When Chris and I first got married, we didn’t hang out with people our age a lot. I mean, I was 20 and he was 21, so most of our peers were just trying to finish high school or college or something.
If we were invited to someone’s house for dinner, it was generally a couple who’d been married for like 15 years and had it “all together.” Their houses were not only clean, but actually decorated. Our house looked more like a college dorm room, complete with put-it-together-yourself bookcases (which we still have 5 moves later, by some act of God).
And they didn’t just cook. They PRESENTED their meals. With more than one fork. I was lucky all my forks matched.
So my expectation of normal was a bit skewed.
Somehow, a few years later, everyone our age caught up to the stage of life we were in.
The first time a family with little kids invited us over for dinner, they served spaghetti. I was like, “Wait, you can serve spaghetti?! I could do that.” It was like the heavens parted and angels started singing.
Somehow, I’m still learning and lowering my expectations. Recently, a friend commented that when she had company, she wanted to enjoy them rather that being stressed about dinner. So they ordered pizza.
Again, angels singing. You could do that? My life was revolutionized!
It turns out, people don’t actually mind eating Jimmy Johns or Dominos. What’s really important is welcoming friends into our homes, having them sit on our couches and share our lives.
Hospitality is not about presentation or impressing our friends. It’s about sharing stories, and laughter, and making time for each other. (And clean bathrooms. That’s still important.)
**My dessert cheat: A bucket of vanilla ice cream and a couple of toppings. I promise, no one will think you’re a slacker when they see caramel sauce.