The Dinner Party That Wasn’t

Today’s illustrated story is about another valuable lesson in hospitality.

See the pretty table.

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See the delicious food.

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See the empty chairs.

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This house is all dressed up with no one to entertain!

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So, here’s what happened. We’ve been trying to have one of Matthew’s old friends over for dinner for, like, two months. Last night was the third date we had set with her (she had cancelled twice before). I last talked to her before Christmas, and she said that Tuesday, Jan. 3, would be a great night for her. So I put it on my calendar.

I had Monday off work, so I put extra time into setting the table really nicely and getting a lot of the food prepped so we could have a nice, relaxing evening with her. I was very excited about the menu: Thai chicken wraps (chicken marinated in peanut butter, lime juice, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, and hot sauce, with garnishes of fresh cilantro, mint, scallions, and lime wedges), sauteed yellow squash and zucchini, and green tea, and for dessert, triple hot chocolate with whipped cream and an assortment of fine cookies.

Yesterday, I called her several times throughout the day to confirm the time – 6 pm – and to give her directions. I kept getting her voicemail. She didn’t call, didn’t call…6 o’clock came and went, and no guest.

So Matthew and I decided to invite someone else. The table was set, the food was ready, the house was clean…but no guest! (Didn’t Jesus say something about that?)

I called Karla & Phil. They weren’t home. So I called Eric Stephen & Jennifer. No answer. I called Beth and got her voicemail. Then I called Mandie, then Ariel. Neither could come, but we started making plans to get together on other days. I called Gabe & Julie, and they themselves had guests over, so we planned to have dinner with them next week. No answer at Peter & Julie’s. Matthew invited Ben and Dan, but they were having dinner with their grandparents. Then he called Paul and couldn’t reach him. Both Jen and Beth called back later, and we made tentative future plans with them. So that’s…four married couples and six single people – and no one could come!

At 7:30, Matthew and I sat down to a lovely, candlelit dinner, just the two of us. I suppose my mistake was not calling our potential guest on Saturday or Sunday to confirm the date. Lesson learned for next time…

As Matthew said, “At least this jumpstarted our hospitality!” We now have dinner dates with a whole slew of guests for the next two weeks. Hooray! So I guess it didn’t turn out too badly after all.

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  • hannahbarton

    Why didn’t you invite me? I’d have come!

    The house looks lovely, Becky! I’m pleased to see that no two window treatments are not on fire… still.

  • miller_schloss

    The actually-on-fire window treatments are sconces that Zach gave me for Christmas. I want to get some fancy tassels to hang from the bottom of them.

  • simply_nikki

    Oh…my…goodness. I love that house; it reminds me of a lot of the old Victorian apartments in Fall River. Spacious. Lol. So unlike my cluttered little shack. And how the table gleams. So unlike my…countertop breakfast bar. :P

  • gwyneth

    i like the first shot of the table.  artsiness.

  • gwyneth

    ps:  these are the vietnamese rolls i was talking about before…  were it me, i would make it w/ steak or chicken…they’re pretty yum.

  • fentzypoo

    if jay and i knew you were making THAT for dinner…we would have flown out there asap and become your guests.:) oh…your house is lovely.

  • Atira

    the dinner sounds yummy!

    i dodn’t mind skinny dipping in my parents’ hot tub because my parents suggested it. !

  • karlitacat

    Ooh, everything looks simply mah-velous!  I have to say, it is rather humorous that no one showed but you’re booked for the season.  Hehe.  Not that you need it - but didn’t you say something recently about wanting to learn a few things regarding hospitality? *grin*  I would love to come over… and I hate to be a spoilsport BUT… Philip’s schedule is the deciding factor here.  He’s usually busy most of the week, and sometimes I forget I’m even married. =sigh= *half-hearted chuckle*  I’ll get back to you… 

  • weimes

    Your house looks wonderful! I’m sorry that happended to you…we have had a couple just not show up before…turns out they went to Oregon! Are you guys in an apartment or a house?

  • whomhavei

    Next time call me… and I will laugh at you because you have no friends who will come over.

  • curlyqueqt1

    JW and I would have been there in a heart-beat if you would have invited us.  The apartment is stunning Becky, I don’t know how you do it.  The food sounded scrumptious, but look at it this way, at least you had a lovely dinner with your husband . . . . (sigh) I miss JW and it’s only been a day.  And yes, very little to no lines on the road.

