Recently we had guests out to our house for lunch. They’re not only relatives, but good friends, too. A combination that’s sometimes rarer than hen’s teeth. But these two great people were a sight for sore eyes and we all couldn’t talk fast enough to get everything in during the short visit, but we gave it that old college try.
After they had gone I got to thinking about the difference between being the host and the guest. We have all been both at some time or another. I’m not sure which I like to be better. As the guest you have to be, well, you should be, on your best behavior. I’m not always on my best behavior. Oh, I don’t swing from the chandelier or make it so there’s a need for the local constabulary to be called. I haven’t been to a party that ends up on an episode of “Cops!”
On the other hand I don’t sit quietly with both feet flat on the floor and my hands in my lap, either! I think I’m a good guest. I take my plate to the kitchen and help with the dishes after a meal. Don’t over stay my welcome and if need be I will be the one that turns the crank on the ice cream freezer until my arm falls off. Ah, ice cream ... I would be the person on the corner holding a chocolate syrup scribbled sign that reads, “Will work for ice cream!” Slip back to the subject, Trina.
Even though I have been a guest, I think I would rather be the hostess. I like this job better. I find I like to plan a meal, clean the house, make sure there are clean towels set out in the bathroom — and the commode is clean and inviting. Well, as inviting as a toilet can be!
The best thing I have found about being the hostess is when the visit is over I don’t have to drive anywhere to get home. I’m already there and I can throw on my comfy clothes and fall into my couch with leftover ice cream.
Being the hostess to me is not so much the being in charge part, as it’s being the coordinator. I like to share the work with my guests. And that’s where I’m trying to get to today. Sharing the work.
It’s rare for me not to have my guests ask if they can help when they come over for a meal. It’s more fun to me to have help in the kitchen. More time to gab with guests if they are part of the prep. So the other day I gave my guest the glasses and pointed to the freezer to have her fill them with ice. Next thing I heard was laughter. I turned from the stove and asked what was funny. She was bent over the open freezer drawer trying to pull out the basket where the ice maker deposits the cubes. She was amazed at how full my freezer was. I have to admit, I didn’t realize just how it looked until she mentioned it. We laughed and I told her to put her foot up against the cupboard next to the fridge and pull harder.
The next day I took a good look at the freezer compartment of the refrigerator. (I will save the freezer in the garage for another day or year)! You could feed a family of 10 for about a week out of my bottom freezer compartment. I found the regular staples of hamburger, bread, two half-full bags of frozen peas among the other approximately 90 pounds of everything from frozen fruit to coconut and walnuts for baking.
Oh, who uses only half a sack of peas? Me! I use them when I make egg foo young. Half a sack per recipe. But apparently the second time I just bought a new sack because the first half full sack had been crushed to the bottom of the pile by the zippered sack of leftover turkey I saved to make turkey and noodles and dumplings after Thanksgiving for goodness sakes.
After rooting around in there for a while I thought this freezer thing is not the first time I have been somewhat embarrassed by what may be called mini hoarding. Once I opened a cupboard to get tea bags to make tea for a friend and she laughed at the inside of that cupboard. Looked kind of like those pictures you see of a grocery store isle after an earthquake hits! Still does to this day.
It all comes down to this; be a guest, be a hostess, just be ready to put your foot where your mouth is!
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.