Company for meals has always been a big deal in my family. The china and crystal came out along with the good linen, silver and the best of food. It is a wonderful tradition and certainly has it’s place. It is almost criminal to let china go to waste in the cupboard and I use it more often now than I have in the past.
There are times though when it really isn’t necessary and my friend Eleanor has taught me a valuable lesson. I have always found myself a little hesitant to invite guests, often because it meant so much work, worry and preparation. When Eleanor invited me for lunch a few weeks ago we had a delightful time and she pointed out to me how very easy it was. All we had was soup and cheese and crackers. I can’t tell you what the china was like but I do know we had great homemade beef soup and lots of stimulating conversation.
This week when I reciprocated I also made soup,(a the kind we love and hoped others would too.) I didn’t get out the good china because that would be not only be a bit pretentious but also more work. It takes a little more care in the washing and I didn’t want company to feel they needed to wash dishes. Just throw them in the dishwasher and be done with it.
This sort of thing is a bit hard for me. I’m one of those “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it all” sort of people. Breaking down those walls of needing to do the best and just allowing for some ordinary stuff was a major breakthrough.
Besides teaching me a lesson about “Keeping it Simple” I also had a nice time with my company. Next time it won’t be nearly so hard to invite someone for a meal or even just a snack.