OP here with a non-update, full detailed Story. The facts remain the same, but this description is MUCH fuller. Skip it if you don't like long, boring stories!
On Margo: Margo is an older single woman. She doesn't seem to be uncomfortable with kids, although she never hosts them at her home. Once you see her house and once you understand Margo, you will probably think it is best for kids not to go to her house anyway. For example, she had once driven our tiny group and someone had moved her tissue box from one compartment to another. After we had all disembarked, I noticed that Margo was not with us. I went back to the car to find her moving the tissue box back.
On Margo's house: As you enter through the front door, you will see a spacious living area with a marble floor, plush couches, a large carpet and a high ceiling. She has a grand piano to the right side. There is a door on the far end of the right wall that opens to the bathroom. On the left, there is a tea table in a circular alcove. There is a door on the far end of the left wall that opens to the study (this is important later). If you stand at the front door and look straight past the living area, you can see the formal dining area. There is no wall or door between the living and dining area, but there are built-in floor-to-ceiling wooden shelves on either side of the wall that shows the room division. Plus, the dining area has different flooring (the marble flooring stops at the wooden shelves, where the hardwood flooring begins). On these wooden shelves, she has large vases and figurines - some made of crystal and others look like antiques. Note that the doors on both sides are in the living area before the wooden shelves.
On arrival: I walked in to the living room. The finger foods were there on the living room table, all prettily arranged on a silver tray. On this particular evening, Margo had served mini quiche and mini satay with peanut sauce. Margo announced me to everyone and gave me a choice between white or red wine. That's about the same time that I heard Claudia's voice (she has a pretty loud voice, kinda like me) saying (and I quote), "Have more pie, honey, they are delicious!!".
Claudia: There at the tea table, sat Claudia and two boys. I was surprised that Margo had extended invitations to Claudia's children but not to mine. But then Claudia's boys are known to be very well behaved. Everyone else was either sitting or standing around the centre of the living room. I was welcomed into the circle and went through all the social niceties. Then I went over to say hi to Claudia and her boys. Claudia said (and these were her first words to me): "Nemesis! Great, hi! Can you get me more pie?" I said okay and turned to the living room table, but Margo immediately came over with the silver tray, where she proceeded to refill Claudia's plate. She also handed me a prearranged plate with a couple of quiches and satay.
That was when Claudia said what she said about the boys being well-behaved. I think that perhaps Margo actually meant for me to hear her response since my girls were not invited. Still, I must admit that though I felt a little better about it, I thought that perhaps it was a bit rude to Claudia. And I did wonder why they were allowed in! I went back to mingle. Claudia came over shortly after and we had some casual chit-chat while her boys quietly ate at the tea table.
Dinner: We noticed Margo carrying a chair from her study to the dining room. It is hard not to notice, since the chairs look heavier than Margo, and she has to walk into the living room to get to the dining room. A couple of men helped her with the chairs in spite of her protests. All of us entered the dining area at this point. It was clear that the table had been set exactly for 8 people with exactly 8 chairs. Margo looked very uncomfortable as she told the guys where to put the additional chairs. After the chairs were in place, she said what she said about the guest numbers and excused herself to get new dinner placings. At this point, I started to feel very awkward on Claudia's behalf.
Another lady and myself went to help Margo. She told us that she's got it covered, but we went anyway. Indeed, she refused to let us carry anything. Instead she stacked everything she needed efficiently and got them out herself. So all we did was provide her with some company! When we returned, Claudia had already seated the boys at the table. She was, at that time, with everyone else standing around the table with their glasses and mingling. Margo set the new placings very quickly, and requested the boys moved to the new placings. They complied very quickly and obediently, with a sweet "Okay Auntie Margo". AH, these two boys are so very adorable. Then dinner commenced.
The salmon: Everything seemed to go smoothly at this point until Margo returned with the salmon. These were salmon steaks, so I am not sure how to reportion them. I assumed that they are bought as one piece each to be cooked and served that way. I'm a terrible cook, so perhaps someone else can tell me if reportioning is possible. Our plate looked like this: salmon at the centre with cheesey mashed potatoes on the top and asparagus on the bottom of the salmon. The boys' plate looked like this: tuna sandwiches cut into quarters with the sides cut off, standing like mini pyramids at the centre of the plate with cheesey mashed potatoes on the top. After everyone was served and before Margo could seat herself, Claudia asked for the meal to also be served to the boys. That was when Margo took the plates back into the kitchen and reportioned Claudia's meal.
Dessert: Cake. Chocolate. Need I say more?
I went home feeling something was wrong. It was a pleasant dinner with good food and wine. Yet, there I was, wondering if Margo was rude. I was also wondering if I could have done better than Margo. Indeed, I probably could not. Claudia...sigh, what can we say about her? She's a nice lady, chatty, well-meaning and kind. But oh, so very oblivious to everyone else.