are you a good host? : LUSENET : Squishy : One Thread

Are you often the person hosting the parties or going to them? Do you like to open your home to visitors, or do you like to keep your personal space private?

Is your house the "hang out house"?

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000


my house is absolutely NOT the place to hang out. only when i invite you, or i run around cleaning around you, picking up laundry. we have friends whose house you can just show up to, anytime. it would totally weird me out if a bunch of drunken stoners showed up at 1am to watch tv or play video games.

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000

ooh, nothing makes me happier than hosting. no matter where i've lived, my home has always been hang-out central. people will stay hanging out at my house even after i've gone to bed, and i love that. it feels good to have a place where my friends (and their friends) are comfortable and cozy. my favorite thing in the world is the unexpected pop-in. don't get me wrong, i'm not martha stewart by any means. i won't thrust raspberry spritzer tea at you when you walk in the door, and yes, you can put your feet on my coffee table.

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000

I would love to be the hostess. I like to cook and I like for people to come over and hang out, but MY HOUSE IS A MESS. All the time. And not a comfortable, lived-in kind of a mess, but a big stinky hairball of a mess. The kind where people ask you if you have any of those little wax paper toilet seat covers, and when you say you don't, they decide to hold it until they can get to the gas station down the street. The kind where no one wants to eat your food because last time they thought they found a dog hair in the macaroni. The kind where people walk in, sniff the air, and say, in sort of a hopeful voice, "Did you know that one of your cats apparently died recently?"

It's revolting. Someday my house will be clean and everyone will want to come over and play with me, but not anytime soon.

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000

Ah, Beth, here I thought I was the only one who was assaulted by a nasty cat-litter odor when you walked into my house. I really wish I had the time and the energy to keep my house clean. But with 2 cats a three year old and a full time job, my house is always a mess.

The type of mess that when you think its clean you still apologize for the mess when someone pops over with out warning.

(Which parents and in-laws learned early is a major NO-NO)

My carpet needs to be vacuumed all the time I just vacuumed it yesterday and I can guarantee when I get home from work there will be crumbs and litter and God-knows-what-else strewn all over the floor.

Plus a cat that thinks its cute to unwind a whole roll of toilet paper while we are gone and drag it all over the house. The other cat seems to perpetually have hairballs issues. (Ugh.)

Let's not forget the loveseat, which seems to become the bureau for our clothes. (Why oh why can I not get the clean clothes out of the living room and in our drawers where it belongs?) I suppose I should be happy I managed to get the clothing washed at all.

Add to that the contents of your local Toys-R-Us store strewn all over the floor and that pretty much sums up my living room.

And my bedroom? Oh boy, we don't even want to go there. Trust me, its ugly. Who knew that clothes multiply when left alone on the floor for long periods of time?

The only thing I can say I am good about is washing the dishes every night after dinner.

Does my husband help out? My husband came from a family where Mommy was Mother of the Year. He never had to lift a finger to help out around the house. (Even now he only starts to clean when the dirty looks and meaningful sighs become to much for him to bear.)

My backyard? Thought that was safe, huh? Uh, no. My husband smokes and I don't allow him to smoke in the house because of our daughter. Back patio? One big ashtray. (Although he did clean it up yesterday :).)

Sorry this is soooo long. Just wanted to let everyone know they are not alone in their slob-age. Maybe if I could stay at home all day, it would be a different story. But I suppose that's another thread.


-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000

Uh, so... to answer the question My house is not the hang-out house. Used to be when we were living together without children. But not anymore. :(

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000

Yeah, it's often hang-out central, at least for my kids and their friends... and Nancy and I love that (although it also means noise and chaos and confusion). Well, it's probably not ever neatness central unless we are planning on having adult guests over, otherwise since I work long hours (and when I get home food preparation and cleanup and related tasks consume a lot of my time/energy) and although Nancy gets home much earlier than I do she has quizzes and tests and homework to correct and lesson plans to make, etc. and the kids don't see why there's any problem with the entire house degenerating to the neatness level (very low) of their rooms (*grin*)...

So I make sure to buy lots of juice and soda and frozen pizzas and veggies and chips and dips... and I'm never too sure in advance if I'm going to be feeding just the four of us or if there will be five or six for dinner... Sometimes I may see that one of the kids has three friends over and the other has one or two and I simply ask how many want plain cheese pizza, how many want pepperoni, etc. and phone in an order.

Like I said, it can get a bit noisy... with my son blasting techno MP3's through the huge speakers and the 150 watt subwoofer he has hooked up to the computer in the kitchen or the electric guitars and drums of my daughter's punk rock band blasting way in the basement (and yes, sometimes both simultaneously... it's a good thing houses aren't that close together here)... but I think it's wonderful (the cat goes upstairs and hides under our bed until the chaos calms down)


-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000

Beth (spicywriter) said: Plus a cat that thinks its cute to unwind a whole roll of toilet paper while we are gone and drag it all over the house.

