My silent peeves

Mar. 02, 2013 @ 03:42 PM

My precious granddaughter Evelyn accidentally burped, to the delight of her dinner guests one spring evening. I then had to give a lesson in the fine art of noise control, and what not to expel at the dinner table. 

Bodily functions, if at all possible, are not to be shared. That also goes for the other expelling bodily sounds that maybe a grown man makes, and it’s not a burp.

My husband Fred and I attended a party held by the Women’s Club of Union County. The members of this club are young women in the area and we are there as guests. It’s a fundraiser of some sort.

They held it in what we in our small town of Monroe, N.C. call the rock building. It’s part of several buildings in various stages of renovation; the owners are local and we all use them for parties.            

This event is on the second floor. To get there, we had to take an old and creepy delivery elevator that added to the ambiance of the evening.

I was talking to member Gay Diller, our local interior and graphic designer, who is extremely, extremely young and attractive. She’s designed for me and I really enjoy her lively personality. I wanted to finally meet her husband, so she called him over.

At the same time, Fred sees Gay and, like every other 69-year-old man in fantasy land, makes a beeline directly for her. He ends up with the three of us.

When he arrives, so does a horrific, unpleasant, gas-like odor, as in noxious. I don’t know if Fred brought it with him. I’m not saying he was the cause or if it was someone else.

This put a damper on my introduction to Brett Diller. I made it short with a quick exit.

“Fred, that’s what gas relief pills are for,” I said.

My daughter at the recent wedding of my nephew threatened grandson Nicky with banishment of all of his Nintendos for life if he expelled any noise, burp or otherwise, from any end of his body during the ceremony or the reception.

I can’t think of what I could take away from Fred. Anything I could imagine included my disciplining and watching him 24/7. A definite minus on my lifestyle.

Safe to say, since I’m the designated driver, I mix any of his to-go cups before our parties. I have a new secret ingredient.


Monroe, NC resident Jeanne Howell teaches etiquette to business and private groups. She can be reached at or 704-221-1905.