Since I was to host in the month of July, I decided to celebrate the most important American Holiday of them all by making the theme: “An American Story”. The Invitations instructed guests to attend wearing their interpretation of their Defining American Decade. Of course during dinner each guest took a turn at explaining their ensemble & how it defined an American Decade to them. As you can imagine all sorts of conversations ensued. All were represented well: American 1940’s, 1960’s, 1980’s, 1920’s. It was dehhvine!!
What the members of the Supper Club fundamentally have in common, is the ability to share opinions, listening and respect the opinion of others and most importantly always have an educated point and wiliness to share it with others on every subject possible.
Of course as in most cases when you allow a guest to bring an UNKNOWN person to a sit down dinner it can spell disaster. During a cocktail party it is perfect, no matter how ridiculous, how insufferable the UNKNOWN may be, guests have the opportunity to alert you to the fact and also get away & mingle with others... the same, cannot be said during a sit down dinner. Everyone is locked to their assigned seats & must make do as best they can, with your ever watchful eye & gracious guiding hand of course.
In this case, our UNKNOWN, turned out to be an odd hybrid of an autistic/savant of sorts, not as rare as the sighting of the one Albino we have roaming around Forsyth Park, but alas rare to most of us. His choice of depression 1920’s should have been a clue immediately, but the best was saved for over dinner. During the cocktail hour all seemed well enough, it was not until dinner & after dinner drinks in the parlor, that all he had wound tightly inside like an old spring in a clock, gave way to endless ranting, factoids to the minute detail, and overall attempt at monopolizing every inch of conversation. When asked by me if he was a “Savant” or simply “Autistic” the point was lost…since he proceeded to debate to himself, out loud, the differences between the two, so that he could choose the best option. It was a trying evening, but unique and one that a seasoned hostess like me rarely has seen. Which made it that much more fun the following days of té’s and lunches to recount all the evenings moments among the FAB set!
When these situations arise, as a hostess, you must immediately, firmly & always with finesse (interrupting if you must) get your point across to correct the unruly UNKNOWN and always keep the conversation shared, interesting, moving & above all, non-monopolized by one guest. One good rule I use in these instances is always sitting the UNKNOWN next to me, just in case it proves to be too unruly and a bohhre! This way I can quickly control an out of hand situation or worse endure the bore & not force it upon a favorite guest.
Of course the member of the Supper Club who made such a disastrous choice for an UNKNOWN will now have to contend with the long road back to ever have the opportunity at being allowed to suggest future choices and additions. If for a day, a challenge to my hosting abilities was met.Until soonest…
HRHThe Duchess of State