I’m Not a Hostess

 

I’ve blogged about it before, but I hate to cook…absolutely hate it.

I hate the planning, the searching for recipes that EVERYONE will like, I don’t even like the actual cooking.

So I cheat…as often as I can.

This holiday weekend we had 2 Bar-B-Ques to attend…Potluck.

My usual cheat? I’ll volunteer to bring the plates, napkins and utensils or the drinks (sodas, water and juice boxes). It gets me out of cooking, and someone has to bring them, it might as well be me. That, and I’m more than happy to clean up afterwards.

The first Bar-B-Cue was easy. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and everyone just brought what they wanted to. It was so casual that the hostess (my friend) said she didn’t even care if everyone showed up with all desserts. Then we’d end up with hot dogs, hamburgers and desserts. (Considering we accidentally had ice cream for dinner the other night, that sounded good to me). I brought two giant bags of assorted potato chips. The kids sang my praises! The parents? Not so much.

For the next Bar-B-Que, I got a text saying that everyone was bringing their “specialty.”

“Specialty?!” My “Specialty” is picking something up from the grocery store!

Don’t get me wrong, I am eternally grateful for those who DO cook. Woman cannot live on plates, napkins and juice boxes alone.

I think it stems from the fact that I have absolutely NO confidence in my cooking (or my presentation), so I am completely intimidated by those who do have that talent. It really is a talent.

Unless you were brought up in a family that entertained often, hostessing isn’t something that everyone has…especially me.

If you want to come to my house, you’re more than welcome. I LOVE being social. But my idea of entertaining is to invite my guests to kick off your shoes, relax (as if you were in your own home) and help yourself to whatever is in my cupboard or refrigerator. I am more than happy to hostess that way. But entertaining any other way completely stresses me out, and sets me up to fail EVERY TIME.

The next Bar-B-Que is later today. I will be stopping by the local grocery store to pick up my “specialty.” It’s a surprise, depending on what veggie platter, or sponge cake, or macaroni salad they have for purchase. Of course, I will put it into my own serving dish. I mean, I’m not a monster! LOL

And to all my friends cooking and hosting today, God bless you…some of us depend on you to do what you do best.

To my American friends, have a safe and Happy Fourth!

Finding hope at a bar-b-que

There are days that I can’t even watch the news because of how divided it portrays the world to be. And that division is only perpetuated by us staying in our homes, glued to our TVs and computers filling our heads with what THEY want us to believe is true about ourselves.

BUT I HAVE HOPE that we are free-thinkers, that we are BETTER than we are made to believe.

But the only way we’re going to come together is through HUMAN CONTACT.

Our neighborhood had an impromptu bar-b-que on Memorial weekend. Two of them, in fact.

But on a Sunday and a Monday evening there we were: swatting at mosquitos with virtual strangers.

We didn’t know most of the neighbors, except to wave “hello” as we pass them in a car, and some lived on other streets, so even that doesn’t usually happen.

It took a generous neighbor with a really good bar-b-que and an excellent marinade recipe for chicken and ribs, to bridge the divide.

We were from different backgrounds, different nationalities, different political affiliations (I assume – no one discussed politics – hallelujah!), and in different stages of life.

We passed around the fussing baby so that the new mom could eat her dinner in peace. We found out that two people worked for the same corporation and never knew it. We talked about where we were from and where we grew up. We discovered we vacationed in the same places. We laughed and ate and made new friends.

On Sunday night, the bar-b-que went until 2am! On Monday, we only made it until 10pm.

So when the news tells me that my neighbor doesn’t think the way I do, I know the news is full of crap. I know they want headlines. They want us to hate, because it makes us watch them more.

But all it takes is a simple neighborhood bar-b-que to prove them wrong.

People are people, no matter where you go. People transcend politics, and headlines, if we’d stop buying into the hype and look up from our Smartphones long enough to smile.

We need each other. We need more bar-b-ques.

I think the men and women whose lives we celebrated on Memorial Day would have been proud to know that they didn’t die in vain. Good neighbors do still exist. People do still want to connect and reach out to one another.

Looking forward to celebrating summer and hanging out together…in spite of the mosquitoes.