Monday, May 08, 2006

Apparently Overthinking Is A Strong Genetic Tendency

Last night my mama called and asked if I’d help her with the wording for an invitation. She explained that she and Daddy were hosting a neighborhood dinner for someone who’s moving away, and in true Southern fashion Mama wants to do a printed invite.

She can do a formal dinner for 30, you see, but the whole potluck thing throws her off completely.

Here is a re-cap of our conversation:

Mama: “I start off with ‘Please join us for a Potluck Dinner’…"

Me: “Okay.”

Mama: “...honoring Neighbor Lady” [in case you didn’t catch it – that’s not her real name]

Me: “Okay.”

Mama: “In celebration of her retirement from” [then reads name of Large Government Entity where Neighbor Lady works]

Me: [starting to get puzzled] “O. Kay.”

Mama: “On May 21st, at 6 o’clock, in our home.”

Me: [feeling better now] “All right.”

Mama: “Please bring your favorite Southern dish...”

Me: [puzzled all over again] “Mmm-hmm.”

Mama: “…to accompany fried chicken.”

Me: [now totally puzzled] “Keep going.”

Mama: “Bobby and I will supply all the ice, drinks, paper goods and desserts.”

Me: “Hold on, Mama. You’re giving too much information. This is turning into a paragraph, not an invitation.”

Mama: “Well, how will they know if we don’t tell them?”

Me: “How about if you just say, ‘Please bring your favorite Southern side dish'?"

Mama: “Okay.”

[long pause]

Me: “What?”

Mama: “You don’t think I need to mention the fried chicken?”

Me: “No. No, I don't think you need to mention the fried chicken."

Mama: “Well, what about the paper goods? Don't I need to mention that your daddy and I will have all the paper goods?”

Me: “Mama, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that if you and Daddy are having a group of people over for a cookout, they are going to assume that you’ll have some plates and forks and cups so that they can, you know, eat. They are not going to arrive with a pack of Hefty plates and some Solo cups.”

Mama: “So you think it’s okay?”

Me: “I think it’s okay.”

And by the way, the irony of my mama having a dinner with paper plates is not lost on me.

The OCD apple doesn't fall very far from the tree, does it?


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