This last week I hosted an Open House. I don't often entertain. In fact it's rare at best that I have people over. It has nothing to do with being anti-social. It has everything to do with the fact that it stresses me out. The thing is, we live in our house. At any given time there are dishes in the sink, laundry to be done, school papers on the counter, you can barely tell that my refrigerator is white as it's covered in pictures and papers. Somewhere along the way I got it into my head that if you have company over the house should be perfect. Or at the very least as clean and tidy as completely possible. Why I believe this as fact is beyond me, but it's what I think. I can no sooner change this idea than I can stop the hands of time and rewind to the time before my crows feet appeared. (Seriously, when did these show up?)
In my ideology of the "perfectly" clean house, I should also have a spread of food that will keep people coming back. One at a time of course as I'm really uncomfortable in large groups. This is quite difficult for me also as some of you will know, because I am no Martha Stuart. I'm more of a Chef Boyardee kind of girl. The Schwann's man feeds our family. Mostly because if there is a way to mess something up in the kitchen I will find it. Case in point, for this event I borrowed a teapot. I don't own a teapot but I do think they are a good idea. I got the water in the teapot so scalding hot that I burned my hand when I went to pour it into a cup. Fortunately with some cold water, I was fine. I have very little patience so I tend to cook things faster than I should because I have a hungry family and they want to eat, like yesterday. Fortunately for my party guests it was a Tastefully Simple party. This of course means that there was to be Tastefully Simple food with of course some Schwann man food in there as well to fill in. Because of course the only way I think people will come to my house is if I bribe them with food. I also have chocolate.
I guess we all have our quirks. I'm scared to talk to large groups of people. But individually I can talk until ... forever really. Plus I don't think people will visit me unless I offer bribes of food, even though everyone knows I don't cook. Somehow I think the best alternative to this scenario would be for me to have visitors and they bring the food with them. I can offer beverages a rather large library of Young Adult books to borrow, and HBO. It's not much but it's what I have. I also currently have eight episodes of Glee on DVR if that will draw in a crowd.
As a child I can only remember my mother hosting parties at the house a few times. I had a few birthday parties there but most of them were at the park as I'm a July baby. My graduation party was there as were maybe three fourth of July parties. But mostly we didn't have company. My step father didn't like people over and I suppose it wasn't worth the fight.
No, slumber parties were not in my childhood. I went to friends houses mostly they didn't come to mine. So when I had my girls it became very important to me that they should have slumber parties. When they were younger I did my best to give them the best slumber parties I could come up with. I believe I had as much or more fun than they did. I guess I'm more comfortable with kids than adults. Kids don't generally care if things are out of place and they are easily bribed with pizza roll ups and popcorn.
The majority of adults that I know are quite excellent cooks. The church I attend I believe is filled with professional singing chefs. It's quite a lot to try and live up to. Not to mention the fact that the houses in my neighborhood look to all be professionally landscaped. Another skill I didn't acquire. I'm not sure where I fit into this mix. I don't have much to offer. I'm incapable of cooking homemade soup. When I sing it scares small animals and children. At present I have four bushes that are dead in front of my house. My ice tea comes in a gallon jug and I have no idea how to make a good cup of coffee. I'm not even sure how to order one properly at Starbucks. I have figured out a good mix at the local gas station that is both delightful and inexpensive.
So everything went well with the company. There was a steady flow of people. Not everyone came at one time which helped with the anxiety and I did have candy cane cocoa to offer which was a hit. I found it in the local Walmart in the cocoa isle. I being the kitchen literate person that I am had no idea that you could buy a container of cocoa mix that didn't come in envelopes in a box. Perhaps I should "entertain" more often, I may learn more of what is offered in my local grocery. It was nice to be able to visit with friends. Perhaps next time it will just be a come drink some candy cane cocoa party. Hopefully they won't run out as what I had for the party is long gone.