By: Kathy Buckworth
I had a dinner party this weekend. It was a Hunger Games themed dinner party which may or may not have included a “Pin the Arrow on Katniss’ Face” competition. But not all dinner parties have to be that fancy. They’re not as much work as you think.
(Excerpted from Shut Up and Eat! Tales of Chicken, Children and Chardonnay, Key Porter Books, 2010, Kathy Buckworth)
At my house, inviting people over for dinner works for me on several interesting and often unexpected levels.
1. I have to clean my house. If people are coming over, I have to make at least a token effort to tidy up. I don’t think people outside of my immediate family will feel comfortable kicking aside the Tonka truck in order to get to the toilet in the main floor powder room. And what is that sticky thing on the floor under the kitchen table? It’s been there for weeks.
2. I get to choose the menu. This gives me a lot of flexibility. I can decide to either show off in front of my guests, or serve them crap and hope they’ll be grateful I worked them into our busy social schedule.
3. I can drink without having to worry about driving or coming up with cab fare. Hello. This is important as I am always solely responsible for items #1 and #2.
4. I can legitimately say to my husband, “You need to get the kids out of the house all day so I can clean and cook.”Then I can quickly sweep, start thawing something frozen, and have the house to myself. This allows me to start in on item #3 well in advance of the guests.
5. I don’t have to leave before I want to.
6. I seriously think the calories you consume at your own dinner party are simultaneously burned off by all the running, serving, and worrying about how your children are leaving the bathroom every time they go in there. And what your husband is laughing about every time you enter the room.
7. Next week at the bus stop, I can casually drop into the conversation a line like, “Well at my dinner party last week…” The other Moms never need to know that it consisted of takeout food and a case of beer in the middle of the table. I love the words “dinner party”, don’t you? What’s better than dinner, and a party?
8. As a woman, I am aware that whom I don’t invite to my dinner party is just as important as whom I do. You know what I mean. Stop pretending you don’t.
9. I can use a dinner party as an excuse to get my husband to clean the entire house while I go to the grocery store. What he doesn’t need to know is that I bought all the groceries on-line and had them delivered yesterday, and am really at the Starbucks having a coffee. It’s called “me time”.
10. Because I’m hosting, I can get rid of annoying people whenever I want. Usually the sight of my husband nodding off on the couch will do it. Usually. Sometimes I resort to putting out an air mattress on the floor for him. Okay, frequently.
Photo by CL Buchanan Photography
Kathy Buckworth is an award winning writer, public speaker, and television personality. She is the author of five books, including “The BlackBerry Diaries: Adventures in Modern Motherhood” and her latest, “Shut Up and Eat:Tales of Chicken, Children & Chardonnay”. She is a feature writer for Sympatico.ca in their parenting, travel, and auto sections, and is also a columnist for ParentsCanada, Womens Post, Ottawa Families, Dabble Magazine, and GoodLife. She also regularly contributes to national magazines such as Canadian Families, Disney Playhouse, and Oh Baby. Her monthly “Funny Mummy” column appears on 25+ websites across North America. She is a parenting correspondent for CTVNewsChannel, and appears on shows such as CityLine and The Marilyn Denis Show.
Kathy is the only two time winner of the Professional Writers Association of Canada Award for Excellence in Humour, and is the 2010 recipient of the Mississauga Arts Award for Established Literary Arts. She is the Managing Director of 4WordsComm.com and has over 18 years of corporate marketing experience, with CIBC, Royal Bank, Telus and Coca Cola Foods. She has acted as corporate/media spokesperson/social media consultant for blue chip companies such as Procter & Gamble, Research In Motion, Presidents Choice Financial and LeapFrog Toys. Visit www.kathybuckworth.com or follow along at www.twitter.com/kathybuckworth
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Kathy Buckworth Award winning author, I Am So The Boss Of You, Shut Up & Eat, The BlackBerryDiaries Feature writer Sympatico.ca, (Travel, Parenting, Auto) Columnist for ParentsCanada, Dabble, GoodLife, DisneyJunior Blogger for Huffington Post Canada, Funny Mummy Syndicated Column CTV NewsChannel, CityLine Contributorwww.kathybuckworth.com and follow Kathy on twitter@KathyBuckworth