My childhood friend is here with me for the weekend. We can do whatever we want except for one commitment. I need to take her to a family picnic where a mother and a daughter are celebrating a 140-year-old birthday. This number is valid as it is a combination party for an 80-year-old mother and a 60-year-old daughter. Those is attendance are extended family from different parts of the country reuniting after more years than easily recognition enables.
After agreeing to take my fiend to this gathering I asked if I should just drop her off or stay. She said she would like me to stay. We looked at each other and the mischief of our childhood was ignited.
She said, “I’ll just tell them you are Mabel’s daughter.”
That seemed OK with me, as Mabel was my mother’s name. It fit for my friend, as Mabel was the name of an Aunt who had died long enough ago to not be the center of attention at this event.
Then I decided to take some risks.
I walked up to one person after another and said, “It’s so good to see you again.” This left only one response, “Yes, you, too.”
(Feel free to use this strategy to crash a family picnic. Just make sure your mother has the same name as one of the relatives.)
PS. Just when I thought this experience was an example of how everybody responds in a social setting I ran into a surprise.
As this picnic was wrapping up a lady came up to me and said, “I don’t know who you are.”
I responded, “I am Mabel’s daughter.”
The lady asked, “Who is Mabel?”
I said, “She is my mother.”
This prompted, “I have no idea who Mabel is and I don’t remember ever meeting you.”