Ah, yes, I'm familiar with this one. Surprisingly, just hanging the roll so the end hangs between the roll and the wall has almost completely eliminated this. Oh, and be sure the end doesn't hang down enough to tempt. Our cats will still occasionally spin the roll, somewhat shredding it, but at least the whole roll doesn't end up unspooled on the floor.

And, uh, everything Beth ( said. Plus two toilets that plug up after every other use....

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000

Hoo, this could be a long one. You all may want to just skip right by me here, lest you realize that I am completely nuts...

I like to be a host, but only on my terms. I am VERY anal about pop-ins, because unless the entire house gleams from top to bottom, I feel the need to endlessly apologize for the current state of untidyness if someone comes by out of the blue. When I was little, I listened to a lot of conversations between my mother and her friends. All of them, except my mother who was a tidy housekeeper for the most part but not obsessed with cleaning by any stretch, would make snide comments about other women's houses and what sort of housekeepers they were. It really stuck in my mind, and when I was old enough to have my own place, I became crazed with making sure that if someone came to my home, they could never leave and say anything bad about my cleaning and housekeeping ability. Of course, you can never be 100% prepared, like the time I thought I'd broken world records of cleanliness and my sister-in-law ran her finger along a picture frame hanging on the wall and commented on the dust. I am too short to give a shit about dust on the tops of hanging picture frames, or at least I WAS. Now I make sure all frame tops are dust free!

I like to plan for guests, so I always allow 'prep time'. I enjoy inviting people over because we always have fun, but also because it forces me into Martha Stewart/Ms. Clean mode. I'll admit, though, I tend to become a bit of a cleaning Nazi when I'm down to the last few hours.

If someone is coming to visit, then major work must be done. Here are a few (a few?!) things you might hear me say, if you were a fly on the wall 3 hours before guests were due to arrive: "There must be vaccuum lines in the carpet! Must use the Carpet Fresh Pet Odor Eliminator! Stray pubes and unidentifiable crud must be removed from the base of the toilet, stat! The kitchen floor must show no signs that any cooking or eating has ever been done there! The bedroom must look as though we sleep standing up in the corner! The coffee table must have nothing on it except for cute, unused coasters and a lit candle! There must not be an empty drinking glass ANYWHERE! The closets must resemble that of an Army General's just in case someone peeks! The medicine cabinet must have only band-aids and aspirin in it! Hide the nose-hair clippers! Hide the lip wax! Tampons must be stuffed inside a box that in no way resembles a tampon box, and then shoved under the sink behind the extra rolls of flowered toilet paper! The toilet brush holder must look brand new! Oh my GOD, what is the PLUNGER doing out where people can see it??? Throw it away! AWAY!!! Must hide dirty laundry somewhere so our hampers are empty! Must make sure only color-coordinating hand towels are in their respective bathrooms! There's a...what the hell is this...omigod it's a fucking HAIRBALL REMNANT!!! Hand me the Resolve! Look at all the cat hair in the carpet - must drag vaccuum cleaner back out! Must wipe dust off television screen! Must rub greasy fingerprints off of remote controls! Must wipe the garbage can off with a bleachy cleanser so it looks as though we have never thrown away anything, except really clean stuff! Must wipe off the mailbox! Must take all Star Wars cups out of the cabinet and replace them with crystal goblets! Must re-alphabetize CD's! How the hell did Fiona Apple end up next to RATT?!? Must put the puppy's toys in a cute basket and not let her play with any of them until company has seen how clean the floors are! Must give puppy a bath - she's gamey! How am I supposed to impress people with a cute but smelly dog?! What time is it? Omigod! I have to get in the shower! Here, you go wipe off the windowsills, and I'll be back down in a few minutes to comb the cats! They have dog slobber on their backs! I am sensing that the plant in the kitchen windowsill has a dead, brown leaf that must be removed! I'll have to take care of it later, unless you have some time? Honey? HONEY?!?"

Okay, maybe there were a FEW exaggerations there. But not as many as you would probably hope. I'm horrible, and I have no idea why my husband puts up with me. Don't get me wrong, I am IN NO WAY saying this is how I live my life all the time. I am not Monica Geller at all, until I know company is coming. I am usually pretty laid back, and while not a total, horrendous slob, I sometimes don't get the dishes done until the next morning, laundry is done once a week, the food in the back of the fridge can sometimes reach vintage status, vaccuuming is done only when we realize the carpet looks like crushed 70's shag, and there is human-grime all over all the bathrooms. Ever since we got the dog, there is always a pair of dirty underwear laying on the floor somewhere. Glasses pile up in the bathroom to the point that the Star Wars cups become our finest drinking containers until I get off my lazy ass and bring down all the dirties. Now that I think about it, if we never had company, our house might eventually reach the point of being condemned.

