I've written before about the difference between entertaining and hospitality. The bottom line was to keep it simple. You don't have to go overboard to have friends enjoy your own home.
For all of my thoughts about pursuing people over perfection, I still find that voice in my head that wants to do things right.
This past weekend I was on the receiving end of hospitality and it is still warming my heart.
More than two weeks ago my friend's book was released after the long process of writing and publishing. Two of her blogger friends offered to throw her a book release party – in Hollywood.
My Dad lives about 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles and I haven't seen him since May. It was time for a dad/daughter weekend.
My creative juices flowed and I cooked up a plan.
As soon as I sent my response to the hostess, she replied, excited that I was coming, making me feel welcome right away.
While reading her blog, I noticed something she said about how she might trade in her Birkenstocks for the evening. There was also a mention of having her hair “blown out” and getting some false eyelashes. That gave me a clue on how I might dress, but I wanted to verify it with her.
I loved her response: “I'm going to guess that we'll see a variety of attire at the party. LA is much more casual than, say, NYC or Chicago... I'm sure we'll see a mix of jeans and cute sweaters with boots and also maybe a few dresses and tights. But no one will be fancy. We want people to feel comfortable and loved and not self-conscious in any way. I guarantee that you'll look just great.”
Isn't that really to hope we have for each other? When we have company, instead of having unspoken expectations on behavior or dress, why not just want people to feel loved? Shouldn't that be more impressive than what everyone looks like?
Still, because I am well – me, I still fretted. I knew this was a big deal for my friend, and I wanted to celebrate that by giving her celebration the honor it deserved.
Last Thursday after spending the day traveling, I sat with my aunt to chat for a few minutes. The time got away from me and I had to rush to get ready. All of the fretting by the wayside, I kept remembering what my friend said. I threw on my new top and some comfortable pants. Freshened up and off I went.
It was a great celebration with warm, inviting and friendly people. The food was great and the company was greater. Most of all they achieved their goal, I felt so very loved.
This is the month that there are so many parties and celebrations to attend and to host. Amidst the traditions, the food and the expectations, let’s not forget that it isn't the “what” that is important, it is the “who” that is most important.
Maya Angelou once said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Who knows, they may even be kind enough to forget what you wear.
“I\'ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” Maya Angelou.