Have you ever tried to trace one of your habits back to its origins to attempt to piece together how it evolved? Many of our preferences and habits stem from situations or events that made us feel comfortable and cozy, stemming from our childhoods. Whether it’s a practice we enjoyed or craved, it tends to stay with us and becomes what develops into part of the patterns we form in our lives.
“The hostess with the mostess” is an old cliche I remember hearing when I was a kid by my mother when she’d talk about a party she threw or about one of the many she attended. I craved having company over when I was a child because we seldom did. Our family was far from ‘The Cleavers’, when the mom stayed home all day, wore pretty dresses with an apron tied around her waist, had dinner waiting on the table when Mr, Cleaver returned from work. No, my mother wasn’t a stay at home mom in the real sense of the term – not that she worked, rather she had an active social life that didn’t include her children.
Maybe it was because I’d taken on the motherly role at a young age that I eventually grew into that ‘hostess with the mostess’ role. The dinners I cooked for my siblings in my mother’s absence afforded me to learn how to become a decent cook. Once I moved away from home to my own little sanctuary, it became a social hangout for my friends to gather and hang out at – often a place where friends made their own home away from home because while I was on my own many of them were still living at home and considered my little ‘pad’ a place of refuge from their own parental constraints. I always enjoyed cooking and loved having visitors.
Within a few short weeks of living on my own, Sunday evenings became company is coming for dinner. Anyone who was over at my place knew there would be something tasty prepared by me. Sometimes friends would call first, but often I’d just hear that old apartment buzzer with a surprise drop by visit from a friend. I never minded at all as my constant wish for visitors as a child was coming to fruition in my own home.
As the years went by, there were numerous dinner parties, birthday parties, Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas parties I held at my place. I had friends from all walks of life and my world had expanded exponentially after I moved away from home. My dinner party gatherings continued after I got married as our new coupledom circle of friends was still growing. We had several different groups of friends we’d get together with and take turns hosting dinner get togethers with on a monthly basis, and the Christmas parties we threw for years where friends would bring some of their friends and our gatherings were always fun and interesting.
As the years pass now, we don’t go out as often as we used to for dinner or dancing. And since we’ve downsized from our lovely homes into a condo we no longer throw lavish parties. But some of our simple pleasures are still getting together with our good friends and taking turns having each other over to our respective homes for a dinner gathering. Some things just remain.