Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Hosts, Guests, and other Malcontents
With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away, ‘tis the perfect opportunity to remind you, Sweeties, of how to host, how to guest, and how to generally not make life-long enemies this time of year. Remember, our image goes much deeper than the clothes on our backs: part of it includes our ability to entertain graciously within our homes, our dedication to being the best possible guest ever, and most importantly, to leave everyone wondering, “How does she stay so pretty throughout the day?”
Don’t Kill Yourself – In our modern world, it’s quite easy to have someone else do the heavy lifting. I haven’t put it to paper, but I would venture to guess that you can cater your Thanksgiving meal just as affordably as you could should you go ‘the old-fashioned route’. I know for a fact that you can easily feed 6-8 people their turkey, stuffing, gravy, and dinner rolls for $39.99. Have your guests bring additional sides and pies. This way, you won’t have to get up at 4:30 am Thanksgiving morning, nor will you spend the biggest part of the day in the kitchen (unless you simply have to do so in order to get away from ‘those people’)
Spot Clean – Cleanliness is next to Godliness, so you should really take a good, hard look at yourself if your home requires more than a bit of dusting and mopping before your guests arrive. Those newspapers stacked up aren’t really newsworthy anymore, and what is now referred to as ‘The Bathroom Mishap of ‘88’ should have been dealt with back in ’88, don’t you think?
Look Smashing – Nobody likes an unkempt hostess. Go out of your way to wow your guests with your charming style. Avoid track suits, crocs, a bathrobe, or an oversized sweatshirt. Your guests will be so impressed by how fabulous you look that they won’t notice the overcooked turkey and undercooked mashed potatoes.
Keep On Hand – aspirin, Tums, extra wine, toilet paper, Diet Coke (only if your father-in-law is Larry Newman, and if he’s not, what’s he doing at your place and not mine on Thanksgiving?) Benadryl (if you’ve got guests who are allergic to cats), and a good sense of humor.
Bring Something – it’s in poor taste to show up at someone’s home without a little something –something for the hostess. She went to a lot of trouble to look nice for you. A little trinket of some sort, in addition to the side dish you’ve been assigned, is a nice gesture. Guests who bring me things I like (for example, a good bottle of Merlot), are sure to be invited back next Thanksgiving.
Arrive On Time, and Not Any Earlier – your hostess needs those last few minutes in order to go over last-minute, vital details (place settings, false eyelashes, the usual)
Look Before You Sit – My old cat, Kramer, seldom moves from his spot on the couch these days. Please don’t sit on him.
Don’t Complain – Nobody wants to hear your gripes, particularly if they’re aimed at the hostess or her home.
Don’t Touch That Dial – Never take the liberty of turning on a television that doesn’t belong to you. If you simply must catch ‘the big game’ on Thanksgiving, stay home to do it.
Leave and Don’t Come Back – when I was growing up, we developed a peculiar tradition of spending most of Thanksgiving Day at my grandmother’s house, then leaving, then going back that evening for leftovers. This only created extra work for my grandmother. Leave at a reasonable hour, take leftovers if you’re invited to do so, and let your hostess get on with her business (tidying up, napping, finishing up that Merlot you brought, etc.)
Common courtesy and good intentions go a long way on Thanksgiving. Be on your best behavior, look your best, and enjoy a blessed day with your loved ones. Cheers, Sweeties!
Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!