My best friend, Mrs W, popped round last Monday. Her bump is getting bigger and she looks great although she would beg to differ and thinks she resembles a heifer. Her baby shower has been organised for 17th June – she has already given me a pass-out as she knows that I would literally rather gouge my eyeballs out with spoons than attend such an event. She herself isn’t particularly keen on the things but she couldn’t really turn down her friend’s kind offer to host a party in her honour.
It turns out that someone who has RSVPed is Mr T. It may seem sexist to consider baby showers as predominantly female-only gatherings but if they’re too girly for even me to attend, I think I can make this assumption. So, I almost spat my wine out when she confessed that he had been one of the first to answer to the invitation in the affirmative. This is the same guy who was most put out that he wasn’t invited to Mrs W’s first hen do – a spa weekend away with ten other girls (he came to the second – a meal and piss-up in town). When I asked Mrs W whether he really would’ve enjoyed padding around in a towelling bath robe and having a facial before a dinner fuelled by wine and cock jokes, she said “you bet he would”. When she pointed out to him that it might be a tad odd if he attended such an event, he sniffed “it isn’t like you’re all getting a group smear test done”.
One of Mr T’s favourite pastimes is running a deep bath, adding bubbles and relaxing with a good book, a glass of wine and a bowl of Viennetta, which I had no idea was still being manufactured. I think one could therefore be forgiven for assuming that he’s gay but it’s quite a different story. I have a theory that Mr T is massively in love with Mrs W. She has pooh-poohed this notion many times over the years but I have examples to back my story. For a start, he buys her expensive diamond earrings for her birthday whereas her husband’s jewellery offerings are either swapped in-store or left in a dusty drawer ready for re-gifting at a later date. He also takes her to lavish restaurants where they enjoy taster menus with accompanying wines and he even acts as fifth-wheel on coupley holidays sometimes, leaving his live-in girlfriend at home alone.
It also turns out that Mrs W plans to give her unborn son Mr T’s name as a middle name. When I voiced my concerns over this being misconstrued, she batted away my worry, saying that Mr T would obviously know that his name happened to be shared by both Mr W’s dad as well as her grandad.
I’m just pleased they’re not going to get the baby christening. There could be bloodshed if the godfather decision didn’t go his way.
At work, my boss approached me about organising a surprise meal out to mark Mrs S’s twenty years of service at the practice. This idea had been bandied around and I had heard a few potential venues and dates whispered in the corridors so therefore thought that someone else was organising matters. When I brought this up with The Brat (who knows everything and is, of course, on the planning committee), she said that although she and two other staff members were looking after the brunt of the arrangements, they were going to ask me to send out the email notifying the staff about the upcoming event. This just seems ludicrous to me. If the staff had questions about the night itself (and they would), who would they ask about it? Me. And who has no more clear a clue as to what is going on? Me. Ridiculous. I explained this to my boss, saying that having too many people involved in the organisations could lead to mistakes being made and therefore wheedled myself out of it.
After the fiasco of organising last year’s Christmas do, I’ve resolved to never do it again. From chasing the staff members to confirm their attendance to hitting them up about their menu choices only to have some opt out and then opt back in again, it was a total stress-fest which I tried to alleviate the night itself by making place cards for each guest and even writing their menu choices on the back, as they had to pick their food in August and weren’t expected to remember come December. Thinking that this could not be a simpler method, I watched as the poor waiting staff circled aimlessly, calling out their wares as loudly as they could over the chattering throng and either being ignored or stared through. When I reminded the staff that their menu choices were written on the backs of their name cards, they acted as if this was brand new information. At one point, Mr P even shouted above the noise “okay, who had the fucking salmon?” which at least made them sit up and notice.
So, no more staff party planning for me, thank you very much. I honestly found it more stressful than planning our wedding.