Bad Company

I hosted about 30 guests—Hubby’s relatives—at my house last weekend. That’s a huge and undesirable accomplishment for me. I don’t like to entertain. Truthfully, I wish no one would ever come over to my house. Whenever anyone drives up the driveway, I know I have to stand on ceremony until they leave. It’s just not Home when we don’t have the place to ourselves.

All of the people who came over last weekend are nice people. I even love some of them. But a few things went wrong that demonstrate why I despise having company:

  • Hubby’s uncle showed up at 3:30 with 2 granddaughters in tow. He’s a very nice man, but we weren’t expecting anyone until 6:00! I had worked at the office until 12:30 that day, and Hubby had worked until 2:30. We weren’t just waiting around for someone to visit; we were madly running around, putting ice in coolers, cutting up fruits & veggies, putting out fresh hand towels in the bathrooms, doing last-minute vacuuming, etc.—all those things you can’t do until right before people arrive, and all those things that don’t mix well with socializing.
  • Then uncle wanted to visit, and couldn’t seem to see we had to keep working around him. Uncle is retired, and maybe has forgotten that people who work have limited time. He’s also of the generation who probably never cleaned house before people arrived, anyway–Aunt probably did it all. So, Hubby would work at something while I visited with uncle, then I would get time to work while Hubby visited with uncle. At one point, Hubby rescued me and I said, “Uncle, I need to finish cleaning up the bathroom,” and he laughed, waved me off, and exclaimed, “Oh! You don’t need to do that!” (Yes, I do!)
  • And uncle did not watch the young granddaughters, so they ended up “playing pool” while leaving behind new scratches on the pool table and also several crumpled Ping-Pong balls. Nice.
  • Sister-in-law from Big City showed up. She is a nice woman and a great mother. Most important is that she loves Brother-in-law, and he loves her. The problem with her coming to my house is that she thinks country homes are dirty, she is afraidoff of bugs, and she is allergic to cats.
  • She got out of the car with a can of DeepWoods OFF! in her hand, although it was a perfectly pleasant, non-buggy day at the end of August. Both boys got thoroughly sprayed down. She was then worried about her kids coming into the house because they “might” be allergic to cats (they both did fine).
  • She had brought along a bottle of a unique kind of soda that she liked, and I told her to help herself to a glass and ice cubes (I was waiting on others in the chaos, and it was an informal gathering). Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her locate the wine glasses in my kitchen cupboard, remove one from the cupboard, walk it over to the kitchen sink, rinse it with water and then dry it with a paper towel, then pour her drink into it. Inwardly, I was stunned. I never realized that my glasses are too dirty to drink out of without rinsing them out first! (Rest assured, I have a clean kitchen with clean cupboards and clean dishes in them.)

Luckily, by 9:30 or 10:00 PM, all the children started crying and the adults started yawning. Most everyone left by 11:00, and a few favorites stayed until 11:30. No children were killed by mosquitoes or killer housecats. No pool tables were gravely injured. And the amount of food those people ate, WOW!

The entire experience helped me greatly appreciate events planners and people who host company often.

Hubby and I were in bed by midnight. It all worked out OK. I mumbled to him, as I fell asleep, Please, let’s not have company again for a long time.


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