Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Dinner Party at which I Was the Crab

In yesterday's post, when I listed our weekend social obligations, I neglected to clarify that we weren't just going to dinner last night -- we were hosting a dinner for six. That's why there was so much work to be done around the house. I admit I was a bit pissy yesterday morning because I was vacuuming and dusting and cleaning floors and bathrooms while Dave was sitting on the couch watching cooking videos to get inspired. The division of labor didn't seem very fair.

But while I forced myself to take Olga out for her walk on Hampstead Heath, he went grocery shopping and bought everything, and hauled it all back home. (I'm not even going to ask how much it cost.) And, of course, he cooked everything, all four courses. I spent what seemed like a couple of hours on the dishes -- four dishwasher-loads of them.

The food was good, the conversation was fun. I think I just wasn't really in the mood to host a dinner party. Dave agreed it was a little intense given that we just returned from the states last weekend.

One good thing -- having people over motivated me to take care of all the little household issues that have gone untended. The dog-tracked floors, the paperwork piling up on the hall table. I finally, finally, moved the couch away from the wall and cleaned away the mold with bleachy water. I've been intending to do it for a while, but I'd let it linger in the hopes that any contractors hired to do remediation would be able to see it. Silly me -- what contractors? Now the wall looks clean and white, at least temporarily.

I'm going to try to be less cranky today. That is my vow.

On the bright side, I'm reading a very good book -- "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" by John Green and David Levithan. It's refreshing to read a young people's book that includes major gay characters, and that treats being gay with the casual matter-of-fact approach that many teenagers today seem to give it. It's perhaps a little too casual in its treatment of the process of coming out, and the struggle with self-identity that I'm sure gay teenagers still face. But overall it's very good and entertaining.

(Photo: A colorful door in Dollis Hill, Dec. 20.)


  1. We have the same division of labor over here, but I am very glad that my husband cooks and does the groceries and since i need a clean house for my state of mind the trade off isn't so bad.

    I think you must have been exhausted from all your recent travel, not to mention socializing. Whenever I have been around people non stop for days at a stretch, I just need to cocoon and be in my house with only the people who live there. It might have been too soon. I suspect, though, that no one knew you were struggling because your instinct is to be kind.

    And that book sounds interesting. I do love that the generations coming up are so easy about sexuality. It's just not "a thing." Which is great.

  2. for some reason this post made me remember when my parents and their best friends got into gourmet cooking. many sundays, they would come over and spend the afternoon cooking and totally trashing the kitchen and then us kids had to do the clean up. I hated those gourmet meals.

  3. Dinner parties can be stressful whether you are in charge of the food or the house. Being single, I'm in charge of both so it makes for a hectic day or two for me. However, my new place seems to be so much easier to keep control of and there is so much less dust. Dust is always an issue in Arizona because of the dryness but, my old house was built in the 1940's so I got to the point where I felt like the dust filtered in through the walls.

  4. We never have company, so when we do it's a BIG deal - much much cleaning! And I feel the same way you were feeling yesterday - Mike just watches me clean (which is why I usually try to do it when he's not around - I'm less resentful). But then he plans & cooks the meal, which I would HATE to do, so it's better that way!

  5. Ah- dinner parties. Do I give a fuck? No. I think I am done with them. It's so liberating. But if you're still having fun with them- why not?

  6. Angella: Exactly -- I think it was too soon. And I don't think anyone could tell that I was less than enthusiastic about hosting. I'm glad it's over now!

    Ellen: Ha! My dad and stepmother used to do the gourmet thing, too, and yes, we were the cleanup crew!

    Sharon: I'm glad you have a better place for hosting -- and dust drives me nuts! -- but if I were hosting alone I think I'd recruit a friend to help out!

    Bug: Actually that's a good point -- if I clean when Dave isn't here I don't feel as resentful, either. And yes, I'm generally not much of a cook, so I am thankful that he enjoys it and I am liberated from that task.

    Ms Moon: I may be reaching that point! :)

  7. I loved your insight into Will Grayson Will Grayson. I read it years ago and remember thinking that the premise was very clever but was disappointed with the ending which I thought was too staged... (Hope I didn't spoil it...)