Saturday, June 27, 2009

Social Gatherings

For a rare occasion, my husband and I went out for an evening with friends for a potluck dinner at their house. I can easily decline these types of invitations because I value my sleep and children wake up the same time in the morning regardless of when they go to bed it seems. But I have to admit, I am surprised my husband said he wanted to go and for that reason I jumped on it because I wanted to go and I can make up the sleep. And it came down to the day of the dinner and he still wanted to go! -so we went. It was a nice night- Tom admired the couple's garage doors and stain color and I was fascinated at how clean and well decorated the house was and how my friend (a mom, too) was like a superwoman with house projects of all gender types!
When the food was set up, I got Tom a plate so as to get him out of his conversation and over to the table to eat, and I ended up taking a modest amount of food for him and I, and subsequently he let me know I underfed him. I regret to say that I underfed myself and the food was good. Tom's word of advise is "that's why you never go first". I didn't want to take a lot of food at risk of being a pig and not taking a proportionate amount of food, but I noticed everyone else did not exercise such restraint. Damn it! If anyone knows me, you will know I love to eat and I dream of food and enjoy food and look forward to food. Especially when I get to try new things that someone else made. Oh well, I know for next time...
The same thing is true in a restaurant - if you don't know if your party is an appetizer-and-alcohol-ordering group or they are a strictly-entree-eating group, you need to defer your ordering until one of the "masters" of the group goes so you know what to do. Tough times, I tell you.

The other thing about meeting other people in this gathering is that with men apparently the first and major question you ask them is "what do you do?". And for my sweet, darling husband, he is not working now because he is awaiting the transplant. So he asked me in the car on the way there what he should tell them. So I said either tell them the truth or be vague. His point about the truth was that if you tell the truth you have to tell the whole truth and then you get into a long-winded account that will bring the whole party down to a serious, sad place and no one wants to do that. What I usually tell people at work or elsewhere when they ask me about my husband is that he is not working because we just moved back from Tennessee and I found a job sooner than he did. So inevitable and as predicted, pretty much everyone ask him what he does and where he works - our situation inspires questions, really - why did you move back to NJ after moving south for one year? are you looking for a job? Especially in my husbands profession people seemed to be a bit more inquisitive. But he handled himself wonderfully as he always does - he is a humorous, charismatic, energetic person and it seems that when you joke around it lets you evade things, change subjects easily and distract attention away from yourself. What a skill!
You don't realize how many times you would end up telling people you have an illness in this situation because it is impossible not to come up- you would literally end up telling everyone you met. When your health affects your job - it consumes your life because we work for money and for purpose and you need money to live and purpose for fulfillment. It gets exhausting telling everyone and I now understand that- you don't want to bring the conversation down everywhere you go and people don't really know what to say if you tell them you have cancer because it sucks and they didn't expect to hear that. Thought this is all true, I don't believe you should let it keep you from being social and I am glad my hubby did not last night.

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