OK, here it goes...
Remember the days when you could just pick up the phone and invite people over at the drop of a hat? And they'd come make-upless in their comfiest duds? And you'd order in pizza, eat junk food: glow-in-the -dark-orange cheesies, potato chips (dunked in vinegar), popcorn, drink pop, watch movies and just hang out? Whatever happened to those days? Where did they go? Where did we go?
We grew up that's what. We entered into the age of responsibility rife with image consciousness and rules of etiquette that we call adulthood. Casual get togethers seem to have been relegated to childhood.
Why is it that we women can't just pull up a chair and relax without hauling food, drink and groceries to every gathering we attend for fear of being judged if we don't. The rare times my mother went to social gatherings she came complete with her rubber gloves packed into her purse ready to be pulled out the minute the tables got cleared. An extremely shy individual, she felt more comfortable in the kitchen than engaging in small talk but I think that some part of her felt duty bound to perform this service as she didn't feel worthy to be the recipient of hospitality.
TO ME IT FELT LIKE SHE WAS APOLOGIZING FOR HER PRESENCE.
Lately I have been politely requesting that people just bring themselves, nothing else, no: food, drink, flowers or gifts are necessary. Yet still people feel compelled to bring grocery loads. I really don't want them to bring anything. I truly want them to let go, kick back and just chill without apology. After all men do it all the time, why can't we?
Are we afraid that we'll look bad if we don't bring anything but someone else does? This is such an awkward moment for a host. What do I do? Not wanting to offend I thank the guest for the offering, yet this very action makes me feel like a hypocrite and seems to negate the sincerity of my request in the eyes of those who've brought the very thing I asked for - NOTHING.
In my effort to provide an effortless night for my guests my latest invite came with this request in bold letters, PLEASE ONLY BRING YOURSELF AND YOUR OWN BOOZE IF YOU WANT ANYTHING OTHER THAN WINE.
And, I still got, "Can I bring anything?"
"ARRGH are you yanking my chain!? NO!"
Can you believe that you are enough? That your presence makes me happy? That there really is no expectation; no keeping score?
We're going to order in pizza. Have some wine, Coke, coffee and cookies - no fuss, no muss, just simple. The company will be the focus. What my invite really means is - JUST BRING YOURSELF; YOU ARE ENOUGH.
In order to make people feel welcome I'm threatening to body search everybody at the door. Yup, that should just about put the nail in the coffin. Please do not send flowers, thank you.