Saturday, June 13, 2009

Styrofoam for Jesus

My husband is a pastor.

My husband is more outgoing than I am.

My husband likes people.

This isn’t to say that I don’t.

This is to say that we have people over for dinner.

A lot.

Tonight, it’s our new neighbors from across the street.

With women and hosting, I’ve found there tends to be a high standard we hold ourselves to. And, really, it’s just us women who hold us women to that standard. Men don’t care because men don’t even notice.

This is the standard, for dinner, that I’m talking about:

Clean floors, clean counters, no dishes in sink (because we all do them immediately after each meal, right?). Toys are in appropriate bins and there’s no pee on the guest toilet rim (because we clean that bathroom religiously, right?). Just in case the Woman who’s coming over wants to see how the Child’s room is painted, that’s tidied up, too.

Well, out of need to preserve my love of people over for dinner, I’ve modified that standard:

The house is decently cleaned, I don’t care about Carter’s room, and dinner is simple. I mean, simple. Neal grills chicken, I throw some frozen potato wedges in the oven and we might have a salad. If I’m up to it.

We no longer eat on real plates.

It’s Styrofoam all the way, baby. And those red Solo cups, complete with a Sharpie for labeling names to appease the compulsive teacher in me.

This is how I preserve my sanity. This is how I lower the standard so I can focus on the people we’re hosting and the connections being made.

Some Martha Stewarts out there might be able to do both. Perfection and genuine connections over dinner.

Well, that’s not me. I have a feeling, though, it might not be a lot us Women either.

What if we lowered the standard, risking silent judgment, for the sake of having dinners more often? What if we truly focused on the people coming over, and less on our ability to impress?

What if we did Styrofoam for Jesus?

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