At about the time my five year old cousin jammed her tiny fist into the side one of our relative’s wedding cake because she just wanted a ‘taste’ ( and I should add that children had been specially not invited to this event, so I wasn’t even there ) my Dad’s family decided that the invitation to our Great Aunt’s Christmas party would not extend to me, my brother, my sister or my cousin who had since the Wedding Cake Incident, had taken to sticking her hands and fingers into food at ALL of the family events.
My parents skipped the party that year – which was odd because they weren’t known for making grand gestures- but it turned out my Table Manners Deprived Cousin showed up because my Dad’s mother would not tolerate her favorite Grandchild being treated so horribly at Christmas and brought her anyway.
Bless her demonic little heart, my cousin ran around like a thing possessed and refused to sit still for more then three minutes and fingered and poked everything every single treat and dish of food she could get her hands on.
My Parents got the call a few days later that it was assumed my Dad would bring us because we weren’t the problem and it was assumed he understood that but hell-how was he supposed to know?
For being great story tellers, my Dad’s family seemed to drop the ball in the communication area . It wasn’t one of our strong suits I guess.
The next year we got our usual invitation, I got more attention then normal and hung out in the kitchen while my Great Aunt made her tradition Bourbon Balls and we watched my Cousin, now a year older and faster and more coordinated running from one room to the next with traces of food on her fingers.
My Great Aunt looked at me and it was pretty clear she wasn’t going to indulge me in idle chit chat, not that she ever did and I took a seat at her kitchen table .
Every time I hear someone yelling for my cousin to put it down, or get off of that I reached out and took a cookie or a piece of candy from the table were my Great Aunt was plating her treats and helped myself.
I nibbled my treat- I didn’t pop it into my mouth and munch and I held my pinkie finger up the way you did when we took tea.
My Great Aunt saw me of course and she reminded me to use a napkin too.