A friend recently sent me this brilliant article. Feel free to read or at least skim before reading my thoughts, because it’s truly lovely.
I think that one of the things that keeps people from having others over is the demands of seeming to “have it all together.” Whatever we do, we think that our lives must magically look like a Better Housekeeping magazine when guests visit. What Crappy Dinner Parties prove is that, not only do we not have to do that, but we actually create greater intimacy with others when we let them see our normal life, our piles of laundry, frozen lasagna, our stained-carpet lives.
I was listening to a bit of radio the other day where people were calling in and talking about their biggest thanksgiving memories, and they were all bad: ruined meals, stolen turkeys, whole-family-wide illnesses. These things aren’t fun in the moment, and they seem like they are the end of the world if you expect your life to look like a catalog, but what they actually do is create memories. They make us closer to each other. I am still going to try to clean my house and have enough of every dish ready when my friends and family come over, but Crappy Dinner Parties have inspired me: for the people who I’m closest to, whatever I have is completely good enough.
What do you do to curb the tendency toward perfectionism? Do you have a story about a hilarious mishap that turned into a dinner party memory? Do share. 🙂