Friday, February 5, 2010

Why is it when your husband calls you at 4pm asking if you can host new friends over for dinner at 6:30, and you foolishly say "no problem", the following goes down: 

  • Your realize that your floors haven't seen a mop in a week, and while it's okay for your 9 month old to crawl around in the family's dirt, they probably won't appreciate indoor grass stains on their baby girl.

  • Just as your fully assemble cleaning supplies for said floors the 9 month old wakes early from his afternoon nap. And he would like his afternoon nursing. Now.

  • 9 month old is placated with half a nursing and stuffed into his walker with a handful of Cheerios. Furiously cleaning the floors (which are promptly littered with 0-shaped oat puffs) you reach the last section when the door bell rings. An out of town friend and his companion. They're just driving through and would love to see the remodeled kitchen. 

  • Considering this good friend spent more than two days of his own time and sweat on the kitchen it is more than necessary to give him the complete tour. Meanwhile, as you're showing off the new gas fire pit a little voice in the back of your head reminds you that tonight's dinner guests are gluten intolerant and the only semi-decent gluten-free meal you know how to make requires a trip to Trader Joes. Across town. 

  • Waving good-bye to out of town friends you load baby into his car seat and race to Trader Joes. Arriving just in time to circle the parking lot three times, greet the rest of the after-work-shoppers, and grab the last remaining cart. 

  • The last item on the list is finally loaded and you're in line to pay when you realize that crackers and brie are not a gluten free appetizer. Exit line.

  • New appetizer selected you head back to the check-out to try again. Only to hear someone faintly calling your name. It's George! Your 75 year old friend from Toastmaster's that you haven't seen in a year. And he's never met Landon. Introductions must be made, Toastmasters news shared, relationship updates, etc.,etc. 

  • You've finally made it to the cashier. Only to realize that he's new. Nice, but new. And in love with your baby. And wouldn't your baby love a balloon. Hold on right there while nice, new cashier arranges for the baby to get a yellow helium balloon.

  • Finally home and the house is a bit messy. Not terrible but definitely could use a quick spruce up. Thankfully husband will be home soon and he'll be able to help. Guests are arriving in half an hour. 

  • Baby is hungry. There is nothing too feed baby.

  • Strawberries for dinner won't kill baby and they're keeping him really happy. Things are moving right along. Onions sauteing, baby dribbling berry juice, linen napkins out and ready. Next step of chili recipe - add diced tomatoes. Forgot to buy tomatoes. 

  • Kiss husband (and expected house straightener) "hello" and promptly turn him around to go buy tomatoes.  Now you must make a choice: make side-dish for dinner or straighten house. 

  • Side-dish seems more important. You head to the computer to print the side-dish recipe that you saw the other day. Something simple but you can't quite remember the ratio of ingredients and it's really important for the dish. The internet is down. 

  • No tomatoes. No side dish. No clean house. No more pride. 

I learned so much that night. I believe God let all that stuff happen to teach me and RJ and lesson. We both love to entertain. And we love having new people (and old friends) over to our home. But, in all honesty, there is sometimes too much pride attached. RJ has done a remarkable job remodeling out house, we love creating a "fancy" atmosphere with appetizers, wine, cloth napkins, and homemade/homegrown meals. And while there is nothing wrong with those things there is something wrong in being prideful about them.  The nice stuff and fancy food aren't a problem, but when we start to feel the need and/or desire to look a certain way and give off a certain impression our hearts are acting too prideful. 

 The Hoskings don't eat three-course meals most nights. Nor to we light the candles and use cloth napkins. Usually we just fling ourselves onto the bar stools and you're lucky if you get a paper towel to wipe off  your face. So why is it so important to look different in front of friends? Having people over for dinner and making the evening a little more special is nice.  But by the time our friends arrived the other night RJ and I were frustrated with each other, Landon had been neglected (in my defense though he though strawberries for dinner was extra special!), and while our house looked good in the end we weren't filled with much joy. It would have been much nicer if I had chosen a more "boring" gluten-free meal and just gone to Vons, swept the floors instead of giving them the whole nine-yards, and let the clutter go since it wasn't even that bad.

Not the mention, I believe that when we set the precedent a certain way (i.e. fancy dinner party) then people feel pressured to follow suite. And I hate that. It sets us all up to fail. Particularly as women. We need to be real with each other and be willing to serve spaghetti with jar sauce, show off our unmade beds, nasty hair, and laundry piles. I know I feel alot better when I see that other women don't always have clean floors of matching clothes. Being honest and real serves everyone. We need to try it out more. 


Tracy said...

Those are the kind of lessons you don't necessarily appreciate- at least not in the moment. I can relate though. Every Wednesday I hold a "casual" dinner with neighbors mostly from our apartment complex. We don't have a big place, or a fancy one, but sometimes I'm so wrapped up in the idea of impressing people, that I forget what really matters. Most of the time we just eat off paper plates and take turns sitting down since there are not enough places to sit. But neighbors keep coming back, and conversations are still fun and entertaining.

Sara-Joy said...

I loved this post!

Jessica G. said...

I could feel your stress just reading your blog! I will agree with you on this one. I do the exact same thing. And it is true, why do we always feel the need to put up a front and look perfect in front of our friends?

Jess Roy said...

Anna, I hear you! I remember feeling this way a lot...especially after MR and I got married. But thankfully I've been able to let things go...and just enjoy the company of our friends and family. Makes me wish we could have you guys over right now!

The Schmidts said...

you guys should come here sometime and I can show you some dirty floors :) Great post. -Rhiannon

Edwards Family said...

This was just the Lord telling you to invite the Edwards to dinner more often and not new people. No need to clean for us. Make sure there is a beer for Blair, toys for Avila to steal from Landon and something to ease our hunger and we're happy.

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