Today was one of those days where I had to take a step back and say, “Wow. My mother has truly mastered the art of making sure that her disturbed value system will never die.”
See, I’m one of 3 people on a committee to plan an executive’s retirement party at the office. We have a reasonable budget to work with, but there are differing opinions on whether or not to use the corporate catering company. I say we let the pros handle the preparation and the presentation. My coworker says, if we do it ourselves, we can save money, and then she sent me a link to a supermarket website with a photo of sandwich cheese slices fanned around on a tray.
Let’s go back in time to 1980. Supermarkets were starting to become a standard aspect of life in Foley, Alabama, and gone are the days when I could attend a church function without my mother pinching me on the elbow and hissing in my ear about ‘store-bought cookies’ and ‘disposable black plastic trays’ and ‘tacky as hell.’ Now, some might call this snobbery, and they would be 100% correct, but Mom would call it Basic Training.
As a full-grown adult with a master’s degree in Instructional Design, I can testify that my mother’s training methodology was effective. I’m still operating under the assumption that there will be hell to pay for those who get caught “cheating” or taking unnecessary shortcuts in a Southern hospitality situation.
Luckily, the retirement party is governed by corporate protocol, not Southern tradition, and I know which side my bread is buttered on.