Thursday, December 6, 2012

holiday guests, take note

 A carefree lifestyle, that’s what I try to live. Just ask anyone.
–What’s that? They didn’t agree? Oh, right. Ok let me rephrase, “I’m all about a strategically-planned carefree lifestyle”.
Did they agree now? Thought so.
It’s true, I plan things a lot. I work hard to make plans that work for everyone involved, and I go out of my way to make something convenient for someone just because I want them around. Visions of a perfect party float in my head weeks before the event and I try my darnedest to make those come to life. Setting myself up for failure? Basically, but it doesn’t stop me from trying. That’s just part of who I am.
So when I work super hard to make something successful, that means the last five minutes before “start time” I’m doing little things like lighting candles, fluffing flowers, hiding electrical cords (gosh those things really ruin a pretty picture). And then I sit, watching the clock, ready to greet the first guest and ready to pour the first drink. And I wait… and wait… and wait.
A realization: people are never on time. Once the word got out about being “fashionably late,” it all went downhill. Now don’t get all defensive on me. I know that sometimes, life just gets a little crazy. You drop your coffee cup right before you walk out the door. Your kid has an accident that calls for a bath. You get stuck by a train or behind an accident on the highway. Life happens.
But I’m going to take a wild guess and say that those things are rarely the reason you’re late. I’m gonna guess that most of the time when you are late it’s simply because you didn’t allow for enough time to get ready. Or you decided last minute to pick something up at the store. And when you show up at my house twenty minutes late (and you don’t have one of those disaster stories I mentioned), it’s like you walk in saying “Hey guys! Thanks for waiting on me, I just felt like your time is not worth as much as mine.” And with a smile, I take your coat or hand you a drink.
This holiday season, while you are getting ready to head out the door to a party, think about your hostess.  At this moment she’s probably sitting out hors d’oeuvres, checking that there are enough hangers in the coat closest, starting the coffee pot, and waiting on her guests. She (or he – guys can host parties too I suppose) has spent time and money on making this a fun event. Show her that you are grateful for her efforts by showing up on time and being a great guest.
For more etiquette tips, see this post that Mackenzie made for me back in June.
images 1 and via Rue. image 3 via matchbook.