So today, HOSTESSING.
Someone has to plan the gathering. Someone has to open their home or call the restaurant. There's the notion that a certain amount of risk or vulnerability comes with being the hostess. Allow me to dispel it!
I believe there are two kinds of hostessing. There's the scary one, the Martha Stewart kind, the linen napkins and fresh flowers kind. And then there's the one I'm talking about.
To the first, hosting the SPECIAL: the baby shower, or the birthday party, or the Christmas party. These are events in which the ultimate goal of the hostess is to make those attending feel SPECIAL. Puttin' on the dog, if you will (that's what my momma would say). These are necessary, and important and FUN things to plan and attend....BUT THEY ARE NOT WHAT I'M PASSIONATE ABOUT. Consult Pinterest, I am not your girl.
The type of hostessing that I urge you to do is the one where the ultimate goal is to make those attending feel COMFORTABLE. Don't host a baby shower and have a pile of laundry on your living room couch. DO, however, host your girlfriends for coffee without hiding it. We looked fancy in our Mimosa Monday picture shoot. We got out the nice clothes and the nice dishes and did our hair. We did that because we knew it was a photo shoot! On any regular Monday you'll see yoga pants and ponytails and solo cups...and not because we are lazy (or at least not ONLY because we are lazy). No, because we are vulnerable, comfortable. Because the being together is more important that the prep work.
Hosting is important to me, so here are so practical ways I keep it easy:
- I stay stocked with paper goods
- I always have coffee and a dozen eggs to spare. A frittata can be made in 20 minutes with anything from all your leftovers to simply some eggs and cheese.
- I add to my friends comfortability level by making them work: 'Hey Erin, could I have some ice water?' 'Sure, the glasses are above the dishwasher. Help yourself!' You only have to do this once to give another woman the permission to make herself at home in your kitchen.
- I never 'put on the dog' or make it fancy. Easy, reproducible, unintimidating - yes. Fancy - nope.
As I leave this little series on community and move back to either not blogging or to ridiculous stories about the kids, let me throw out some ideas for you:
- Meet at a restaurant after your kids bedtime for a drink and a chat
- Meet at a park so the kids can play and rotate who brings coffees and kid snacks
- Host a monthly freezer cooking class
- Meet at a track or walking trail in the predawn hours
Or get the whole family involved:
- Family Game night
- A day trip to a state park with a picnic
Call your people and open your door...it really is that simple.