Author Topic: Would you say Margo was rude? #79, #139 non-update update  (Read 28123 times)

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Possum

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #75 on: December 22, 2013, 05:09:35 PM »
I'm on Team Margo here.  I see how she can be seen as rude, too, but Claudia caused every escalation; she set up every situation that Margo responded to.

The things Margo could've done differently are:

 - When it was time for dinner to be served, turn to Claudia and say, "It's been so lovely to see you and your boys, I'm glad you dropped by!  Let me walk you to the door."

 - When Claudia stayed and insisted on her kids having "grown up" food instead of "kid food" (which I applaud, but that's another tangent), Margo could've said, "I'm sorry, the salmon is pre-portioned. There's no way to redivide it, and you have the only extra portion I prepared.  Would you like me to replate some of yours for them?"

And that's about it.  Even if Margo *was* rude, she was rude in response to someone even ruder.  It might not justify it, but it makes me a lot softer on her.

And frankly, if this is the sort of thing Claudia makes a habit of, I'd call Margo's responses a little bit epic.

VorFemme

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #76 on: December 22, 2013, 06:02:18 PM »
I'm going out on a limb and "assuming" that Margo did not greet Claudia & the boys at the door - but was in the kitchen - whether finishing food preparation, washing her hands, or otherwise not aware that Claudia was there with James & John until Claudia & the boys were in the house...with the invited guests who had given a positive response to the invitation.

I've had someone who was sort of expected to "drop off" a younger guest to a party who parked their car & came inside....fortunately, there was extra cake & ice cream.  If they'd brought more kids - there might have been issues - but I could hand them a slice of cake easily enough.

Now - the time I turned around and the unexpected guest had just popped the top off a beer from my fridge and was drinking it BEFORE saying anything to me...well...that was one that I had to hold my tongue for (SIL - we're both still in the family - but both girls are over thirty & parents now).  I had no warning that they were coming over - she just walked up to the door, apparently sent DN to DD's room, and walked into the kitchen behind me, while I was washing dishes.

I had heard the door open & shut - but it was about the time VorGuy came home from work - so I didn't think anything odd was going on until HER voice said something about the beer being good and "Hi, VorFemme!" to me.

VorGuy did understand why we started to keep the front door LOCKED when we weren't expecting company after that, though....
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rose red

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #77 on: December 22, 2013, 06:15:32 PM »
There were things Margo did right and wrong.  But regarding food, perhaps Claudia's fish was the extra backup in case one of the others got ruined.  It's also difficult (maybe impossible) to cut up salmon planks so all guests plus unexpected guest get an equal portion.  It's not like a meatloaf.  I also don't think she needed to share her portion with Claudia.  She was given a whole fish and complained about her boys.  Tuna sandwiches is a "proper" and filling meal, so it's her own fault for calling Margo out for not being a good enough host to party crashers guests.

eta: Reading several posts, I get the feeling Claudia uses her boys as an excuse to behave this way frequently.  I feel bad for them.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 06:19:18 PM by rose red »

LadyL

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #78 on: December 22, 2013, 06:20:16 PM »
I vote that Margo is technically rude but if she were my friend, I'd forgive her in a heartbeat, whereas Claudia is a boor I'd want nothing to do with.

I see the points about Margo owing equal hospitality to all her guests once she accepted them into her home. However, given how boorish Claudia was at dinner, I also feel like she may have cooerced her invite by showing up with her kids looking cute and possibly even entering the home without Margo having a chance to greet her. In that sense, she is not an invited guest but an unwanted one. Still a guest either way, but I really can't blame Margo for not having the patience or restraint to completely ignore Claudia's rude behavior.

I mean, what sort of saint would put up with Claudia's nonsense all night and still think to extend the courtesy to ask her how she would like her and her children's food plated? I get that it would be a kinder/more subtle approach than what Margo did, in an ideal world, but in the real world the Claudia's often wear us down till we are on our last nerve and barely holding together our composure.

