Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Impromptu Social Life: How not to be psycho-hostess

Recently I've fallen in love with last minute. Gone ape for impromptu.
Something about an "I'm so happy this worked out" social life, really
makes me happy.

In so many ways, it's just easier. When I have lunches and dinners and
get-together on the calendar, of course I look forward to them, but dare
I say it here (my friends have been known to read acitymom!) sometimes I
resent them, too. Those social obligations on my calendar get in the
way of my writing, or my workout schedule or errands and appointments I
can no longer oblige.

Last minute get-togethers feel easier to me. This must be because inviting someone over for dinner that very same day takes the pressure off. How can anyone expect my house to be totally straightened, much less spotless? How can anyone expect the food to be fantastic (or even home cooked!), much less perfect. It forces me to not be Psycho-Hostess during the preparation stage. You know, when you start cleaning the bathroom sink with a toothbrush, Q-tips and rubbing alcohol as if you were detailing a car instead of keeping your eye on the big picture, like just making sure everyone picks up their dirty underwear off the floor. Impromptu peels me off my own chase-perfection-while-entertaining case. I don't worry about matching napkin rings, just whether I have enough white wine chilling in the fridge.

And I love when I get a last minute invite, too. "Are you free for coffee, right now?" It's so cool when it works out. It makes me feel fun and spontaneous again. Younger, like a college student. My friends and I have talked about this phenomenon. With everyone so scheduled, we all feel better about not adding one more thing, even though fostering and maintaining friendships is a pretty important thing.

I just hope my kids don't read this one. More often than not, I say No to their last minute requests for sleepovers and playdates. (And to a request at 11:40 last night, I kid you not, to fill out a survey for English class.) Apparently I'm not so enamored with impromptu as it applies to my children. It's not very fair, I know, that I should deny them their spontaneity while I foster mine. But their lives are already way more spontaneous than ours are and I believe it's up to me to stomp that right out of them.

Oh, just kidding. What do you think? Am I being an over-scheduled Impromptu Ogre? Maybe we can get together and talk about this double standard of mine. Give me a call and we'll get something on the calendar. Last minute, of course.

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