Monday, February 28, 2011


while it pains me a little to admit this, everything is still packed. well, not everything. but most things. i could say it's because i don't have enough wall space for my furniture that houses said packed items, but that's only one excuse. i still have all that furniture in the basement ready to be used to house all the things i need but haven't unpacked.

it could be said that if i haven't unpacked it i probably don't need it. i mean, we are going on three months and nobody's suffered because i don't have my extensive collection of sugar and creamer sets unpacked.

except for me, of course.

but see, the thing is my stuff isn't just stuff. it is to some people, but not to me. because i use my stuff. if i didn't use it it WOULD be just stuff. but i use it. and i miss it. and i like all of my things around me. i like seeing my six different sets of beer glasses/mugs. which seems like an excessive amount to some, but when you've had beer out of the proper glass it's like heaven. and thus, they become a terribly useful necessity. i like knowing that when people come over my people coming over plates are where i can find them.

i like knowing where my tablecloths are. where are my tablecloths? or my serving platters and serving dishes my square plates with the big huge blue flowers on them? i cannot even begin to imagine where my blue glass sorbet dishes are. or the dish i like to serve olives in.

for everyday this is not a big deal. but when i have people over it sucks. i feel like i'm entertaining in a college studio kitchen.

(we could add in the psychological angle and talk about how i longed for these kinds of things as a little girl and after suffering so much loss last year that i am even more attached to my stuff than ever. which is only kinda true because i've let go of a lot and even just the other day one of my grandmother's awesome bowls broke and i just hucked it in the trash and didn't get all crazy over it as i once might have. i mean that's progress people. i'm STILL verklempt over a certain PERFECT rectangular serving platter that broke years ago and i've never met its equal. but, i digress. and we don't need to get into all that. moreover, who would want to?)

but the thing is most people don't care. they don't. they are happy to just hang out and eat. they don't care if the olives are in my special olive dish or not. most people would eat the olives from the jar. most people don't care that much about olives.

but i do.

and people say oh don't go through the trouble. oh sit down and visit. (i do eventually sit down and visit and i don't get up again. just so you know) oh let me help. they use one plate for everything when i've set out two. oh i don't need another glass for this wine. but that glass had merlot? and now this is shiraz? let me get you another glass.

most people come and they say you work so hard i don't need another glass let me help you.

but i WANT to work this hard i WANT you to have another glass i WANT you to sit and relax.


this is how i love. i love by creating food and making sure you have everything you need. i love by chilling the beer mugs before you come and making sure if we're having stella artois you get the fucking stella artois glass. i don't want you to have to keep asking for the salt and pepper at thanksgiving so i put individual salt and pepper shakers at various stations on the table. i WANT to do this. i LOVE to cook and to have people to cook for. i don't even care if you're vegan! or you have food allergies! i will do it!

i want you to come to my house and feel taken care of. content. this is not a sickness. this is not perfection i seek at the expense of everything else. this is just how i roll.

am i the world's best cook and entertainer? no. i am not. i am just me and i'm hoping you like what i make and i am glad when you do.

do i get stressed and overwhelmed in the process? yes. sometimes i do. but that's just part of the process when you are creating on a deadline. this does not mean i am a crazy neurotic who takes on too much crazy person. okay, i am all those things BUT not about this. this is me loving you by making sure you have a separate fork for dessert.


that being said


is my confession.

the dinner i ruined two weeks ago? with guests coming over? i ruined it because i was so obsessed by the fact that i didn't have my people coming over plates or my cutest tablecloth handy and could only find THREE champagne glasses in which to serve sparkling shiraz to FOUR. my dining room isn't put together and my kitchen isn't awesome yet. this house needed more TLC when we moved in than i gave it. the cabinets need repainting and the hardware needs replacing. and if i haven't unpacked all my clothes yet i sure as hell am not tackling the kitchen cabinets.

so. because i was being vain i ruined 3 dishes and barked at the boybarians and got all sweaty and ended up serving take out pizza to my guests.

did they care?

not a bit. they had the best time and are the kind of people who wouldn't care. they found my confession amusing and she even told me about a dinner she ruined consisting of a corn chowder that was delicious but ended up looking like vomit and biscuits that were hard as rocks. did she order pizza? nope. she served the 'ruined' dinner. and it became a story for her arsenal.

i AM proud of myself that i threw in the towel when i knew my goose was cooked (no pun intended and no i wasn't making goose) and stopped barking and sweating and running around trying to recreate an entire meal and called in for pizza backup.

(all that being said i am very much in the I DON'T CARE camp when i dine at other people's houses. you can feed me on a paper plate next to the draftiest window in the house with the stickiest mouthiest kid you've got on my right and your creepy relative across from me and i *literally* would not care. i am just so happy to be eating someone else's food in their space. true story.)

so. what is the lesson here? the lesson here is i need to unpack my stuff. because it's becoming a 'thing.' stuff is only stuff if you don't *use* it. the longer i don't unpack and use my stuff the more it becomes useless stuff.

you could also say the lesson here is that moving sucks and it's really hard for a long time. that every time i confront those boxes i miss my house and my family and my coast. those boxes make me sad and they make me cry. so i turn away and turn off the light and go where there are no boxes.

and the lesson here is that even though setting a table and cooking a meal is the way i love i could re-examine a few bits of my process. i literally need to not sweat the small stuff.

i have to remember that it's all about the olives.

and most people just don't care that much about how olives are served. it's okay that i do (i really really do) but it's not worth ordering pizza over.


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