And the table was full of good food

Saturday night we had some friends over for a fondue party.

Now, first I should tell you this: One of the differences Mike and I have is that he is quite good at the entertaining thing. He loves finding new recipes and planning the menu and cooking for people. I am one of those people who worries if the house is clean enough to have people over. (It wasn’t as clean as I wanted on Saturday, but my bum foot meant I just couldn’t do everything I wanted.) So I stress when we’re having people over, even when it’s just friends. I get this from my mother. Mike keeps telling me that he would love to have weekly dinners and have people over, just like his family did growing up. To me, that seems unbearably stressful.

However, I am the one who came up with the idea for Saturday’s get-together. So if I was stressed, I brought it upon myself. Honestly, though, Mike shouldered more than his fair share of the preparations, and he did so quite uncomplainingly. I kept offering to help with the food, but he had a plan, and he executed it perfectly.

I loved watching him in action – perfecting the cheese fondue (which we ate entirely too much of), adjusting the flame, explaining the “rules” to those who hadn’t fondued before. He made all these sauces and looked up tons of recipes, and I could see the pleasure on his face as each course got better and better. His face shone when he saw that everyone was enjoying the food he made. I worry too much about perfection – is everybody happy, are they starving and wishing he would shut up so they can just eat already, is the fondue what they expected? I worried that he had done too much and that I wasn’t doing enough. That our friends would think I had made him do everything, even though he kept telling me he didn’t need any help. He, on the other hand, doesn’t worry so much about what people think. I can hear his voice telling me over and over, every time we host a get-together, “They are our friends. They care about us and they aren’t as critical as you think. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect.”

The amazing thing is, in spite of my worries, it kind of was perfect. We ate for hours and had good, real conversation for hours after that. We took a bunch of hysterical pictures and acted silly. And when our friends finally left just after 1:00 am, Mike turned to me on the porch and said, “That was one of the best get-togethers we’ve ever hosted. Thank you for inviting them.” He did all the work, and he’s thanking me.

I am blessed indeed.

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