Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's probably me that's the problem

Tonight was the pumpkin carving party -- my 9th. Every year I seem to push myself to make it as "perfect" as I can. I bake more, I decorate more, I clean more. This year I put in a crap-ton of effort: 2 straight out days of cleaning, baking, and setup, on top of the shopping, preparing, and decorating I've been doing all month. I enjoy it, but I wouldn't go to all this effort for just myself.

Based on the replies to my invitation, I figured I had about 20 people coming this year. Seemingly more than usual. That made me very happy, as well as concerned that I'd have enough snacks for everyone. I'm of the belief that if you throw a party where you tell people you're providing food, you do more than just chips in a bowl. So, I shopped and baked accordingly.

How many people actually showed up? 9. Those 9 people were quite happy to be here, but I couldn't help but be disappointed about the other 11 who were sick, had to back out for stated reasons, or just plain didn't show up or notify me. To top that off, the weather was particularly bad today, and that likely encouraged people to stay home.

I will grant you that I am a bit too focused on the people who weren't here vs the happy people who did come and enjoyed themselves. I'm not angry at anyone: shit happens, I get that. Maybe I just try to do too much, try to make it too special. Or maybe people just don't get how much work and effort I put into making this a fun event. Maybe if they knew that, they wouldn't just not show up.

The question is: do I put in less effort next time, knowing that I expect too much of people?


Liza said...

You put in the effort that assures you that you have done whatever you want to do to ensure that your guests enjoy a quality party experience. You cannot control the weather or the guests who change their minds, especially either at the last minute or, worse, without telling you they won't be coming.

However, the one thing I've learned is NOT to do too much cleaning before the party: do it after the party! People are there for you and the wonderful parties you hostess, NOT to do a clean house inspection.

And ... be thankful for those dear friends who made the effort to attend the party in spite of the weather and other offers they did refuse. Those are the ones you want in your home.


Cyn said...

So sorry your post party evaluation of preparations is making you feel this way. :( Although I haven't been able to make it there I look forward every year to the pictures of this particular party! It's like fall has full arrived.

Perhaps it's time to ask others to chip in and be partially responsible for the preparations?

liz said...

I think I just need an attitude adjustment. If I'm going to clean, clean earlier than the day before. Don't do stupid things like bake pies as part of the food (too time-consuming). Have all but one pumpkin carved before people arrive. I did three this year and didn't start until an hour before the party, so by the end I was the last person alone in the garage carving. It was just an odd year, where people came at the same time and not staggered. I wasn't able to mingle with the guests who went back into the living room, and John wasn't feeling well, so they had nothing to do after they were done carving and waiting for me. I wasn't a very good hostess this year.