Oct 02 2011


Published by at 9:51 pm under Food

Greetings, Cool Peeps:

I first met Ronald F. Hibbleton at one of my parents’ dinner parties when I was a mere teenager. All I knew about him was that he was a big oaf of a guy who was married to a childhood friend of my mother’s and that, behind his back, people called him Mr. Grant.

Granted (no pun intended), I’d rather have the name Grant than Hibbleton any day of the week, but I soon learned that he had earned that moniker by emulating the behavior of Ed Asner’s character, Lou Grant, from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. In a classic episode of the show, “The Dinner Party,” Mr. Grant helps himself to three servings of Mary’s Veal Prince Orloff, much to her dismay, and she’s forced to tell him to return two.

Although my mom never skimped on how much food she prepared, she herself was not ready when Ronald F. Hibbleton took twenty pieces of shrimp scampi from her serving plate as well as three quarters of the accompanying rice pilaf. A week later, at a mutual friend’s cookout, he took four giant crab cakes from his host’s plate, smothering them with tartar sauce and ketchup (yes, ketchup!) before anyone could say, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?”

I had my own disaster the time I prepared a gourmet meal for my ex-boyfriend and two other couples. My friend told me that his girlfriend insisted on bringing the dessert. Peeps, I was freakin’ horrified when I was handed a cheap chocolate cream pie from the supermarket with a big orange sticker on it reading, REDUCED! All of the guests saw the offending offering come in, and eyes rolled and looks were exchanged as I put the pie in the fridge—instead of square in the giver’s face, where it belonged. Luckily, I had some raspberry sorbet and petit fours another friend had brought, so I put everything out on the table and let my guests choose. The person who brought the REDUCED pie increased her waistline by eating half of it, and the rest of us finished up the meal in style.

Not only is it tough having dinner guests, but being a dinner guest has its moments, too.

About a year ago, a former coworker invited me to dinner and I said I would bring the wine. I selected a stellar California Cabernet and presented it to my host. No sooner had I handed her the bottle than her husband put it in their wine rack, then proceeded to open a very cheap table wine and serve it to me. It was a horrid, you know, the kind with lots of sugar that gives you a massive headache. I had about two sips and put it down. When asked why I wasn’t drinking, I said that I’d had a slight headache all day and thought it best to lay off the wine. Peeps, I couldn’t believe it when my host turned to her husband and said, “Joe, let’s open the wine that Molly brought.” As soon as they thought I wasn’t drinking it, they were all for opening it.

I was tweaked. I had a few crackers, and about five minutes later, I told him my headache was gone, and I would have some of the wine as well. They exchanged glances and reluctantly poured me the wine I had brought. Needless to say, after a terrible (but short) evening, I never saw them again.

A few years ago, my ex and I were invited to dinner with some old friends. We looked forward to an interesting evening of conversation, laughs, and catching up. We walked in the door, only to see Jeopardy showing on their large flat-screen TV. They both sat there staring at the TV, answering questions, as if we weren’t even there. I thought that maybe they just wanted to finish their show, but when Wheel of Fortune came on next, Pat Sajak and Vanna White had their full attention. We certainly didn’t. At the conclusion of Wheel, we were called to dinner. I don’t even remember the sitcoms that played through our meal, but it was a horrible evening.

Don’t we invite people over because we want to socialize with them? If you’re having a Super Bowl or World Series party, or watching a local contestant compete on American Idol, I can understand the TV. But I just do not get why people not only turn on their TVs when they have company, but why people want to watch it in restaurants when they go out to dinner.

I’m going to stop here, not because I’ve run out of things to say, but this is a blog and only a blog. Please, cool peeps, I know you’ve got great stories for me about being a dinner guest and having dinner guests. Care to share? I always love to hear from you.

See you next week.

Yours in pickiness,


9 responses so far


  1. Lisaon 02 Oct 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Hehehe Instantly a story comes to mind. It isn’t my story but my parents who were invited to their friends house for dinner and view the recent holiday video. YES I can see your reaction straight away. Home movies! LOL. Well the dinner I believe was very nice and then it was time to get cozy on the couch and settle in for a stimulating and entertaining nights viewing.

    About a third of the way through, my mum noticed BOTH hosts ‘Bert and Joyce’ slumped on the couch SNORING!!! My mum and dad were like ‘ What do we do?’ Do we sneak out? Keep watching and hope they wake up soon? A gentle nudge maybe? What a dilemma?
    If it were my husband and I , I’m pretty sure we would have snuck out and had a good ol’ belly laugh knowing they would have woken with no guests HA HA HA But my parents are a little more serious and so are the hosts so they continued to watch the whole video and then bounced a bit on the couch to gently wake them up as if mum and dad hadn’t noticed. I still shake my head with that. To sit through the whole boring video is beyond me but hey….I guess they did the right thing.
    What would you have done Molly?

    Thanks Molly. Fabulous blog this week. Really cool!

  2. Mollyon 03 Oct 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Hey Lisa:

    OMG! I just loved this story. How freakin’ hysterical is it that people fell asleep during their own holiday video. That ought to have told them how interesting it was to everyone else. I’m sure if you ever make holiday videos, they’ll be on-the-edge-of-your-seaters!

