I was hosting a reception at a reunion when a woman came in and made herself at home without a word. I may have tried talking to her to find out who she was and why she was there, but her actions and silence inflamed me into an irrational righteous anger. I screamed and drove her out. She didn’t make a sound or acknowledge me.
I returned to the room, which now seemed like a kitchen, and wrote a nasty note to her. When I tried to deliver it (how could I know where?), I found the room of one of my oldest friends from elementary school, but I hesitated to knock. I wasn’t sure of myself.
After leaving my note with indignation, I returned to the reception room/kitchen and found the business card-sized invitations. They consisted of two lines labeled “a” and “b.” I discovered the one I somehow knew had been sent to the mystery woman. The “a” line was addressed to her. The “b” line expressed a heartfelt hope that she would attend the reception from which I had so angrily and crudely ejected her.
It was from my dad.
I had just revealed myself to be an irrational, cranky fishwife to someone my dad knew and liked well enough to invite to the reception. I wondered if she were confused and surprised by the vitriolic reception she’d received and what she would think of my poor father, who had invited her with such warmth.
I wondered about what is wrong with me that I could act so.