Oct
09
2012

  I Left the House

Drumroll, please. I left the house for the first time since last Sunday! I'm still sick, but we were running out of food (I have been pulling liberally from the freezer while I've been ill, but my stockpiles don't last indefinitely). Plus, I needed supplies for the PARTY I'm hosting in two days. I am not convinced I won't be like a 100-year-old matriarch sitting in her chair the whole time with a lap blanket and a scarf, but weather permitting, the show will go on. I did happily abandon my original idea to bake mini cupcakes and prepare cute cheese hors d'oeurves, though. To make up for that lapse, I bought some cute plastic bowls to put the chips and snack mix in. There. Just as good. I am lucky that T subscribes to the "minimum requirements" ethos. He's been running his companies with the "lean programming" mindset, and in fact now I think there is some sort of "lean management" protocol that has been established in the meantime. If anyone is interested, leave a comment or send me an email, I could get his bibliography for you.

The gist is the total opposite of Martha Stewart. The goal is to discern the minimum acceptable standard for your audience and just do that. Do not go above and beyond. To put it in party perspective, the goal is not for everyone to say or think, "wow, this is the best party I've ever attended!". It's more like the goal is for everyone to leave thinking they had a nice time, and will return for the next one. So, if I had elaborate snacks, that would be beyond expectations. Not necessary for this theory. But I should deliver just enough snacks that people's expectations are met, and they are satisfied. Having a 1 and 3 year old and no nanny, I think it is entirely reasonable that I should set my sights on "meeting expectations". I have been married for over twelve years now, and it has taken a long time to fully understand and accept T's way of thinking. It was hard to get over the "always do your best" ethos that I grew up on. But if you try to do your very best work day in and day out in all situations, you will burn out. Well, depending upon how you define "your best". I have come to define it in a less singular and more wholistic way. "My best" being the best that I can manage in a healthy and sustainable way.

Which, all things considered for this party, being that I am still pretty sick and barely managed to make it home from the shopping trip before collapsing in exhaustion onto the sofa, means that packaged snacks will be the exclusive offerings. But they will be served in cute colorful serving bowls instead of mixing bowls. One step up. Actually two steps up, because if T was in charge, there would merely be open bags of snack foods on the table. So TWO steps up from that.

And I realized that I shouldn't even have to drag out the card table-- we have an ACTUAL table that has been sitting unused in our front yard for over a year now. Funny how things like that become invisible after awhile. I mentioned to T that I'd like to use the outdoor table for the party, and he said that he wasn't sure we'd be able to lift it out of the weeds. Good grief. I think I'm going to put my foot down on this. I am not going to set up a card table when a perfectly sized ACTUAL outdoor table is available, and if we must wrestle it out of the weeds to move it into a better position, then we will don our garden gloves and get it done. Even if it is above and beyond common expectations for us, I can't abandon my own prerogatives entirely.