I have mixed feelings on Martha Stewart. On the one hand, I wish I was her – hostess extraordinaire, has her own show, access to some of the most interesting people alive, creative people all around her – what a magnificent, interesting life. On the other hand, she just doesn’t seem nice. She’s too all about her, too insincere even when she’s trying, too perfect. She can just be too much at times. In her newest book about entertaining however, she bravely lists some of her pet peeves regarding guests. They are things I have thought as well. I thought I would pass them along so we all can be good guests for our gracious, hard-working hosts on this weekend before Christmas when many of us are attending parties. That way we’ll all get asked back. : )
• Leave your food allergies/preferences at home. If a host isn’t serving something you can eat or choose not to eat, simply pass on it. Almost always there is something everyone can have – like veggies or a salad – and as Martha states in her book “everybody can miss a meal once in awhile.” Your host was kind enough to invite you, focus on other things besides the food — like the good company.
• Check your smart phone at the door. Better yet, leave it in the car. Or at least in your purse. The point is, be present and participate fully at the event you’re at. Everything else, and everyone else, can wait to be texted or talked to at the end of the evening or even — imagine! — the old-fashioned way of the next day.
• Come ready to meet new people and share a little bit about who you are with them. And be interested in finding out about them as well. We all can feel a little bit shy at times — just know others might be feeling the same way and plunge in. And as a host, invite some extroverts to get things going and keep them going if need be. Variety makes for the most interesting parties.
• If you say you are attending, attend. Never mind about the last minute thing that came up, the rotten day you had, or the headache pulling at you. Short of some kind of big emergency with your kids or full scale weather event, commit to being there. Your host likely went to a lot of effort to make the occasion special for you and the other attendees and you’ll likely end up really glad you set things aside and followed through on your commitment.
Really these things might apply to lots of things in our lives when you think about it. For now, they’re about parties. Get on out there and mingle!