Stress-free Entertaining

Is there really such a thing as stress-free entertaining?

If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to conquer. When your days are filled with stuff…work stuff, kid stuff, family stuff, life stuff…it’s a challenge to host an event for the folks who bring good stuff to your life.

First, there’s the cleaning. And unless you live with Alice the maid or Geoffrey the Butler, there’s always cleaning to be done. And the degree of cleaning depends upon who’s coming to dinner. Overnight guests require cleaning for days because they might look in your drawers or sleep in your bed, and no room is off limits to them. Co-workers require a thorough cleaning because they’re likely to talk about your home at the office, and even close friends merit a tidy up.

Then there’s meal prep. You don’t want to underfeed folks who came hungry or overwhelm those who are trying to eat healthy. And then there are those with dietary restrictions like lactose intolerance, vegetarians and vegans. How do you cater to them all?

And what about entertainment? What if the conversation wanes?  What if they don’t like your kind of music?  What if the conversation turns political?

These are all thoughts that were pummeling my mind about a recent gathering, when a co-worker suggested some simple, obvious advice.   She said “Order a pizza and don’t worry about the cleaning you want to do that’s undone.  Your guests won’t know it’s undone.”

These few words were mini miracle workers. Regular pizza, vegetarian pizza, chicken wings and a salad covered everyone’s taste buds.  Line dance music and good old fashioned board games made fun for everyone. And what wasn’t covered with dust or encircled by flies didn’t get cleaned.  There was no need for cooking or cleaning for days or meeting expectations that were placed on me by me.

So, whenever you want to throw a shindig and ensure you’re not too tired to enjoy it, keep it simple! If it’s not a special occasion where you’re cooking Uncle Leroy’s favorites for his 70th birthday, clean a little, dance a lot and let ‘em eat pizza. He’ll never know you didn’t dust under the refrigerator.

Dedicated to my wise friend and co-worker, KP.

Follow my blog at lovingmiddleagedlife.com

Happy Wife, Happy Life

This one is especially for my male readers.

You’ve all heard the expression…Happy Wife, Happy Life.  Sounds expensive and elusive right? But what does it mean to a woman?

Does it mean that you have to agree with everything your lady says?  Does it mean that you can never win an argument?  Does it mean that you have to give up everything you enjoy to satisfy her wants and needs? Or perhaps it means that every cent you earn should be spent on her every desire.

Whatever it means, it sounds like it costs an arm and a leg. But it doesn’t have to. Here are some inexpensive ways to achieve Happy Wife, Happy Life.

  • Men don’t need to agree with everything a woman says…but they should listen. Offering an opinion on the subject lends evidence to active listening and makes a woman feel that what interests her, interests him.
  • There’s no need to give up everything you enjoy. Invite her along, if possible, and let her see if it’s something she might enjoy, too. Or, if it’s time with your buddies you require, be sure to encourage her to spend time with her friends doing something they enjoy. But, if your hobby is disrespectful to her, it’s a good idea to find another hobby.
  • Most women don’t expect you to spend all of your earnings on them. And if they do, they might not be the right woman for you, or for anyone.  What most women desire is for a man to be a provider, and providing can take many forms. Men who aren’t the financial provider of the household, but are in school, unexpectedly unemployed or tackling the role of Mr. Mom are still providers. And most women will tell you,  in households where one or both partners work, there’s nothing more attractive than a man that comes home and helps with the household chores.  Helping with chores is right up there with drying her tears and making her feel protected.  You can’t go wrong with these, guys.
  • Support her dreams.  Give her uninterrupted time to work on her business plan. Use your gifts to help her…paint a room for her office, taste the recipes for her cookbook, help her build her website or encourage her to take a class. There are tons of ways to support her in achieving her goals and you are just the man for the job!

All of these things can be done with a simple investment of your time, attention and affection, gentlemen. So what are you waiting for?  Why not help fold that laundry?