My sweet husband, Nathan, is doing the dishes right now, looking super-cute in his BYU apron.
We are talking about whether or not to invite his boss to dinner.
Kimber: "I'd have to practice what I was going to make multiple times." I'm imagining myself in a cute yet casual ensemble; a Baby Gap-clad, giggling Graham propped effortlessly on my hip; I'm beckoning Rodrigo (the boss) and his beautiful Latino family inside, where I serve them homemade strawberry lemonade as they settle into our crappy couches (that we are grateful for-thanks Mom and Dad!).
Nathan: "Yeah, we sure aren't going to have breakfast for dinner."
Kimber: "Haha, here's yo waffle, Rodrigo!" Now I'm imagining myself licking butter off my fingers as Graham spits up on me. Nathan's job offer disappears as the made-from-concentrate orange juice is gulped from cheap tumblers. The eggs are burnt, the hash browns soggy. One of the boss' children chokes on a sausage link.
I love having people over for dinner. Oh my, is this another post about food? No! This is about having people over, and they happen to eat food when they come.
I feel much more comfortable in small groups, and there's something lovely and tribal about all sitting down to share a meal and eat some meat and veggies that in the past we might have killed or farmed together. I feel like I'm saying to our guests: I like you enough to help keep you alive for one more day.
But really, I love sharing the evening and stories, having an excuse to try out a new recipe (a big no-no according to Jane Covey), and getting rid of half the dessert so we don't eat it all. I fold my classy paper napkins and place them beneath my wonderful, 80/10 silverware (the best part of my table set), I give our guests the chairs whose backs won't fall off, and I pull out my water- and stain-resistant red tablecloth which is quite possibly the only thing we got from our wedding registry.
|Our actual set!|
Sometimes the pork doesn't get cooked all the way, but we don't notice until halfway through dinner. Sometimes (always) I lick the spatula while I'm making the cake for dessert. Sometimes I substitute pork for lamb in a Moroccan Lamb Shanks recipe and it turns out to be super weird and a horrible waste of golden raisins. Sometimes I accidentally double the spices and halve the meat in a Middle Eastern kebab recipe.
Most times, though, it's lovely. But is it old fashioned to invite your husband's boss to dinner? Would it be super sixties housewife in a bad way? Are the risks worth the potential benefits? Should we invite Rodrigo into our humble abode? What if he gets food poisoning? What if one of his kids bites Graham? What if Graham has a blowout on one of his kids? Should his kids even be invited? If not, do I hide Graham in the bath tub while they're here because babysitter's here actually know to charge what they're worth? Dilemmas!
Nathan: (eating a mango) I am a Lamanite, and I want to kill myself and all my brethren.
Nathan: Myself because I just ate a mango and dental floss hasn't been invented yet, and all my brethren because I'm a Lamanite.
Kimber: Why did you decide you were a Lamanite?
Nathan: I was just picturing what that would be like, because this is a tropical fruit.