1. I cannot cook more than two things at once and expect them to finish cooking at the same time. I should just cover this ineptitude by bringing out course after course separately, as if I'd planned it all along. "May I present your deviled eggs, sans the mushed up yolks and mayo. Enjoy your boiled egg whites." Two minutes later: "Here is your yellow egg stuff plus a side dish I like to call 'potatoes.' Salt and butter will be available when I get a chance." Two minutes later: "Please feel encouraged to take ownership of your potatoes--here is your fork, salt, butter and milk with which to mash up your potatoes. And please reserve a handful of these miniature marshmallows to place atop your sweet yams when I get a chance to bring them out. Here is the Bic lighter in case you like your minis toasted."
2. Once I was preparing a really simple soup for a group that included opening up can of beans and pouring them into the bigger pot. Imagine my delight when one guest lowered her spoon into her bowl and came up with the lid of the bean can.
3. True horror story: A few years ago, my husband's grandmother was weak and nearing the end of her life. When all of his family arrived for the meal, I pulled several people aside and said, "Do you see that step-down into the family room? I'm afraid Grandma can't negotiate that step alone, and I know I will be distracted in the kitchen. Will you please watch over her? Because I would feel so bad if she fell."
I'm giving you one second to predict the story's ending.
About 15 minute later, there was a thud. Grandma had fallen and hit her head on the wall going down that very step. There was actually a dent in the wall, and she was a tiny, tiny woman. She did not have to be taken to the hospital, but for about 10 minutes, we could not decide what to do as she seemed incoherent, etc. Truly, this is one of the worst moments in my life. And it revolved around my hosting Thanksgiving.
4. As I prepared my home and kitchen for tomorrow's feast, I began to grow insecure about the amount of food I had to offer. The ham seemed too small. The bag of potatoes seemed skimpy. I decided to go get a roast and put it in the crock pot in the morning. I went to the store, fought the Black Friday crowds and returned home to put away groceries. Slowly I began to realize I had not yet put away my roast.
Roast ... roast ... ROAST. Where. is. the. roast?! I began to get so agitated that I knocked a gallon of cider out of the fridge. The lid came off, and cider splashed all down the front of me, from neck to ankles, and all over the floor that my husband had just mopped.
My sweet daughter cleaned up the cider while I walked like Frankenstein to the laundry room and shed my sticky clothes. Then I called the store. The roast was still in the bag in the carousel at the end of aisle 9. My husband, fearing that my head would explode if I had to face the Black Friday crowd again, fetched the roast. Let me add a fascinating denouement to my story: While Husband was gone, the vacuum began making the weirdest squeaking, jabbering noise. It sounded like I had sucked up a chipmunk. Don't worry; Zoe is OK.
Now, I have only listed four reasons/illustrations of why I should never be asked to do this again the rest of my life. I could write a book. But I didn't ... what I did instead was write to Susanne, who talked me down off the ledge of my dining room pass-through.
But, you know, hosting just isn't my thang. The equivalent challenge would be like asking other people to make a public speech once a year or sing a solo at church or leave the house without makeup in a one-piece spandex body suit with a home perm. I'm about that totally uncomfortable.
When do we need to rise to the challenge of leaving the comfort zone, and when do we need to say "I yam what I yam, and I do not want to serve any more yams?"
I need an apron that says, "I'd rather be blogging."