?

Asking someone 'what do you do for a living?' while playing flip cup at 2 o'clock in the morning
Is it a totally traditional way to kick off a conversation, or
How drunken elitists reveal their judgy underbellies?

Shaking hands with your god-daughter
Is it a crafty way to convey your unhappiness with the birthday present she didn't bring you, or
Laughable for its snarky simplicity?

So much clusterfuckery to untangle on your average Saturday.
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