Entertaining = ?

Later today G & C will arrive for dinner.

The expression “come for dinner” used to mean one thing: host or hostess put a home-cooked meal on the table and guests brought wine or dessert. These days it can mean anything, from pot luck to Trader Vic’s to ordering in —and everything in between.

When I cook for myself, it almost always “comes good,” as my Italian friend Theresa used to say. But when I cook for family, it somehow seems to miss the mark. So now when G & C come, we order up. That’s a New York expression for calling a local restaurant and having prepared food delivered!

But it takes time. What nationality food? Which restaurant? Which selections? How much money? And then like my mother before me, I hate mess on the table. I have A.D.D. and there’s enough confusion in my head. My mother hated milk or juice cartons on the table: I don’t like take-out containers.

Today though, if I can get myself dressed and out on this freezing day I’ll buy chopped meat and sausage and try to cook a decent tomato sauce for plain old spaghetti with grated cheese. What’s not to like, providing I get it right? I won’t tell them in advance. That way, if it doesn’t come good or if they simply don’t want it, we an always order up.

But why am I so timid? I know I can cook and set a nice table … I like to do it! That’s the thing. I want them to be comfortable and relaxed, feet up and all, but I also want to put a nice meal on a nice table and have it appreciated. Better than take-out containers being passed around with soda cans and pickle leaking on the mats. Right, Mom?

Well, we’ll see. Trouble starts when everyone’s trying to make everyone else happy and no one’s saying what they really want. I’ll make the meatballs and spaghetti, fill the house with the aroma of good sauce, and hope for the best.

That is of course if I get showered, dressed and out before 4PM! It’s so nice here in my cozy home — sun coming in the windows, radio on, my computer accepting my words in a friendly way, my slippers and bathrobe so comfy, and the piano always beckoning.

After all, there’s always order-up!

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