The other thing I like about hosting is, I get to try out new recipes, or revive old ones that are too much for just me and Charlie. It's a good excuse to put fresh flowers on the table, and fill the fridge with goodies and 5 varieties of drinks. We get to drag out all our favorite team board games, or a deck of cards, and have at it til the wee hours of the morning if we want. And I can do all of these things while being completely relaxed, because by being the Cleaning Tornado for a few short hours, I have eliminated a huge amount of stress. Martha Stewart makes it look so easy to be prepared all the time, but it's all a big, fat lie.

Hmmm...perhaps I should have listed drop-in company as one of my worries? Nah, wouldn't want you all to think I was neurotic, heh heh. Geez, I need a therapist.

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000

There. Just thought I'd try to end that italics tag. :)

I am a pretty laid-back hostess. I like having people over and I think my house is a cool place to hang out, but I haven't had long-term guests of my own. Yet.

He's coming today. In about two hours. I hope this is good.

(Actually, that was pretty much unrelated to the hosting thing; my mom has that part down. She put towels and hotel soap and stuff in the bathroom, even. She's nuts. But I'm meeting my, uh, boyfriend today. Uh. Yay online relationships? I'm crazy? He's staying at my house? Dear lord...)

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000

Oh, ouch! Sorry about that tag thing....


-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000

Im definitely the host rather than the hosted. I think it has something to do with the home I live in. Most of my friends are struggling college students and struggling actors; in fact, most of my friends are both. Im both of those, too, but since I have a good job in public relations, I also have the best living quarters: a 3- bedroom, 2-bath house with formal and informal living and dining rooms and what one friend described as a kick-ass kitchen. Its a huge place that I inherited, and its filled with lots of lamps and gadgets that light up, whirl, change color and are just plain cool to look at (my friend Julie often gives newcomers tours of the house so they wont miss anything). Plus I have a great stereo, and an album collection numbering in the thousands. And on top of all that, Im also Felix Unger. The house is always -- and I do mean ALWAYS -- in an extremely pristine state, so its ripe for visitors anytime.

Of course, there can be disadvantages to having the house that everyone wants to hang out at. Often odd things appear in the refrigerator the day after a party (Balsamic vinegar); my bar has to be restocked; people are constantly asking me why I have eight pairs of salt shakers but no salt; and ever since the infamous closing night cast party for a play I was doing, the bathroom off of my bedroom will forever be known as Trudys Trauma Room.

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000

I have the messy, comfortable, hang-out house. I don't make a fuss about cleaning it for people, but my friends are all nice and laid- back, and they don't usually care. My couch is open if anyone needs to get out of their house. (happens more often than you'd think, really) People know where things are in the kitchen and can feel free to go find themselves something. (A sign that they are comfortable here or that I'm a lazy hostess? Who knows?) They can use my computer to check e-mail and the dogs are friendly with everyone. Feel free to smoke on the porch. That's what the extra chairs and ash tray are for.
No wonder most of the people I know feel like my place is sort of another home. I just kind of expect that they'll act like they live here. (Well, except for leaving dirty underwear and stuff all over the place..)

-- Anonymous, March 11, 2000

I'd like to think of myself as a good hostess -- I love planning parties and having all the action centered around my little home. I like having people come into my room and just look at my pictures and things. I believe in opening one's home to pretty much everyone (within reason, of course). I used to have friends over all the time at my house, before everyone went to college. Of course, my house wasn't the only hang out, but it was one of the major ones, I guess.

-- Anonymous, March 11, 2000

My friend just gave me what I thought was the ultimate compliment the other day - that he feels just as at home in our house as he does is his. My husband and I are definitely the hosts. We hold all of the family gatherings since we bought our house three years ago (Christmas, birthdays, baby showers), plus we hold annual parties for all of our friends and friends of friends. I'd be pretty happy if we had out of town guests at least once a month, if not more!

-- Anonymous, March 14, 2000

I'm a pretty good host. I pretty much let people at my place do whatever they want, as long as it doesn't involve drugs or violence.

My place used to the hangout of choice but a friend of mine got an awesome place with hot tub and pool table facilities, so that's where the party's at, now.

-- Anonymous, March 17, 2000

My man and I love having parties. We do it all year long. In the fall and winter, its intimate dinner parties (either with couples, or just the girls) where I'll go all out and make several course gourmet dinners, wonderful wine, and candlelight. Fabulous conversations ensue! In the spring, after we've whipped the yard and garden into shape - its big BBQ bashes tthat start early in the afternoon and go all night. During the day its Bocce ball with drinks and lots of homemade nibbles that I've put out (I make the best fresh salsa, ever!) and then at 5:00 the BBQ is fired up and its steaks and chicken that have been marinating all day, hot chicken wings, veggie kabobs, potato and pasta salads, corn on the cob, etc etc etc. Then we have a fire in the fire pit when the sun has gone down where we all huddle, chat, drink, and tend to sunburns as necessary.

I love entertaining so much. Its lots of work, but lots of fun and heck - I dont have to worry about the drive home! CHEERS! :)


-- Anonymous, March 31, 2000

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