2018-04-18 / Loose Ends

Party art

Pass the napkins
Susan Nienow

The way to entertain easily is to schedule things in succession with a few days in between each. That in itself is a talent. Most of the groups I belong to rotate hostess duty, and one card group is only four. That comes up every four months. Another is eight – so once every eight months. Two others are sign-ups, but everyone needs to take a turn. As it turns out, this time I hosted several groups in 10 days.

So really it is more luck than talent, but I’ll take what I can get. When these dates line up like this, I only have to clean house once. I will run a quick vacuum around to get the cracker crumbs, and get fresh flowers if necessary. But none of the heavy cleaning.

Unfortunately, each group has different food traditions. One is snacks, one is lunch, a third is light snacks and one has wine on the menu. It really is OK that I don’t serve the same thing each time. I just wish one of the groups required Cheetos.

But they turn fingers orange – a poor choice for card players.

Because these events all happened in a 10-day period, I only needed a master shopping list, mostly drinks and mostly diet. Not too hard. I have noticed that more women are drinking water than anything else. Several days were cold, so the coffee and hot tea were popular.

I did check to make sure they knew it was well water. Gluten free, though. I never know when someone is particular about what they eat or drink. Most of my friends go for the gluten. That’s the stuff in bread and pasta that makes it addictive, right?

Another good thing about entertaining is I can use some of the napkins from my collection. There is something about cocktail napkins that say, “Buy me!” They are cute or colorful or interesting and I can’t resist. So I have two shelves in a cabinet devoted to them.

It’s too bad so few women thought they needed napkins. Next time I’ll have to serve something drippy or sticky. I can’t buy any new napkins unless I get rid of some of what I have.

I have china and glass plates for hors d’ouvres. Once upon a time when I was more social than now, I had groups come to the house fairly regularly for lunch or meetings with snacks. My mother always told me people come out for food, and she was right. So I bought plates and glasses so I don’t have to spend money on paper. They go in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.

As the years have gone by, I have quit putting music on as background when we have people over. It is too hard to hear. Forget I said that. It is too hard to get everyone to agree on one type of music.

Decisions are tough. Do I use the napkins with colorful flowers or the ones with silly cats?

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