Barbarian Days

Entertaining… Remember that?

Since the pandemic, I’ve lost all sense of social grace. Proper salutations such as “Good morning” were replaced with “Go poop. Get a cookie,” because personal interactions centered on the dog now that I worked from home. You know you’ve crossed into barbarian days when you’ve wished your boss the happiest weekend since Bing Crosby danced with Danny fucking Kaye.

            Personal appearances went to hell along with communication skills. My current hairstyle was comparable to a feral dog which had been attacked by a deranged, bobby pin wielding hairdresser. When my husband, who never noticed what I wore, reminded me that slippers and sweatpants weren’t proper funeral attire, I realized something. What I knew was lost along with polite behavior.

            I figured that I’d better get a grip before I reverted to sharpening a spear and flicking cigarettes in peoples’ faces even though I don’t smoke. I needed face to face interactions in a social context as opposed to screen time with people.

            Since most of our circle of friends were vaccinated and boostered, maybe we could entertain safely to regain social grace and sanity. Entertaining was an excellent idea that encouraged attire other than t-shirts and pants with Muppet faces. In the hubby’s case, pants in general.

            A set date usually pushed me into hostess mode, but I’d forgotten what was demanded of a hostess. Then as my glass sweated on the desk, I remembered. Shindigs offered food and drink. Did I remember how to pull off fancy food?

            A search for “what in the hell is the world feeding friends if one thumbs their nose at possible death to live again?”, resulted in charcuterie board. No shit.

            Charcuterie was a French word which meant delicatessen, cooked meats, or pig butcher. Charcuterie reminded me of what the hubby ate when I wasn’t home to cook. He’d cut a chunk of cheese, several slices of lunch meat, and dump half a box of crackers on a plate.

            The non-primitive version was a beautiful arrangement of meats, cheeses, and fruit on a board. The board wasn’t a two by four either, but an equally exquisite work of art.

            Could I pull off a charcuterie board? Fuck, yeah, no cooking involved.

            I delegated the actual board to the carpenter hubby. “You need to chop up a dead tree and make pretty food boards.” I said.

            He gave me the look that he usually did which meant, “huh?” After a lengthy explanation of a charcuterie board, which included descriptive expletives, Captain Boxer Briefs said, “Instead of fancy boards and food, maybe you should polish your vocabulary.”

            Well, forget fuc… fuchsia colored figs. Lunchmeat, cheese, and simple fruit would suffice. I settled on cutting boards for presentation since the hubby vetoed chopping up a dead tree.

            I considered creating a dessert board from the variety of chocolate in my desk drawer. In case a new variant hit and disrupted the supply chain of cacao beans, I couldn’t bring myself to part with the apocalyptic stash. Guests would have to hunt for the few chocolate kisses that free ranged on the fruit board.

            We indeed entertained between surges. The hubby was overjoyed to be reminded that he was married to a woman who owned a hairbrush and not to Attila the Hun with the mouth of a sailor.

            Though neither of the two invited couples owned an ascot or heels over an inch, the pleasantries we exchanged lifted us all. We agreed that it was an event to exchange more than grunts and to be able to squeeze our butts into proper pants.

Published in Funny Times-April 2022

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