It’s June First! Me Made May is officially over, but I have one more thing to share. I had a dinner party on Saturday evening and was reminded just how lovely opening your home to guests and making a meal for others is. There is something magical about getting everything comfortable for people, choosing foods to make that you think they will like, then working to make it happen. I find the reverse true, too! I love an invitation to someone’s home 1029381983304802839 times more than an invitation to a restaurant.
What makes it special? Maybe it is all that intention centered around doing things with a few people in mind — it translates into good feelings of welcome and care. Much like knitting something for warmth, or carving a tool for use, the preparation is imbued with your purpose and energy. There is also something primal and as-old-as-humankind about the power of sharing your food with others: sustenance in more ways than one.
“Entertaining” — like so many things in our culture — has become overblown and misses the mark. I don’t even like the word. I’m not an actor, singer, dancer, or musician and I’m not putting on a show. I’m simply making a meal and a comfortable place to spend a few hours for people I like. I don’t fret about my home being “perfect” enough to have people over (truth be told the ceiling over my dining room table is damaged from a plumbing issue. So it goes.) or my cooking not turning out well (in fact, against common dinner party advice, I always make things I’ve never made before. It is the perfect opportunity to try that new recipe I’ve had my eye on!). I just do my best knowing that if someone is a bird of a feather, that will be exactly right 🙂
That isn’t to say that things shouldn’t be special and that it isn’t work! I had flowers in each room, picked wines to go with the courses, used my Grand Aunt’s china, and carefully blocked my hand knit napkins so that they would look crisp and cared for. I made lists and scheduled my time and cleaned places that hadn’t been cleaned in quite a while. I gave my cat a lecture on good manners, and made sure there was a place for everything and everything in its place. None of these things involved spending gobs of money, but rather lots of care.
I realized that if you are a maker, you care about things. You put energy out instead of always consuming. Whether it’s making a meal or a dress or a friendship, it’s creation. Participating in Me Made May not only helped me realize the concrete things like I want to sew more or make breakfast bars, but helped me think about making more abstractly as process, and not only as a final output. Maybe I should have renamed it Me Make May — I’m most interested in the action verb ❤