Yay! I have a story of my own to tell!
My husband Wart and I have just moved back to the East Coast after several years in Ohio. He managed to find and get in touch with a couple of close friends of his whom we hadn't seen since our wedding almost ten years ago. They all went to high school together, and his friends have kept in touch with other high school buddies as well.
Last night, we went to Dave and Angela's house for dinner and to watch the Eagles game. Dave invited Jethro and his fiancee Roberta as well - it was the first time Wart would see Jethro in years, and we hadn't met Roberta at all. Jethro is the group "rock star" - he plays part-time in a couple of different cover bands. I confess that I had a certain amount of very catty curiosity about Roberta - my husband and his friends are all in their early 40s. Roberta is 18.
Ages aside (except that in this case, I think Roberta's youth excuses her to some extent), I was not impressed.
1. When Wart heard that Jethro had gone to their 20th high school reunion, he asked if Jethro had seen a mutual friend there. Jethro said, "Naw, man, I heard that she skipped the reunion because she blew up and weighs like 900 pounds now!" He repeated that sentence at least twice more.
2. While making conversation, Roberta asked Angela, "So do you work, or are you a frau?" When she found out that Angela is a homemaker, Roberta continued to call Angela a "frau" for the next five minutes of the conversation. I don't entirely blame Roberta, as I heard Jethro referring to another mutual friend as a "frau" earlier on. At no point during the evening did I hear either of them use the word "frau" in a way that made me think it was not pejorative.
3. Angela has a little bit of a classic North Jersey accent (think The Sopranos, or a much milder version of Mike Myer's "Coffee Talk" character.) She, Roberta and Jethro were talking at the breakfast table behind us while the rest of us were watching the game.
Angela started telling a story about her daughter, but pronounced it "my dawwwteh."
Roberta jumped on it and immediately started mimicking Angela - "My dawwteh! My dawwteh! Oi'm gonna drink sum cawwfee with my dawwteh!"
Angela laughed weakly and tried to continue the story - "Anyway, my dawwteh -"
"Oh my gawd! My dawwteh makes me so vehklempt!"
At this point, Jethro interrupts - "We're into accents, it's our thing, we do it all the time. She does a great Cockney accent. Do your Cockney accent, hun!"
And Roberta DID. She started talking in a Cockney accent, with Jethro laughing and applauding her. Angela laughed, too.
I am willing to think that this was Jethro's ham-handed way of trying to make his fiancee STOP MAKING FUN OF THE HOSTESS, but I'd respect him more now had he not asked her to do her Cockney accent and instead brought the conversation back to Angela's story, which she clearly wanted to tell.
To be fair, I don't think any of what they did or said was meant maliciously - it was just as if they didn't know how to have adult conversation that involved not mocking people.
And in the end, I have the feeling that Angela probably liked them better than she liked me, as she and I don't have a lot in common, and Roberta and Jethro give off distinct "cool kid" vibes - the kind where your high-school self would have put up with pretty much anything because you want them to like you. It all probably bothered me a lot more than it bothered her.
Fortunately Roberta and Jethro live three hours away, so we won't be seeing them often. As I've gotten older, I care a little less about what random folks think of me, so I would fear for my own ability to keep my mouth shut.