The best way to entertain is to tell yourself sternly that you’re not going to fuss. You’re going to keep it simple.
And then of course, that last hour before people arrive you fuss anyway. You probably didn’t need to tidy the powder room quite so ruthlessly. So what if you left the plunger in there? These are just friends coming over, not the Queen.
(Do you wonder if Queen E. ever wishes that people would invite her around for a nice pot of chili, when maybe there are dishes drying on the drain board and she could just skip the finger bowls and foie gras?)
We had good friends over last night and my tidying beforehand was of the ambling variety – yeah, maybe put that magazine away, and perhaps I’ll empty that wastebasket. The good news is that not only do we have kind friends, we haven’t been here long enough to get the usual handprints on the door going to the garage, or gunk around the edge of the kitchen sink.
This made me realize that timing is everything. I learned that when you move to somewhere new, you should grab those first few weeks and entertain. Right away. Invite everyone you can think of. And be sure to leave an unpacked box in the front hall and maybe a roll of packing tape on the end table so your guests will remember to lower that judgment bar – you just moved in, for heaven’s sake.
With skill, you may be able to string this out for at least a month, maybe two.