Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – March 6, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – March 6, 2004 – I’m having a dinner party tonight, and all I can think is I wish it was over. Whenever I extend an invitation to friends, it inevitably seems like a terrific idea “at the time” …
I think how lovely to share my home with my pals, and visions of ‘kodak moments’ dance around my mind as I see my friends trooping up the front steps. I’m at the door – smiling, welcoming everyone in and giving directions for coats, boots and wine glasses. Then – “splat” reality hits. I have to plan the damn menu, go grocery shopping, drag the goodies home and then on the ‘bloody day of days’ – yikes I have to cook. The bloom is definitely off the blasted rose.
I know annoying people (my sister-in-law Dorothy being one of them) who are consummate entertainers. They can make Baked Alaska out of day old oatmeal and whip up an unforgettable dinner in the time it takes me to dial for pizza. Somehow, in their capable and confident hands, a bacon and tomato sandwich becomes a gourmet delight. At my house, it simply means I’m too darn tired to cook. Dinner parties are an art and I often feel like a woeful neophyte. It’s not that I can’t pull it all together, because I can.
I have fabulous dishes, an amazing selection of wine glasses, lovely place mats, tablecloths and linens. My dining room is small and intimate, furnished with a glass table and stylish Parsons chairs. I can set a beautiful table and I know how to invite a good mix of interesting people. So what is the problem? As tonight gets closer I think about how worn out I am and imagine myself lying on the sofa with a juicy, murder thriller.
If truth be known, I’ve become socially lazy. Not only do I neglect to entertain my friends in my home, I often turn down invitations when I’m asked out. I’ve grown careless, and don’t fancy partaking of the necessary and sometimes inane chit-chat that so often accompanies social gatherings. Who do I think I am anyway? I know I sound like a sodding ingrate. Part of this is legitimate (monumental menopausal fatigue) but a lot of it is attitude. When I make the effort I usually have a wonderful time and am often one of the last to leave.
Tonight I’ve loaded up my “Set It & Forget It Chicken Machine” with two six pound birds and have prepared some spicy roasted potatoes, green beans and carrots. It’s a simple meal to prepare, delicious to eat and offers just the right amount of late winter dining comfort. So I need to slip into something comfortable, zip a comb through my hair, slap on some blush and a dash of lipstick and get my sorry ass downstairs to finish the last-minute preparations.
Attitude adjustment complete, genuine smile in place, a dab of perfume behind each ear and I’m set to go. I’m grateful to be sharing my home with people I really like. I may not be Martha Stewart (thank heavens) but I’m gonna have a wonderful evening. Then maybe I’ll do it again the following week. Whoa Nellie – perhaps not next week – but soon!