Dateland: Behave Yourself!


It’s late at night and I just finished cleaning up after yet another dinner party where my guests behaved badly. I spent weeks preparing for this party and my sorry-ass friends rewarded my efforts by complaining about the food, engaging in drunken arguments over inane issues, and refusing to go home. Finally, I turned off all the lights, blew out the candles, and retreated to my bedroom, leaving my sodden guests moping in the dark.

It is time, my sistahs, to learn some basic etiquette on being a good dinner guest. I am directing this exclusively at lesbians, because gay men don’t need any help. They are, in general, excellent guests. The worst behavior I ever witnessed at a gay man’s dinner party was when the host pulled a tenderloin from the oven and all the boys giggled over its resemblance to an uncircumcised penis. It might have ended there, but the only lesbian in the room (yours truly) said that she had never seen an uncircumcised penis and, thus, had nothing to compare the roast to. The host gleefully produced a stack of porn that focused specifically on this special brand of penis. As you can imagine, the evening took on a whole new direction from that moment on.

Here are some tips to help you make it through a dinner party and secure a place at your hostess’s table again in the future:

Wear something nice. The main reason most of us became lesbians was for the comfortable footwear, so no one expects you to wear heels or a dress. But would it kill you to wear freshly laundered jeans without holes in the knees? And don’t wear pajamas. (At my last party, two guests showed up in pajamas. I’m not kidding.)

Bring a hostess gift. Bring your hostess a thoughtful gift. It could be something as simple as a homemade CD with songs she might enjoy or a decent bottle of wine. Do not bring “wine in a box.” There is only one type of liquid that is meant to be carried in a plastic bladder, and it ain’t Chardonnay.

Eat what you’re served. According to my mother, who has a lot of faults (believe me!) but is the best hostess this side of Elsa Maxwell, guests have no excuse for refusing to eat what they’re served unless they have a serious medical condition that limits their diet. “Eat what’s put in front of you and shut up about it,” she says. Of course, my mother never had to deal with vegetarians, which brings us to our next point.

There’s no room for PETA at the supper table. All lesbian carnivores realize we are wicked. Yes, we eat dead animals, but we’re sick with guilt about it. We don’t need to be reminded about how terrible we are by vegetarians who regale us with slaughterhouse horror stories as we carve into a steak. We feel bad enough already. So, vegetarian girls, if you’ve got a problem with us, form a picket line outside the party. But don’t attend the dinner simply to destroy our self-delusions that beef is not the same thing as cow.

Speak up! You must contribute to dinner conversation by offering at least one interesting anecdote. It is the price you pay for free booze and food. If you are in a bad mood and determined to sulk through dinner, stay home. We’ll have a much better time without you.

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