Monday, August 13, 2007

Why are we home obsessed?


We're all home obsessed. And tonight I hd my biggest challenge. My fiance wanted to have a dinner party as a going away for a good work friend. All Sunday we cleaned and primped. We never have guests except family because it's just easier to meet people out for dinner.

The whole time I was thinking... If I am so obsessed with home, why is it such a production to have people over?

So.... why are we home obsessed? Do you like drop in guests? Do they terrify you (like me)? Why?

What do we really want, after all. What are we going to do with these beautiful houses?

Tell me about entertaining... is it terrifying or exhilarating? What are your tricks, recipies, tips?

4 comments:

Leah said...

My husband and I are the same way -- we have to clean and organize and obsess for days before having people over, not to mention feeling the need to cook something straight out of Gourmet magazine. The result is that we wind up stressed out and exhausted by the time our guests arrive, and then we're not very entertaining hosts.

We also realized that we were hardly ever inviting friends over, because the whole thing was such a production. Then a friend (with, truth be told, a kind of messy, schlumpy house) started inviting us over just for dessert, which was low-stress for her and fun for everyone.

We took a cue from her and invited her family over for Sunday breakfast -- somehow, scrambling eggs and toasting bagels seemed so much more doable than dinner for eight. And then I hosted a dinner party for a bunch of girlfriends for which I just served a simple salad topped with bits of cold chicken and some crusty bread. And I served it all on pretty melamine plates (which my friends all loved) rather than whipping out the fancy china. Everyone appreciated the lighter fare and I was able to whip up the salad earlier that afternoon and then actually relax and chat with my guests when they arrived.

My husband and I are also trying to remind ourselves that our house does not have to be spotless in order for us to have friends over. (We realized that we always feel so comfortable and relaxed at our friend's messy, schulmpy house -- vs. sort of uncomfortable and unable to let down our hair in friends' and relatives' homes that are spotless and perfectly styled.)

Changing our way of thinking about entertaining is a long process, and we're not quite there yet -- but I think it's worth remembering that having a home where people feel welcomed and that's full of friends and laughter is so much more important than having a cold and empty showplace.

Good luck!

Leah

becoming-home said...

Totally terrified, for the same reason Leah mentioned!

Avoiding elaborate dinners is a great idea. Of course grilling can also be lower maintenance in the summer.

katiedid said...

Since starting our remodel, the house is a disaster, so no entertaining lately. But B.R. (before remodel) we would have Pot Lucks with a "theme" i.e. Italian, Thai, Greek, etc. That way we only spent money on one dish, everybody got to participate ( and they all love to cook, so they love it). Less hassle, more fun cuz you get to try everyone's dishes.

And Ditto what Leah said about the easy salad with grilled meat idea. Guests really do appreciate a more casual setting. That way they feel more inclined to reciprocate!:)

JJ said...

I have a couple of things going on.

1. I want my house to reflect exactly the right scene. I obsess over the details and the cleanliness for days prior to a party.

2. I also like my house to be exactly the right amount of calming to ME when I'm not obsessing over a party. Having to clean all the time is not relaxing to me so my house is always messy at best.

I hate drop ins because I don't want them to see the mess. And I hate drop ins because I want to relax and be left alone unless I can really plan to be entertaining.

I like the idea of a dessert party. I also like this idea I executed last winter: corned beef and mashed potatoes. So simple: boil the meat and potatoes, season and squish the potatoes, serve!