Trying to Find My Inner Ina

As much as I love to cook and play in my garden, I just don’t enjoy entertaining people in my home.  I do it but it isn’t fun for me. At all.  And I want to enjoy it.  I want to find my inner Ina Garten and Martha Stewart.  But they, like my sense of direction, might be missing.

This isn’t all in my head.  Just ask My Pirate.  The last time that My Pirate’s parents came over for lunch.  My Pirate’s Dad (let’s call him Mr. Pirate) asked for a cup of coffee, so I made him a French Press of coffee.  And I couldn’t get the press to push down, so as I was talking to Mr. Pirate, I shoved down as hard as I could.  And coffee and grounds sprayed all over my cabinets.  I died laughing and turned to look at Mr. Pirate and he was coolly eyeing me like I was a complete lunatic.  Which only made me laugh harder.

Then, as I was rolling out the grilled pizza dough, The Assistant started choking outside on a rotten rawhide bone that she must have just unearthed.  Everyone looked at me, so I raced outside, slammed my hand between her shoulder blades while telling her that she’d be all right.  Then I reached into her mouth, yanked out the slimy rawhide, and she gagged and puked on me.  Disaster averted. 

I raced back inside, washed my hands thoroughly, finished making the pizzas and slid them on the grill and served the fresh asparagus soup.  Mr. Pirate tasted a spoonful of soup and pushed it aside.  And while I was taking his ‘disgusting’ soup back inside (more for me), the grill ran out of propane. So we silently ate our soft pizza while I fought back tears.  I didn’t even bother offering them the apple crostata that I made for them. 

Now, whenever they are in town, we go out to eat.  It works. 

So, this month, I gathered my courage and invited my friends over a few at a time to practice my hostess skills.  And I invited them over just in time for the front door to be completely stuck in place, The Assistant to act like Cujo, and for Barnaby’s fun new ‘pants-ing’ phase. Sigh.  No one is ever going to mistake me for the hostess with the most-est.  More like the Master of Disaster, but I did enjoy seeing my friends, no one got bit, and I even kept my pants on.  I’m so grateful for little miracles.

Do you have any similar stories or perhaps some advice?  Please share.