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This just in: It’s okay to wing it – a lesson from my first D.C. dinner party

Welcome!

Welcome!

One of my very dearest friends was in town on Friday. Though I’ve only been in D.C. for a week, I didn’t hesitate to invite her and her boyfriend over for dinner. She’s spending a year abroad and I’ve so missed being in the same city with her.

As soon as I extended the offer and she accepted, I panicked a bit. My place isn’t all set up. Heck, I don’t have any cookware, plates, silverware, glasses. I don’t even have a table. You know, all the things you need to actually cook and host a dinner. On top of that I’m running around trying to get my life set up, and interviewing for jobs. Am I really in a position to host a dinner at my home? Should I just order takeout? Should I email her right back and say we should meet at a local restaurant? What am I doing? These were the thoughts that ran through my mind.

Then I took a deep breath. I decided to improv it. I stacked up a few of my unpacked boxes and threw a cloth down over them. Voilà – end tables! I made some tasty Mexican food – easy to make vegetarian and ready in half an hour. I turned on the jazz station on my TV and we had instant dinner music. We sat on the couches, holding out plates and glasses. It was wonderful—comfy, fun, and relaxing. This is exactly the way I hope everyone feels when they come to my home. As long as hosting is done with love, it doesn’t need to be fancy. Come as you are is the only dress code in my home.

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