Nemesis

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #79 on: December 22, 2013, 06:44:43 PM »
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.

TootsNYC

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #80 on: December 22, 2013, 06:58:10 PM »
I am slightly confused, though.  If only 7 guests were expected, why was the table set for 8 and why were there 8 entrees?  Unless that was counting Margo as the 8th person.  In which case, wouldn't there have been 11 at the table and no entree for Claudia?  Or did someone not attend at the last minute?

Yes, the 8th placesetting was for the hostess--she gets to eat too.

And with the entrees, I'm figuring that the most likely scenario is what was posted by someone earlier: Margo is feeding 8 people (her + 7 guests); she buys 9 pieces of salmon in case something goes wrong with one, or in case one person is extra hungry.

So she has 1 extra piece of salmon to give to Claudia and figures she'll give the kids something else to eat.

And I agree--given that it was salmon and not lasagna or pasta or even necessarily chicken breasts (which often are served in halves or thirds), it wouldn't look that great to cut up all the salmon pieces.
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rose red

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #81 on: December 22, 2013, 07:13:11 PM »
*snip*

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.

The tuna sandwich plate sounds lovely.  Margot put effort into it which made Claudia telling her the kids should be served a "proper" meal even worse. 

Does Claudia think Margo has an endless supply of salmon?  Why do I get the impression Claudia relentlessly tells shop clerks to bring her out-of-stock items from the infamous "back room"

Piratelvr1121

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In reading the OP, did anyone else "hear" Maggie Smith in place of Margo or was that just me?

*snip*

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.

The tuna sandwich plate sounds lovely.  Margot put effort into it which made Claudia telling her the kids should be served a "proper" meal even worse. 

Does Claudia think Margo has an endless supply of salmon?  Why do I get the impression Claudia relentlessly tells shop clerks to bring her out-of-stock items from the infamous "back room"

And I have to agree, I think Margo did a lovely job with the presentation of the tuna sandwiches and it wasn't just a matter of her slapping a couple sandwiches together and plopping them on plates.  She actually tried to arrange them in an artistic way and it makes Claudia's behavior ruder, IMO. 

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Ceallach

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I think Margot was desperately trying to make the best of a bad situation.  It's hard to think on ones feet like that.   Some of her comments did make her other guests feel awkward which as a host she should avoid,  but it sounds as though she was trying to explain the differences and her apparent lack of preparedness not actually make Claudia feel bad.   I suspect she was mortified having to re arrange the table in front of her guests, and arrange different food.  I wouldn't be, but if I were Margot I would because I can tell she puts a lot of effort into preparing and perfecting her parties.  She did go out of her way to welcome and accommodate the extra guests.

I only hope that Claudia did fail to RSVP and it wasn't just a misunderstanding (lost email etc) because if so that could be quite awkward!!
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buvezdevin

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To me, the additional detail doesn't lessen my admiration for Margo, but I feel sad for her dinner party being impacted by a thoughtless guest, and am only more chagrined at Claudia's behavior.

An older woman enjoys hosting formal dinner parties, which are apparently much enjoyed and appreciated by her friends - and the same lady is perhaps a bit specific in her set ways, but may not wish to press direction on others in a confrontational way (no comment on someone moving a tissue box in her car, but holding back a bit from the group to put it "where it belongs" before proceding).

I had originally imagined Margo as a formidable woman - while she remains *awesome* in my eyes for her handling of the evening and necessary adjustments to the meal and arrangements into which she must have put considerable planning and preparation - I  now, in my mind's eye see her as a woman who would have difficulty sending someone away from her door if she had invited them. 

Thankfully, she seemingly did not feeling compelled (nor do I see that she should be) to extend herself  *beyond* being a gracious hostess (she did accomodate the uninvited guests, her only comments which made the situation evident were responsive and on point to the further reaching of Carol) - Margo did not over-extend herself to present a fiction that Carol's imposition had no negative impact on the hostess and the planned meal, it doesn't seem that would have even been possible given the need to move heavy chairs and add settings at some point after the evening began. 

