This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Well, she ain't Martha Stewart...

We just had house guests. Just saying those words can strike fear into hearts. Just about everybody has a fantastically funny/horrific story about house guests. I am no exception. I have a love/hate relationship with having guests to stay: on the love side I love being with family and friends. I love entertaining. I love sharing my space with those I love and who love me. I love sharing my new spot in the world. I love having casual chats, eating together, sharing unexpected laughs, and learning new things about the people in my life. On the hate side I hate my tendency to worry that everything is not perfect. I hate my struggles to let go of the Martha Stewart Entertaining Guide that runs like a ticker tape through my head as I measure my dinners up against impossible standards. I hate that I care about things that aren't important and then hate that I worry that I spent so much time caring about unimportant stuff that I missed important stuff along the way. Let's face it, I'm no Martha Stewart.

My BF Chellie and her family just left this morning. They were only with us a short time: barely 3 days. I felt like it was a really great visit. That is, I felt that way until they left, then I began to worry:
should I have stayed up later chatting instead of sticking to my routine? Why didn't I make it a priority to make Sangrias? Did I spend too much time hurrying the kids from activity to activity thus killing the natural-vacation-timeless-quality that inspires wonderful memories? Why didn't I pull my daughter out of school for 2 days, what's the big deal? Why didn't I make an apple pie like I'd originally planned? Why didn't I plan crock-pot meals so I didn't have to rush off to cook dinner? Did I spend enough one-on-one time with the kids? Why didn't we plan when we'd get together again?

Okay, (breathe), I feel better now. That's the ticker tape that starts to play for me. I don't think I'm the only one who has thoughts like these, thoughts that are a mixture of insecurity, guilt, regret, worry, and underneath it all: love. I love this family and I want their visit to be perfect. I want their visit to feel like a vacation. I want them to want to come back. I want their children to shout for joy at the prospect of spending 14 hours in a car if it means they get to stay at my house. I want Chellie's husband to beg to vacation each year in Massachusetts.

I recognize the truth in my desire to be a good hostess for my guests. I also recognize the narcissm. I want to be the hostest with the mostest. I want visits to my home to enter family lore as dream vacation destinations. I am not entirely confidant in my roles as chef, entertainment director, maitre'd, concierge, and tour guide. Really the only role in which I feel totally comfortable is that of friend. Perhaps that is the lesson I should take away from this experience: concentrate on being a good friend and let everything else fall into place.

Being a good friend...hmm...being open, honest, caring, loving, altruistic, kind, and patient. That sounds to me like everything I could ever want in a host.

So thank you for coming to my home Chel. Thank you for getting a pet sitter, packing up the house, the car, the kids, and the husband and hauling everyone 850 miles northeast. Thank you for understanding my limits as hostess and as a friend and for loving me anyway. I miss you already.

Come back soon.

1 comment:

Chellie said...

Hey Babe! After being home for 4 days, I am finally checking up on friends' blogs! Stop the tape. Get off the tape. whew. Glad you took a breath, and got to the heart of the matter. That is that you are a damn good friend. A very best friend who would actually allow us to come and visit when you are planning to move to a new house in, hmm, let me see...less than a week! It was awesome to spend time together. we felt welcomed...and well-fed! :D You're the best. You just need to believe it. I missed you before our tearful hug good-bye...