I have wanted, for quite a long time, to be better as a hostess. I don’t mean a more prim apron, a better hors d’oeuvres spread, or a nice coat rack. I want to be calmer, more confident, and less likely to pull my hair out in the last few moments before people come into my home.
I see my home as a bit of a sanctuary – while I do my best to make it a comfortable place for Husband, I enjoy the fact that there are too many clothes on the floors and I wear leggings with baggy t-shirts as my main uniform while padding around barefoot. I choose to host parties and movie nights mostly because I want to see my friends, but if I had my way, we’d always do those things in other peoples’ homes. I just feel the civic need to contribute to the fun that the whole friend group has.
So this year, as part of my quick-at-recovering goal and my bravery goal, I want to make this whole process less arduous. Husband ends up a little bewildered when I’m shrill and stressed right before everyone arrives and I have to pivot to being happy and fun. It’s tough on him, since he wants to help me be happy but he really doesn’t get stressed about people coming over.
I think at the core of my nerves is the idea of someone finding me disgusting or childish, like if they saw that I had left dishes on the dining room table from last week or a sweatshirt just lying on the floor in the foyer they wouldn’t want to be friends with me any more. Realistically, there’s no reason why they’d feel differently about me for these things, but something about me needs the house to be pretty perfect, a blank canvas on which the party can be super-imposed. In reality, all homes have touches of quirks that help the guests have cool things to talk about, but when it’s my house, it stresses me out for some reason.
We’ve had two sets of folks over so far this year, one set for dinner and one for a game night, and I’m happy to report I held it together way better. I just thought about what the worst case scenario was, which was that they didn’t really like it and they chose to go home quickly. In both cases, everyone stayed for hours and hours, much longer than an obligation would have anyone stay, and I think they liked it. I do the same thing at my friends’ homes when I’m having a good time, and I’m trying to relax and realize that I can make a fun evening for my friends too.