Recently, I was caught in a frenzy as I tried to put together a mismash of tables and chairs for a ten person dinner party at my home. I thought of all the lifestyle gurus - the Martha Stewarts and Barefoot Contessas of the world - who would have had an epileptic seizure had they seen all the entertaining rules I was breaking. Truly, they would have arrested me if they could have found a way in and could see what was going on.
As I prepared for the this small time event, I realized this is one of the reasons why I and so many others don't have regular dinner parties - who can keep up, after all? I used this as an exercise to say "forget the rules" and to remind myself that what matters the most is being yourself - etiquette warts and all - and invite your friends into your home for an evening of good food and fun. Who cares if I don't have the right tablecloths and candles - or no candles at all!
When was the last time you had a dinner party for friends or co-workers? I suggest that you scrap any anxiety you might have about putting something together and just do it. Entertaining in your home is a terrific way to have comfortable, intimate conversation with those you love the most. If it's been a while since you had a dinner party, try one on for size in the near future. Use the experience as a reminder that the bigger things in life - friendship and nurturing others - are what matter most.