I am sorry that the OP felt any discomfort, but that remains the result of Carol's actions - and as the attendees at the dinner party seem to know each other, and the children refer to Margo with familiarity (actual or honorable "auntie") it might well have been *more* uncomfortable for those present if Margo had turned them away initially.
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zyrs

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With the update, I'm even more inclined to give Margo a pass.  She tried to make the best of a bad situation and at every turn Claudia just made the situation worse.

From her wanting another guest to get her quiche, to her seating her children before the table was fully set up, to her demanding that her children be given different food, to her then demanding to know why an expected guest received the main course Claudia just made it impossible for her hostess to be as fully gracious as she obviously would have liked to be.

Look at the Tuna sandwiches - instead of quickly throwing them together, Margo took the time to make their presentation special so the two boys (who she knows are at their mother's mercy) do not feel as left out.

everything in the extended non-update shows that Margo is a gracious hostess who was stretched to the end of her rope.  I applaud her handling that dinner as well as she did and say shame on Claudia.

Drunken Housewife

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I thought Margo was a bit cold from the original story (although not rude), but the update makes me want to hug her.  I love that she plated the kids' sandwiches so nicely.  She genuinely made an effort to give them a good, child-friendly meal which looked fancy like the grownups' meals.  How gracious!

As a parent, I'd have been so tickled by that.  I would never have dreamed of complaining (of course, I was anal about not taking my kids where they weren't wanted, so I wouldn't have taken mine there to begin with).
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JeanFromBNA

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #87 on: December 22, 2013, 08:27:05 PM »
The thing is, Claudia and her sons were invited guests.

Not originally, of course.  But Margo made the decision to have them stay.  Admittedly, she was in an awkward spot when she did so.  But she seems to be a woman with a spine who could have said no. 

And once she invited them to stay, even this kind of "invitation," they were her guests, and she had the duty to treat them equally to the other guests.  I might give a pass on a different entree for kids. But if there hadn't been enough fish for one more guest (and frankly I think that lack of leeway isn't great hosting anyway -- if the portions are too small for her to split her own with Claudia, what if someone wanted more, or one got ruined somehow?), then she should, without calling any attention to it, give her own fish to her guest.  (Although I too would resent it!)

Lots of posters applaud Margo.  But imagine if Claudia were your friend. 

Margo didn't have to let them stay.  But she did, and that made them her guests.  Claudia begged for it, but that didn't justify Margo's PA performance.  And why punish the innocent boys?  Claudia was very rude, but Margo was mean.

Gellchom, I agree with the principle that once in your home, they are invited guests, and should be treated accordingly.  However, what should Margo have done when Claudia questioned her hospitality and demanded equal accommodations as if she were a short order cook at a diner? 

That's where all of my sympathy for Claudia went out the window with the salmon.

misha412

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Re: Would you say Margo was rude?
« Reply #88 on: December 23, 2013, 01:47:38 AM »
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.

Okay, someone needs to bonk Claudia over the head with an Iron Clue by Four.

When I read the original post, I was on the fence. I saw some PA elements in Margo's responses, but she was dealing with a guest who was deliberately being rude. However, when put into the context of the update, I landed fully in the Team Margo side.

To the bolded above. Claudia is not a "nice lady." From the OP and the update, she is self-centered and oblivious to everyone around her. She may come across as well-meaning and kind, but her very words and actions show otherwise.

Personally, if I were Margo, Claudia would not be on the return list for the next party.

katycoo

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Has Claudia been to dinner parties at Margot's before?

Is Claudia a single mother?  I query as it seems like her husband was no invited - perhaps she didn't have another option for childcare.  And since her children really ARE well-behaved, they may hve often been included in similar events and she erroneously assumed.

Finally - since Claudia didn't say anything in response, I wonder if she did rsvp but it simply didn't reach Margot?