Like many people who celebrate this season in one way or another, one of my favorite parts of it is to spend time with people we care about and love. Since no invitations have come our way for holiday gatherings, we’ve decided to host our own, tonight.
We used to host parties all the time: cocktail parties, dinner parties, summer cook-outs, pool parties (when we had a pool), birthday parties (for ourselves and our friends) holiday parties, you name it. After a while, we got a little tired of always being the ones to host parties, and never be invited to any. They’re expensive, and a lot of work to prepare for and clean up after and, while it was always our choice to host such events, we began to feel the burden of being the only hosts, realizing it would nice to be a guest once in a while; so, a few years ago, we just stopped having parties, in the hopes that someone else might take up the reins at least once in a while.
No such luck.
Once we stopped hosting, we stopped seeing our friends on any kind of regular basis and, while there have been a few invites here and there, they are few and far between.
I don’t know if this social isolationism has made me more of an introvert, or if becoming more of an introvert has fed into my social isolationism, but the thought of hosting events now fills me with more anxiety than it ever did before. Oh, I always had some level of host anxiety as I strove to make everything perfect (is that a gay thing?) but over the years its grown worse. These are the things that have me stressed out today as I prepare for the party this evening:
Is my house clean enough? I’ve been cleaning for a week, but it always looks like I could/should have done a better job as a constantly notice dust, cobwebs, or dog hair that I missed in some nook or cranny.
Do I have enough food? I try to buy and/or prepare enough food without overdoing it, but I usually err on the side of overdoing it and then we’re stuck with all this food we shave to store and should NOT be eating for days or weeks after the party. (i.e. junk food)
Do I have a food everyone can or will eat? I try to have a variety of foods for every palate, and to be aware of/sensitive to dietary restrictions my friends may have, especially because of my own gluten allergy.
Do I have enough beverage choices, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, so everyone will have something they can or will drink?
Are there enough places to sit? While I know parties are for mingling, I want my guest to be comfortable and worry because our house is small and seating is limited. There will be 20 people in my house tonight, and I only have seating for 14.
Should I re-arrange furniture so it is more conducive to seating, even if its awkward looking? I hate disrupting the decoration and arrangement of our house and furniture just to accommodate more people…I want everyone to see it as we intended it to look (and spent days decorating and arranging)
Will everyone get along and have a good time or did I inadvertently invite people who don’t like each other nor get along? Did I forget to invite someone I should have?
It doesn’t help that I’m sitting here, hooked up to my Remicade infusion tube, anxiously waiting for it to be done so I can get back home and get back to prepping and organizing for tonight.
These are the things that race through my head as I sit here and go over the guest list, the food and drink options, the house and seating configuration, and obsess over every little detail and decision. I’m sure, when the time comes, it will all fall into place and we’ll all have a great time. I just wish I was better at staying calm and not worrying about every little detail, like these guys are doing: