Party Ponders – Marthaphobia

Anyone who is interested in parties should follow Martha Stewart. She and her super talented team are a power house of ideas and inspiration. Their job is to WOW us with their brilliance, attention to detail, and general awesomeness. But sometimes they WOW me right into getting under the covers and vowing never to entertain again because how, oh how can I ever live up to the Martha Stewart shining example of party perfection?

The truth is I can’t live up to it. NO ONE CAN! The Martha Stewart empire has a Mongolian sized horde of talented, dedicated professionals. Chefs, stylists, professional photographers, the works. I am but one lone woman. There is no way to compete.

But, I’ve come to realize, THAT’S OK! The most important thing for me about hostessing a party is to provide a nice experience for my guests. Everything else is secondary. Huge floral arrangements – don’t need them. Place cards with perfect calligraphy – 100% not necessary. And the best part… NO ONE WILL JUDGE me if those things are missing.

Ok, there are a few exceptions. Mothers and in-laws can be a little judgy judgy, but they are notoriously difficult to make happy anyway. If you have acquaintances that might be judgy, DON’T INVITE THEM. I am serious about this. Life is too short to be surrounded by people watching your every move and measuring them to their own standards. I’d recommend removing them from your life as well as your guest list. I’m just sayin’.

A few weeks ago, we invited a friend for dinner. Well, that friend was meeting another friend for a drink beforehand, then another few friends called and were in the area and all of a sudden, our dinner for 3 was a dinner for 7 and everyone was coming in an hour. No time even to run to the grocery, we chopped up all the vegetables we had in the fridge and thawed a large package of drumsticks we had in the freezer. When everyone showed up, we threw the chicken on the grill, cooked some rice, and set out the salad. The food was fine, but nothing special. There were no flowers, no streamers flowing in the breeze, or the like. We listened to the radio. The radio, people! No special playlist on an ipod, but honest to goodness radio with commercials and everything. And you know what, it turned out to be one of my most favorite parties to date.

Party perfection is a myth perpetrated to sell magazines and make brides go insane. So, don’t let some impossible dream of the perfect party stand in your way.  People enjoy getting together, period. Call up some peeps and invite them over for some wine and cheese. Or pitchers of margaritas with chips and (gasp) store bought salsa.  If you feel so inclined, try out some DIY crafts, or pick up a few flowers, but realize those things are not what makes a party. As long as your guests feel welcome and are fed and watered, everyone will have a lovely time – even you!

And if they don’t, in the words of my Grandma Sally, it’s their own damn fault.

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