Monday, May 24, 2010

Hestia, I Am Not

I am not exactly what you might call a domestic goddess. Oh, sure, I go on and on (and on and on) about interior decor, and drapes, and clothes, but it's all style and not a lot of substance, domestically speaking.

I rarely crack a cookbook, and when I do, it often end with borderline disastrous consequences (Ref: pancakes). So my decision to host a friend for dinner Tuesday night might seem a bit ill-chosen.

When I entertain, I typically keep it limited to hors d'oeuvres or desserts with copious amounts of alcohol. Sometimes, I skip the desserts and crudites and just serve booze. But my friend hasn't seen my apartment yet (only a few people have, and most of them are relatives) and so I decided to have her over for dinner. She's also a very close friend and will therefore be, I hope, forgiving.

And, it's me, so I'll also be serving whine - er, ahem - wine.

In an attempt to bring out my inner Martha, I bought flowers, this evening, for the dinner table. I chose hydrangeas, because they were the least intimidating of the flowers on offer at the Whole Paycheck (and the least expensive for the amount of coverage offered).

I underestimated the number of hydrangea stems to buy.

Okay, so I was able to solve that problem by just using a smaller vase, and yes, it still looks pretty, but I should have bought more flowers! I should have known how to do this! Shouldn't I?

Hadn't I, once before, arranged all the flowers for a very low-budget wedding I attended - as the best man's date - in Oklahoma? After the groom, best man, and I picked up the roses from the nearest Wal-Mart, the bride and her relatives proceeded to cram them, untrimmed stems and all, into the nearest vases they could find (in other words, whichever ones were in the church's rec hall). They all seemed a bit stressed, seeing as they were also in the process of trying to set out the fried chicken and mashed 'taters for the rehearsal dinner (also from the Wal-Mart) in something of a logical manner, while simultaneously putting the plastic table cloths out, so I chimed in and suggested I take over the flower arranging.

They all oohed and aahed over my flower arranging skills, and asked how often I did it, and I replied truthfully that I rarely did it - rarely as in never - but that I'd watched my mother and her friends do it, and I guess some of it had rubbed off.

Enough to know that you need to trim off some of the leaves, at least, or your water will smell and the roses will look like far from elegant.

There was a lot at the wedding that was far from elegant. I've never received so many dirty looks in my life because, God forbid, I wore a strapless dress. It was a wee mite conservative, and I didn't realize that going into the deal. Oops. The minister refused to even look at me, assuming, I suppose that my wanton shoulder-baring ways might rub off on him.

No need to fear that, bub. Not with that greasy Elmer Gantry hair.

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