Stardust

Writings from my little corner of modern domesticity.

Not-so-Entertaining

Part of domestic life is supposedly entertaining. Not mine, apparently.

Not anymore, that is. I just don’t feel like we have the space to have people over.

And that is incredibly sad, because as antisocial as I can be sometimes, I am an enthusiastic and excellent hostess. I’m especially good at the casual get-together.

I love gathering friends. The trailer parties in high school and the bonfires the two summers after out at my parents’ place were some of my favorite times. I miss it. Even when we had to string eight different extension cords before we found two that worked so we could hook up the CD changer out by the firepit. And especially when my car broke down on the way and I had to end up recruiting my guests to set up.

I guess what I miss most, though, is really seeing my friends. Part of the reason I hosted is because I always had the most flexible parents and the space to do it. That led to my discovery of how much fun hosting is for me- the planning, the execution, even the aftermath. I never minded cleaning the spent fountains and screamin’ eagles out of the firepit, or collecting the slightly-soggy chips off the porch the next morning, or stepping over 5 teenagers sleeping in the living room of a trailer while trying to get to the kitchen to set out the cereal. But the real joy of it was seeing a whole group of the people I cared about in one place- one fun, everyone’s-welcome sort of place. The fact that I had a hand in crafting the atmosphere was just the icing on the cake.

But I even loved it when people would just drop by, when I’d hear a knock on the door and lo and behold, there was a teenager or three on the porch. And we’d just hang. Maybe we’d call a couple more people, or maybe we’d just eat Doritos and make fun of MTV.

Now, though, the apartment is (or seems, anyway) too small for more than maybe three or four friends and is too out of the way for anyone to just drop by anymore.

I even took to cutting cheese and setting up snacks at the last party of friends’ I was at because not entertaining is getting the better of me from time to time, and I wanted to help somehow. And I knew that they wouldn’t mind in the slightest and were probably even appreciative of my efforts (which, I learned shortly, was very true).

I’ve never understood the people that don’t enjoy their parties as much or at all because they hosted. What? Yes, there’s some work involved- but that doesn’t mean it’s no fun when people get there!

The author and friend enjoying a party

Heck, our wedding reception was a little bit of hell, and I enjoyed it quite thoroughly. First, we arrived late to set up because we almost got run off the road changing expressways, then I had bought half the wrong shaped tablecloths. Then Ryan and our friend got lost while trying to go pick up the kegs, I was scrambling to go change while meeting extended family and friends of Ryan’s covered in dust and gasping sorries and quick introductions, my dad, stepmom, and brother got in a minor accident (with our wine) on the way, and then when the wine got there, we couldn’t get it open for half an hour because we had neglected to bring a corkscrew. Plus we had about 80 people that said they were coming that didn’t and totally screwed us on food costs and wasted alcohol (though, nearly a year later, I do still have some of the wine that was unopened). But it was fun!

After (and while) everything that can go wrong has (is doing so), you just smile and carry on, because you’re surrounded by friends who don’t really give a damn if you have a bit of something on your shirt from realizing last-minute you didn’t clean the coffee pot or that they’re drinking wine out of one of those cups with the seizure-inducing lights on the bottom. And besides- the more kookie stuff that happens along the way, the better the stories later!

And trust me- when we get a house or at least a bigger apartment, we are having the housewarming party of the decade. Seriously.

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2 Comments

  1. aemaxson

    Yes Mandy, your assistance is always appreciated at our gatherings — though your simple presence is more than enough. We missed a group Lammas – hopefully we can pull something together for Mabon.

    • Starskim

      Yes! That would be wonderful. I want to see more of everyone this year. I know I will by default, but I want a lot of it to be unrelated to business, too!

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