I went to a bridal shower last night for a friend, who's from England, who is marrying an American friend of ours. After a rough day yesterday, I thought about not going to a party, but decided to buck up and go anyway.
This English friend had a few friends and her sister in town from London for the wedding, and since I'm going to London in a couple of months, I thought it would be nice to talk with them a bit about their home country.
Well, it was not to be. The sister-in-law-to-be was invited as well, and the moment she walked in the door, she did nothing but yak on and on about herself. She was so loud, she drowned out any hope of other conversations, and when her husband called her on her cell phone, she proceeded to stay in the room and loudly talk to him and report on everything he said. Ugh.
There was some eye contact between the other 10 of us in the room that said I was not alone in my disgust. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt and thought "maybe she just stays home with the kids all day and doesn't have anyone to talk to." But no, apparently she's like that all the time, so said one of my friends later.
By the end of the evening, I knew about her relationship with her husband, mother, and that she had two kids, and what they were like. I scarcely can remember a detail about anyone else in the room, because we barely had a chance to say anything.
When I left with a friend, we walked out into the driveway, and I told Wendi "I know I can talk a lot, but wow!" And she said "No, you're not like that! But she's ALWAYS been that way."
I wonder if she went home and told her husband what a great time she had, and if it even crossed her mind that she talked so much she had NO chance of learning anything about anyone else at the party.
I often wonder if there is anything one can do in those situations. I tried to have side conversations as was possible, but our British guests began to tune out, one checking her pictures on her camera, and another just gave up and went to bed.
What a lost opportunity. After the day I had yesterday (I was told I wasn't the candidate for a job I really wanted, and I was deeply disappointed) I was hoping for a chance to look forward to my European vacation by talking with some Europeans. Instead, I got to listen to a loud-mouthed conservative Air Force wife from Colorado Springs tell me about every detail of her childbirth experiences to what her husband likes her to do in bed. TMI, thank you very much.
At one point, she was prattling on about her childbirth experiences, and I quipped "This isn't a baby shower, I think we should talk about weddings, don't you think?" then asked everyone in the room about what their weddings were like. Miss Loudmouth cut right in and started telling us about her wedding, and how her husband and her were SO happy after 14 years. I wonder if he'd have the chance to even tell her he's not happy as he probably doesn't get a chance to get a word edge-wise.
How do you handle those situations? Do you just bear it and pray to God she doesn't show up at too many other parties? I can't imagine anything I could have said to get her to shut her trap long enough to let others talk that wouldn't have been rude itself.
I'm so glad yesterday is over!