Holiday Host – Pet Peeves

The holidays are upon us again and with them they bring an assortment of parties and other social events.  In our family, November/December/January is the high season for birthdays.  Between Brian and my immediate families we have 9 birthdays, five of which we host the party and two to three others that we usually help host or cook.  We also host Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinners.  Which we love.  We love having our home filled with family and friends.  We love providing a delicious dinner in a beautiful setting…. Love it.  Or we wouldn’t do it.

You want to know what drives me crazy though?

People in my kitchen.

Okay… I know it’s not normal.  Kitchen’s supposed to be the heart of the home and all that… I know!  I actually don’t mind them “in the kitchen” that’s fine…. it’s the “under foot” part that makes me want to kill.  Extreme, I know… but …. well, that’s how I feel.

Before Brain and I renovated the kitchen (and everything else) we had a big kitchen with a stupid layout.  There was a giant center island that blocked all the flow… the sink was in the island and the refrigerator and stove were behind the island…. You couldn’t open the dishwasher and the ‘fridge door at the same time or they would knock into each other…. stupid.   People were always wandering in and out behind the counter… getting in the way… trying to burn themselves on the oven or stove.  Stupid.

Knowing this is a huge pet peeve for me, Brian and I spent a lot of time designing the new kitchen so that I had a work area that people wouldn’t be wandering into while I was trying to do the last minute cooking.  (Because, no matter how well you prepare, there is always something coming out of the oven or off of the stove at the very last minute… ya want it hot, right?)  We purposely put the refrigerator well out of my cooking area (even though it’s supposed to go inside the cooking area) so that people could get their drinks and not be  bumping into me.  Stove, sink, counter peninsula  and then fridge…. kind of in a big square… with the fridge separated by the main walkway…. big area on the OTHER side of the peninsula for people to hang out in with the table and the other side of the peninsula counter…. Beautiful too…. love my kitchen.

So why in the freaking hell are they still in my area, banging into me when I have hot stuff in my hands?  It’s not that I’m being a bitch…. I’m trying to not give people second degree burns. Hello?  I wanted to put up a baby-gate…. Brian said that would be rude…. I said burning people was rude too.

Pet peeve number 2:  Still in the kitchen:  Dishes.

Leave the damn dishes alone.  I invited you. I will take care of you…. from start to finish.

I feel that it’s my responsibility to take care of my guests as long as they are my guests.   I invited you… you came to my house all dressed up and pretty… I’m not going to let you get all soapy and gross!  I just think it’s party of your hosting responsibilities.  Your responsibility is to have a nice time… and be respectful of my wishes.

Miss Manners says to leave the dishes pile up in the kitchen until everyone leaves, but I’ve had guest who don’t listen and go screw around with the dishes anyway.  They don’t know where things go, so you still have to “fix” things later.   Just leave it alone!  I like to put the dishes in the dishwasher and rinse out the bowls that guest have brought.  Usually we have a house-full (15-20 people) so it’s not like I am leaving a group of strangers alone to stare at the ceiling until I come back…

You offered to help, gee that’s nice… now I said “no, thank you.”  I said it, I meant it…. listen.

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