One fateful year, my mother decided she wanted to put on a high tea for her birthday. She invited about 60 of her closest “friends and neighbors” for the high tea in the afternoon, and a similar group of people was invited for dinner in the evening.
Now, I am a fair cook and I used to be the assigned caterer of family occasions. Mind you, I usually enjoyed that. It gave me free reign of the kitchen (for the most part) and I had a purpose and a reason not to have to spend too much time at the actual parties.
This particular catering challenge was a biggie though, even for me.
I spend days in the kitchen, baking cookies and cakes as well as preparing a buffet of food that accommodated a range of different food allergies. On the day of the party, I was exhausted, but the high tea looked stunning!
One of the people invited was our new next-door neighbor, who is a teacher at a culinary college. We started talking about the baked goods, and he complimented me on my efforts. Unfortunately, he did so within earshot of my mother.
Not only did I receive a compliment, I received a compliment from someone she was still trying to impress and who was a professional in this field.
Of course, she could not stand for this, but since she was still trying to impress the guy she actually agreed with him. Making sure to bask in my glory.
Later that evening, when the neighbors had left and her evening guests had enjoyed the buffet, she took center stage. She delighted her audience with embarrassing stories from my childhood.
I retreated to the kitchen, where I turned the music up so I could not hear the roars of laughter.
Compliments… they are denied, negated or punished!