    What would I have done? Walked g/f. If my hosts weren’t awake to share the torture with me, I would have been gone! And I’m sure that whatever guy I might have been with would have wanted to book, too. Lots better things to do than watch snoozing peeps! On second thought, I might have rearranged all of the furniture so that when they awoke, they’d REALLY be confused. ha ha. Just kidding. (I think!)


  3. Stuart Ross McCallumon 03 Oct 2011 at 12:08 am

    Hello Molly,

    I absolutely love this week’s topic, either being invited or hosting a dinner party can often create great conversation during and after the event.

    As a person who enjoys a fine Red wine, I too have had my bottle swiftly taken and poured a glass of sour, nasty, cheap wine. As the evening progressed, hunger became the ever-increasing enemy. There were ten of us for dinner and only enough food for five. Our host, (who shall remain nameless) had a talent for carving beef so thin it appeared shaved.

    It did turn out to be a thoroughly entertaining evening, as guests. We all felt the same and muttered among ourselves. Our host (of sorts) was given many nicknames by his starving guests. Yes, it was a bad evening food wise, but funny and very memorable.

    Thank you Molly, it is always fun to share our experiences.

    Stuart 🙂

  4. Mollyon 03 Oct 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Hey Stuart:

    Loved your comment! Yes, I have been to dinner when there was not enough food. I think the time that stands out most is when I was invited over with a date and we were served our host’s leftover soup from the night before. THEY weren’t hungry, so they didn’t bother making any food. We get there, freakin’ starving, and had the equivalent of a cup of soup. It was awful.

    Another time, I was at a dinner when my host asked if I wanted wine. I was just about to say that I would love a glass when I spied a freakin’ JUG of it. My answer sounded something like this: “Oh yes, I’d LOVE to have . . .uh, NO, I don’t think I’ll drink tonight.”

    Always love your stories.


  5. Racheal Mon 03 Oct 2011 at 8:14 am

    That was fantastic Molly!
    I couldn’t agree with you more! People can be very rude at the dinner table, (and in general). I can’t believe the couple that served the cheap wine, then turned around a drank yours in front of your face without you! How rude! And the TV couple too! That was just horrid! If I ever had company like any of these people, I wouldn’t see them ever again! Oh, and the pie lady…..that was blasphemy! You never insist on bringing anything when it comes store bought and has been on the shelf for a week! Ew!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Mollyon 03 Oct 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Hey Rachael:

    So glad you’re with me on the TV peeps. Before the incident with that couple, I had a friend who NEVER turned the TV off in his house — ever. I told him that I hated it and to please turn it off if he invited me to dinner. He really got peeved with me. I tried explaining that it was a compliment that I preferred his company to the television, but he just didn’t get it. The solution is clear: want to watch TV — don’t invite company over unless they are into watching, too.

    As for the other situation, I know so many peeps who offer to bring something and then rush to the supermarket. My mom had a huge party once and a friend of hers brought a plastic tub of ranch dip. What was my mom supposed to do with THAT among all of the beautiful food she had laid out throughout the living room and dining room. She just looked at me and said, “Take care of this, will you, Molly?” I put it in the fridge and “forgot” all about it. And believe it or not, the woman complained later that we didn’t put out her contribution. Crazy! But yeah, to bring nearly expired food — just NO!

    Thanks for stopping by!


  7. Darlene Fosteron 03 Oct 2011 at 5:56 pm

    This was very entertaining! I have freinds who are always late for dinner which really bugs me. I give them 15 minutes now and then start with out them. I once almost burnt the house down when a candle ring caught fire while we were in another room. Quick reactions on the part of me and my husband saved the evening. Lots of excitement. Fortunately it didn’t put those guests off as they have returned for dinner since. (perhaps thye lack excitement in their lives)

  8. Mollyon 03 Oct 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Hey Darlene:

    You bring up a subject that I just didn’t have room for in this week’s blog. I’m very punctual when it comes to dinner parties. When I entertain, I have time set aside for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and then dinner. When peeps come late, they really upset that. I once gave a dinner party to cheer up someone going through a difficult time. She arrived one hour and a half late, and when she got to my home, there was no good reason at all. She just laughed it off. Meanwhile, everyone had been frantic thinking that she got lost or worse. My guests were so hungry they devoured the appetizers and nobody really ate the meal. I lost all respect for that person after that night. Imagine thining her late arrival was amusing . . .NOT! You’re right on to start w/o the late peeps!

    OMG! That’s scary about the candle. Glad your husband saved the evening — the house!

    Great seeing you here again.

    Yours in pickiness,

  9. Sheri Wilkinsonon 05 Oct 2011 at 9:33 am

    Oh what a great topic you have. I have to admit, I have been to some awful dinner parties. Some where the food was terrible, had to gag down a few meals here and there. But by far the worst one was when the host, allowed her three large dogs to sit around the table (drooling) and begging off us….yeah lost my appetite on that one!

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