Gransnet forums


One Upmanship.

(94 Posts)
Falconbird Wed 04-Mar-15 07:17:23

Years ago when I was 21 and just married - we were invited to a Cheese and Wine Party.

There was a woman there who was giving me very unfriendly looks and after awhile she came up to me and asked what I did for a living.

I replied that I worked for British Aluminium. She looked surprised and then said "Oh what do they make, milk bottle tops," I replied "No parts for Concorde."

Her face was a picture. I think she had me down as a bit of an air head.

feetlebaum Wed 04-Mar-15 08:12:33

How redolent of the 60s and 70s - the Cheese and Wine party! And, of course, its bastard child the cheese fondu event... Oh ma deer!
Weren't we all sophisticated!

annsixty Wed 04-Mar-15 08:21:44

Those dinner parties in the 70's and 80's were breeding grounds for social pretensions. My DH was a Chartered Surveyor working for a LA and we were invited to dinner by a colleague of his from another dept. One of their friends asked me what DH's job was and as I started to explain that it involved Property management,he looked down his nose and said "Oh a glorified rent collector" and I just replied "yes something like that" and turned to talk to someone less snobbish.

Falconbird Wed 04-Mar-15 09:15:16

All very true. Those were the days of the dinner party even having the boss and his wife to dinner.

I was at a party of some sort during this era and I heard my DH described as a "Mindless Mathematician." He was a Systems Analyist.

Another friend introduced himself as an Engineer and another pretentious guest remarked "surprised he isn't covered in grease etc., The friend had a degree in Engineering.

Ariadne Wed 04-Mar-15 09:21:17

I was sitting next to a very old school Brigadier at a mess dinner in the 70s.
"And how do you fill your spare time,my dear?" He asked.
"I'm just completing my Master's thesis on theories of language acquisition," I said, (absolutely grinning inside)
Still grin

glammanana Wed 04-Mar-15 09:38:41

Memories of those dinner parties with the centre piece being the famous "Pineapple Hedgehog" taking centre stage grin.
We where at one party and I was asked what hubby's position was within The Company "have I seen him in The Packing Dept mi dear" asked the chap "no " came the reply he is Head of The Science Lab but sometimes he takes his own samples down to be dispatched from The Packing Dept,conversation ended.

Nonnie Wed 04-Mar-15 09:40:36

I so remember those things which is why we never have dinner parties now, we just have friends for supper.

When I was living in Warwickshire my FiL was coming to stay and so I ordered sterilised milk for him as that is what he was used to. A neighbour saw it on the doorstep and said that she thought it was so working class. I agreed with her and pointed out that as she worked, so was she but I didn't so I was a 'kept woman'.

Like *Falconbird' I experienced the snobbery when my husband was a Systems Engineer and the ballet teacher thought he should be covered in grease. The same teacher formed assumptions about one of the other fathers who always turned up in scruffy clothes and it was wonderful to see her face when I told her he was my Bank Manager.

Either things have changed or I have taken myself out of such situations.

merlotgran Wed 04-Mar-15 09:58:15

I was a disaster when it came to hosting dinner parties and there was usually an unforseen drama, the worst being when a new neighbour spotted a caterpillar crawling out of her lightly steamed cauliflower floret and promptly fainted.

Jane10 Wed 04-Mar-15 10:01:54

My DH used to tell people that he sold lavatory cleaner. (He was involved in industrial chemicals at that time!) That used to bring enquiries as to his occupation to a sharp halt!

janeainsworth Wed 04-Mar-15 10:05:27

This is for you Ariadne

kittylester Wed 04-Mar-15 10:42:36

When we were first married DH's senior partner asked us for dinner and someone asked DH whether he hunted, shot or fished. DH replied no, only to be asked, in a puzzled voice, 'Well, what do you do?'. 'Oh, we go stock car racing!' said DH. That was when we decided that dinner parties were not for us!

annsixty Wed 04-Mar-15 10:56:42

I love that merlot as I was once on the receiving end of a large boiled caterpillar in cauli.We had gone with friends to see her MiL and my friend was sitting next to me.She saw my horrified face and whisked it into her napkin and under the table in a flash,and retrieved it later.

ninathenana Wed 04-Mar-15 14:27:57

Slightly off topic. I'll never forget being at a very good friends wedding in the '70s. DH and I were talking to a mutual friend of the bride and I. She was accompanied by her new rich BF.DH wasn't aware that he was loaded. and joked about him being pretentious because he had RR key fob not knowing that that was what he actually had parked outside, exit a very blush DH when he pointed out the window.

KatyK Wed 04-Mar-15 16:15:49

I recently watched Abigail's Party again and oh the memories! If friends asked us round for drinks and nibbles I would don a long dress and get really glammed up and they only lived in the flat upstairs! All the women used to try to outdo each other in the glam stakes. The men with their droopy moustaches and long hair smile

Tegan Wed 04-Mar-15 16:20:32

I never got invited to a cheese and wine party or a fondue one sad.

kittylester Wed 04-Mar-15 16:34:46

I've only been to one cheese and wine party which was about 50 years ago. This is really unfortunate one as I'm supposed to be organising one for the library volunteers! shock. Are hedgehogs compulsory?

Tegan Wed 04-Mar-15 16:43:00

You eat hedgehogs shock.....!

Galen Wed 04-Mar-15 16:47:23

They're supposed to be rather like chicken. You wrap them in mud and bke in a bonfire?

Galen Wed 04-Mar-15 16:47:41

Bake not bke

Galen Wed 04-Mar-15 16:52:50

I love fondues, both the cheese and meat variety. Haven't had one for years.
Might do one next weak. (Cheese)

annsixty Wed 04-Mar-15 16:59:05

The only ones I went to kittyin the dim and distant past were fundraisers and they were very good at raising funds. We were all very law abiding and payment for wine was done with some weird system involving raffle tickets, I can't remember details. I suppose in today's affluent society you would be asking £10's for attending with as much wine as you wanted, but these were for school, cubs and guides etc so we charged a nominal amount for food and a glass of wine and anyone who wanted more bought it. Hence the raffle tickets so as not to infringe licensing laws. Good luck with it, it will be fun.

kittylester Wed 04-Mar-15 17:08:20

This aimed at keeping the volunteers on board Ann until we take over the village library and give them something to do, so it's free! grin

loopylou Wed 04-Mar-15 17:13:34

We used to go to the RNLI Cheese & Wine party, the highlight of village life, because the amazing organiser used to wangle her way in to the big houses and persuade the owners to let us use their house for the evening.
The committee would get the food organised ('bring a plate' from anyone who we could bribe/coerce/badger!)
Most, including us, loved seeing how the other half lived and on more than one occasion we had to clean and polish a manorial room before setting it up.
They used to raise a lot of money simply because the organiser was a gem.
Great fun.....

granjura Wed 04-Mar-15 17:24:34

One of our neighbours was a Consultant at the local STD clinic. At a party, one very loud ladyeeee with a flamboyant hat kept saying loudly ' but who are you- I'm sure I've met you before' - and we all were in stiches!

loopylou Wed 04-Mar-15 17:34:43

grin would love to have seen her face when she finally twigged!
The 'gem' got us in to virtually every Manor House and even a staely home within a 10 mile radius, and she only stopped doing it when she was 90, an amazing lady with more gumption than I'll ever have.