Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Neurotic Hostess in E.M. Delafield

Neither my wife nor I enjoy hosting guests.

We’re hermits. We don’t mind cooking, say, for our own children, but when it comes to having family over for, say, Thanksgiving Dinner, which we have done in the past, we’re both bundles of nerves. We both prefer the overhand hosting delivery of Snoopy:

So E. M. Delafield’s “The Unselfish Hostess” really, really, really made me nervous. Here’s a sample:

“I said, ‘Never mind whether I’ve got time or not, I must make some of my peppermint creams for Elizabeth.’ I’m afraid I didn’t get to bed until long after twelve last night.”

“Oh dear – what a shame.”

“No, no. I was up at seven just the same – or a little bit earlier, really, because I was determined to have plenty of spare time while you were here. It just meant a little reorganizing, that was all.”

Yikes, yikes, and double yikes. She makes Kronk and Yzma appear to have a normal amount of neurosis as host and hostess:

(Start at about 0:28.)

Eek. I think I’ll put my feet on the table at dinner tonight . . .

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