Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The best things in life are…

Free. Spontaneous.

Ok, that's probably a lie, since Diane Sawyer informed me last night that most people get more pleasure out of the planning and anticipation of a vacation than they do on the actual vacation.

Go figure.

Despite the Nightly News report, spontaneous nights with a random collection of friends are fantastic.

A few weeks ago I woke up on a Sunday morning and the weather was just right for a BBQ.  But it was a Sunday, and we're still in our mid-twenties and have full time jobs.  BBQs typically include quite a few alcoholic beverages in our circles, so I wasn’t sure a Sunday was going to work out so well.  But I guess we're growing up a little because we got several responses from our mass texts and suddenly we had an event to host!

Spontaneous BBQ/Dinner Party/[Insert Other Event Here] Guidelines:

AKA: How I Totally Fake It And Just Hope People Have A Good Time:

1. Delegate.  Provided you hang around with even a slightly refined group, the questions of "what should we bring?" or "do you need/want us to bring anything?" will come up.  Although you might think you're being nice by saying "We've got it, don't worry about anything", be honest - you don't have a money tree (and if you do, I'm taking applications for BFFs, kthanks) and you probably need to spend some of that would be shopping time cleaning up the designated event area - yard, porch, dining room, kitchen, etc.  Pass things off - salad, chips & dip/salsa or other appetizers, veggies, hot dogs, dessert, etc - and of course "and bring whatever you'd like to drink" can be tagged on the end.

2. Use what you have.  Especially once you’ve lived on your own for a bit, you’ll start have *things*. Like table clothes and vases.  Maybe left over from a holiday you bravely hosted or were given to you as gifts.  I know a lot of blogs are all “OMG I <3 GOODWILL AND I BUY ALL MY COOL HOUSE THINGS FOR $2”, and more power to them, seriously. I wish I had the time and patience, but I don’t. And I was lucky, the previous owners left us some sweet vases, so those cost me $0, relatively speaking.  And, we have an incredible yard that used to be meticulously landscaped before we lived here.  We’ve managed to not kill or weed whack all of the flowers, so those come in handy in a pinch as well.



3. Maintenance.  Not my strong suit.  When motivated, I can get stuff clean and organized (I swear!). But it doesn’t usually stay that way long. I’m not sure why. I think gnomes come in when I’m not looking and mess everything up again. But regardless, I can imagine having spontaneous events would be a lot easier if it didn’t mean a mad dash to clean everything before your friends come over and realize how lazy messy you are on a daily basis.

Obviously I had way too much fun chasing the dogs, playing ladder ball, stuffing my face, and laughing about who knows what with some good people to take any pictures of the actual event.

Anyone else something think the best get togethers are the random spontaneous ones?  Any delicious last minute recipes out there I should know about for next time?

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