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6 Aug 2012

Mag # 129 - A Formal Affair

A Dinner Table at Night - 1884 John Singer Sargent

What on earth was he thinking, asking me to dinner to meet his parents? We've only been stepping out together for a few weeks. I had no idea it was going to be a formal affair. He could've warned me. I felt as if I ought to be serving rather than sitting at the table. I think they thought so too. I had to sneak looks to see which bit of cutlery I was supposed to be using. I've never seen so many different knives and spoons. We've only ordinary knives and forks at home.


There were a great many awkward silences throughout the meal - sprinkled with questions about my family and situation. Well, what can you talk about when you come from different worlds? I'd no idea! Bertie always dresses smart and is a thorough gentleman. I knew he wasn't a labouring man, but I'd no idea they were monied. Mam'll have a fit. She's no time for toffs. I think when this meal's over so's the friendship. They've all but checked my teeth to see how old I am.


No, this'll never do! 


He's a lovely fellow but I'd never be at ease here ................ not that they're about to let that happen anyway. She's had a right frosty look on her face all evening, but her good breeding has forced her to be polite. He's chosen to ignore me, which suits me fine. 


I'll not have any wine. It will go straight to my head and then I might say something unkind, and I don't want to hurt Bertie's feelings. 


Oh, good, Bertie's fetched my coat. He must be able to see how uncomfortable I am. I'll thank them for the lovely meal and say it was nice to meet them, and that'll be that. We Coopers might not have money but we do have manners.


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Visual prompt kindly supplied by Tess Kincaid of Magpie Tales
where you can read lots of other posts for the image.

For some reason Blogger has added extra space between paragraphs, which I find quite irritating.

18 comments:

  1. Ah, one of those awkward meetings. Your narrator's internal dialog is very good, showing the distance between their two worlds.

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  2. Nice retelling of an uncomfortable dinner with his family ~ At least, everything ended politely, along with the manners ~

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  3. hmmm...that brings back memories of my teenage years and how much that attitude irritated me!! great read.

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  4. Oh dear! If you are over the east coast and drop in you had better avoid Saturday nights here. The full silverware and candle treatment. I cook, Mrs N does the table.

    But a nice recounting of one of those awkward moments. Mine came when the dishes were being done by 'the ladies' and I was taken to the lounge. "Tell me, do you believe in God?" was the opening question. Uh-oh...

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  5. Sue, I think you were wise to not try too hard. Bertie was a wimp.

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  6. I wrote about those two worlds too...

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  7. oy you nailed the awkwardness of that moment...the divide between the two...love the internal dialog as well...and kinda glad its not me...smiles...

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  8. Perfect

    I don't normally visit before posting but couldn't resist today.

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  9. you certainly nailed the quesy feeling one gets when one is feeling out of place and blindsighted to boot.

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  10. hm, calling the evening 'nice' is really going to finish them off, won't it.

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  11. You described the awkwardness so well...

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  12. No gold digger, she.

    Really enjoyed listening in on her thought process. Well done!

    =)

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  13. Very wise not to have the wine - there's many a slip.

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  14. I felt as though I caught it all, wonderful strength in bringing her to life for me!

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  15. A convincingly written tale of opposite sides of the tracks! Well done.

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  16. Thank you to everyone who visited and left a lovely comment. I do appreciate your visits.
    I've enjoyed reading everyone's entries this week.

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  17. Lovely retelling of an awkward situation!

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  18. I don't know how I missed this perfect piece of writing. Love it!

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