Contrary to what the title might suggest, let me start by saying that there was NOTHING crappy about the dinner party I hosted this evening. There were seven beautiful adults and eight beautiful kids. The food was lovely and the chat was fun. My house wasn’t even that messy.
The reason for the title is an article I discovered some years ago. The article talks about how having guests for dinner often ends up being more a time of hard work and stress, and less a relaxing and fun time with your friends. Because of this, you end up not inviting friends round and not seeing them that often. The idea of a crappy dinner party is to invite friends for dinner without making it a big deal, without having to clean every room in your house, without having the perfectly set table or the perfectly tidy kitchen, or the perfect meal. It’s about removing all the pressure and just having the enjoyment.
This idea really goes against everything I learnt as a little person, in my Greek upbringing. Because in Greece, when you have guests over, everything has to be perfect. The house is to be clean, tidy, dusted and mopped. The kitchen is to be pristine, and the food is to be your best ever. At least that’s how I’ve experienced it.
But it is hard work. And especially when you have kids who need your attention most of the day. So the idea of doing away with all the expectations and just doing your best to have people over, is actually quite liberating.
I must confess I don’t have it down just yet. I do feel compelled to clean and tidy a little before my guests come. And I do often make special dishes when I have guests. But the idea of not stressing about having everything perfect, really appeals to me. Because at the end of the day, it’s the seeing friends and the sharing food that matters: conversation round the table, catching up with each other, and being a regular part of each other’s week.
Here is the article.
Read it and tell me what you think!