Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tweaks and People


I have a confession. Tonight, between making tomorrow's to-do list and attempting to get some sleep, I took a quiz on marthastewart.com. Not just any quiz, no. One I was especially curious about. 
What Kind of Hostess Are You? (take it, dare ya)
As you who are reading know by now, I love to entertain. I love to plan, I love to decorate, and although I'm not so much the cook, I love to plan a menu. But most importantly, I love having the people I love all around me. Growing up, my mother made a joke of dear ole Martha weekly, daily even. With Martha's perfectionist ideals and intricate planning, my mom, with her evervescent spontaneity and ability to throw together a get-together in two hours tops, was a stark contrast to Martha. Despite my mother's constant mantra of "Martha Stewart doesn't live here" playing in the back of my head, I decided to dive in. So, in true Ainsley fashion, I anticipated the results of this quiz from the entertaining expert herself.
One word: mistake.
First, the results:
You are undoubtedly A Thoughtful Hostess
You plan ahead to ensure that the events you host are special and that your guests feel welcome. Friends feel comfortable in your home and enjoy bringing signature dishes to your table. You're known for featuring unique touches without going overboard.

I scored the middle option, between A Hostess Inpsired by Martha and A Casual Hostess. So, not quite the perfect hostess, Ainsley. Awesome.
But then, I got to thinking. Sure, I opted for using outside lampposts instead of handmande seasonal luminarias for outside lighting, and adorning the guest bathroom with soft hand towels vs. homestenciled linens and homemade hand cream. (Although I did opt for making handmade seating cards vs. letting guests scamble awkwardly to figure out a seating arrangment). So maybe I'm not going to be quite the hostess I thought I would. Or not according to Martha.

But who is Martha anyway? Don't get me wrong, I do love to peruse to pages of her magazine and website (as you can see, duh). Sure, the woman is an expert- and she has some fabulous ideas that serve as a basis from which many of mine grow.  But in life, real life, is there really time to make homemade handcream and seasonal luminaries for a dinner party? Honestly, I hope there's not. Because when the time comes, I see myself as more of the happy hostess as opposed to the perfect hostess- doing things like cooking the menu with a little help from my girls, picking out a party worthy outfit, making the perfect track of background music or putting together thoughtful, fun party favors for those who were kind enough to grace me with their presence.

Because really, in this day and age, everyone is talented. Everyone has great ideas. Everyone can put together a beautiful flower arrangment or execute the perfect party theme. But the twists, those are what make each occasion so special- because you know as well as I do, that perfection is often dull. The special tweaks here and there that eximplify you, the hostess, are what make a bash one to remember. Together, the tweaks and the people are what twist together to define perfect entertaining. And that is what makes the perfect hostess.

So Mom, maybe you were right. Martha Stewart doesn't live here.

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