Signs I Want You To Leave My House After I’ve Hosted You for Dinner

by Devorah Blachor

I’m vacuuming.

I haven’t smiled since the chive blinis with creme fraiche*.

I haven’t refilled your wineglass for the last hour and when you ask me for some water I say, “No.”

I’ve shared with you the main tenets of Chinese Ancient Wisdom for Healthy Sleep, which prescribes one to be asleep by 10 o’clock to maximize the repair of energetic organs.

I excuse myself to take a shower.

When my husband suggests we get out the good whiskey, I slap him upside the head.

After I come out of the shower, I’m in my bathrobe and refuse to look you in the eyes.

When you speak to me, I say, “I can’t hear you, because I’m vacuuming.”

Earlier in the evening, I joked that my shy son should marry your gregarious daughter, but now I renege on the offer and explain that if I ever had in-laws that didn’t respond to social cues, I would scheme tirelessly until the kids divorced.

Your rack of lamb gremolata is accompanied by a note with magazine cut-out letters that read, “UHav 24 Min Left.”

I’ve set off the fire alarm sprinkler system.

I’ve just accused you of being an anti-Semite despite your years of service on the New Israel Fund’s Board of Directors.

I thank you for the offer to help clean up and hand you a compost bag along with the directions to a community garden in Staten Island.

When your glass fills with water from the activated sprinkler system, I grab it and gulp it down to ensure you remain thirsty.

I ask if you’d like to borrow the new Donna Tartt novel and when you say yes, I toss it out the window and tell you to go get it.

I yawn, nod off, jolt awake and then hiss, in a Tourette-like outburst, “Your dog isn’t even that cute!

I say, “Let me get your coat for you,” and then I pretend that your coat is a talking puppet begging you to put your arms into it and leave.

Earlier, I offered you a black bean and goat cheese quesadilla and flirted shamelessly. Now, as you reach for a baked brie tart with pecans, I’m talking about inflammatory bowel disease and Ayn Rand.

After my husband invites you to see his digital music editing program, I get out our prenup which specifically prohibits the prolonging of dinner parties.

When you ask me where the bathroom is, I tell you on 79th and Riverside, which is your address.

I excuse myself to go check on the baby even though I haven’t been fertile for a decade.

While you sample an almond macaroon galette, I fiddle with my smart phone, severing all social media connections with you and disseminating a rumor that you have become a fanatic Muslim obsessed with Jihad.

I tell you that your daughter just phoned to say that she needs you to come home immediately. When you point out that no one has called me, I explain that she’s a louse and a Telepath.

When you compliment my lemon ginger bundt cake, I stuff it into a ziplock baggie with cab fare and throw it at you. It knocks over your empty wineglass.

*Menu inspired by Martha Stewart

Previously: Expansion of French Women Don’t Series

Devorah Blachor writes a mystery series under the pen name Jasmine Schwartz. Her novels include Farbissen and Fakakt.