The dog will puke on the carpet, your child will break his arm, and your husband will eat half of the appetizers and say he was "just having a snack." Disasters are a part of every party The truth is that behind every "perfect" party is a hostess who knows how to laugh at herself, and have fun in spite of the flooded toilet and the burnt lasagna.
My list of party catastrophes is so long I can't remember them all. Some of them I was able to hide from my guests. Like the time my cocker spaniel at a dozen cooked bratwurst. I was being the perfect hostess and cooking everything ahead of time for a family function. Two dozen grilled bratwurst sat on the kitchen counter when I heard screams from the front yard. By the time I untangled the bike wreck, and bandaged two sets of knees, all that was left of my bratwurst was an empty pan and one very sick little dog. All it took to fix that little disaster was an expensive trip to the vet and two dozen more bratwurst. The party was great.
But sometimes the calamity just can't be hidden. Like if your teenage son burns pizza right before you have guests. There's nothing more fun than welcoming people to a smoke filled house with fire alarms shrieking overhead.The only thing you can do is slap a smile on your face, pass out chips and dip, and talk about how you love the fragrance of a campfire. You can offer to spray your guests with air freshener but they usually refuse.
The worst is when the disaster occurs right in the middle of the party. Like the time I made great grandma's famous brisket. I was so proud of myself. I pulled that succulent plate of meat out of the oven and proceeded to trip over one of the kids' toys. The meat went flying, I went sprawling, and my party ended up in the emergency room. Well, okay, I ended up in the emergency room. No burns, just a sprained ankle. By the time my crutches and I hobbled home, the party was winding down and the guests had cleaned my kitchen.
The true secret to surviving a party fiasco is the friends you choose. Fortunately mine are forgiving and have a sense of humor. I can't imagine being a social maven and worrying about serving the right kind of drinks or having the perfect decorations. I try to get my house clean. Sometimes I make it and sometimes only the bathrooms are pretty. My party decorations are guests' coats piled on the couch and the smiles of my friends. The best food? It is usually donated by one of the amazing cooks I know. I can BBQ and I serve a mean cheeseburger, but urbane cuisine will not be on my menu.
My parties aren't fancy or famous, but I still love them. I enjoy the chatter of friends and family and the laughter that echoes in my memories. The disasters become a part of party legend and lore. And me? I say let's party more!