(With apologies to The Toast)
1. Saying hello takes half an hour and is a minefield due to the differing, seemingly arbitrary numbers of cheek kisses imposed by the various groups of attendees. "You're three? Four?!" You have neck strain. You are contemplating faking your own death to avoid the goodbye bise round.
2. Someone bristly gets you in an endless bise cycle as implacably relentless as a crocodile's death roll and you have never been so effectively exfoliated.
3. Someone has just tried to convince you that a double shot of Calvados is an appropriate palate cleanser.
4. Yes, even for children. Especially for children. And babies.
5. You have been sitting in the same place for five hours without moving. The elderly relative next to you may have died. If not, they may be expressing a wish for their own death. You deal with this - quite effectively - by offering them a double shot of Calvados.
6. Variously, over several hours, people have told you that the following foods are "vegetarian": ham, chicken, salmon, lardons, mince.
7. You have now accepted that rice is a vegetable. Possibly also salmon. Hell, ham too. Why not.
8. You have been talking to an animated older gentleman for twenty minutes without understanding a word except something something something "walnuts" something something something "vengeance".
9. When you innocently ask someone else about the walnuts, a chill falls over the room.
10. All the cold food comes in aspic.
11. All the hot food comes in cream.
12. Did you arrive with some children? You might have done, you can't remember. You lost sight of them hours ago. They have had time to reach puberty by now and are probably smoking and drinking calva in a field.
13. Speaking of which, it is time for more Calvados.
14. The whole thing starts again 4 hours later.