  • daniellehanley

    I can relate. I’m glad the story has a happy ending, though.

  • stforever

    Thank you for your comment. Your table looked lovely and so did the food! So sorry your guests didn’t show! Glad you all were able to make the most of it.

    I have not read that book but have heard of it. Tony and I are going to start trying to conceive in the summer. We have a wedding in June that we both have to be in and various other things going on. We just want to get that stuff behind us first so are planning on beginning to try in June-July. I have had baby fever forever! He he…. I hope things work out for you both. We would both like to adopt one day as well. If it were up to me we would have a ton and adopt a ton. I have always had a huge heart for kids but Tony is not as keen on the idea as me. He only wanted one child so we have agreed to try to have two and adopt one, hopefully a little girl from China. I think most of his thinking stems from fear. He wants to make sure that child has everything he didn’t, is completely cared for, has their college education provided for, etc. Tony and I both came from different situations in life so we both look at it a little differently. I know that God’s perfect will will be done so am placing it in His hands. I know that we will have a child in His perfect time and I know that when we do Tony will make a great father. My prayer is that he will look at that little face and decide he wants a ton more! He he….

    I hope you have a wonderful day. Stop by again sometime. Love, Sharon

  • daniellehanley

    I did try tandem nursing with my 3rd and 4th children. It was pretty tiring for me during the pregnancy, and it was actually more traumatic for my 3rd when he realized that he had to share me with someone else. I’m glad I tried it once, though, because now I know what it’s like for me.

    Co-sleeping is one of the terms for sharing a bed, or the family bed, which sounds really crowded to me. I think it’s a lot easier when you’re recuperating from childbirth, too.

  • rachelboo

    The table looks pretty!  and you got a candle light dinner with your husband.  How sweet.

    I do think it was rather rude of that friend to not show up.  There’s no excuse for forgetting plans.  She needs a date book to write things down and keep track.  You shouldn’t have to confirm over the weekend.

  • hannahbarton

    Go figure: I wanted silly pictures, so I did a Google image search on each particular thing, figuring I’d get at least one fun thing! “Ostrich,” “hot date,” Eowyn,” etc. I was laughing so hard!

  • hannahbarton

    My favorite was Eowyn. I laughed ruthlessly at that one. What a horrible, horrible picture!

  • ibsaylin

    That is a beautiful table. What kind of wood is it? Was that a wedding gift? By the way, that book that you helped me order on come in yesterday:) Hey, I want to send you a book. Would you mind e-mailing me your address? You can send it to have a great week!

  • IssyExley

    Ahhhhh!!! What a sad day but in the end it seemed it turned out quite well aye?

    I’m taking hosting tips from your postings and from my newfound India friends. You all seem so good at it! I’m better at entertaining than actually cooking, prepping, etc.

    I was in Tulsa with my sis this past weekend after the conference and went to visit her friends. They absolutely blew me away! Normally their is that awkwardness of being in someone else’s home, blah blah blah. BUT they made me feel like a queen in their home! Not like I could do anything I wanted and they wouldn’t care -actually not at all- but in the sense that they already had everything taken care of and served to you before you could even ask. They were always a step ahead but not in a panicky sort of way….it was wonderful and I’m finding a desire to be able to do the same for others.

  • gwyneth

    yes, you are right. 

  • jslewis

    Way to turn a frown upside down! haha, cheese. That’s so funny everyone was busy on the same night. Doe. Hey, woah, I’ll be on of those guests in the next two weeks! sweeeyyyt

  • mmmattress

    Great post, B! Hannah’s wit must be rubbing off. “See the loveli lakes…” You didn’t show the best thing about Millerian hospitality, however: my espresso machine. Oh well…

    To whomever it was who asked about the table, about half of it was a wedding gift, if you follow. This past summer, we were pondering the massive cubic awesomeness of the dining room at our new apartment (a novel problem for us, as many of you know), and it seemed like the typical long rectangular dining room table just wasn’t the vision. Both of us have been to China, and we both noted and liked the way the Chinese eat: at big round tables with a lazy susan in the middle full of tasty dishes. So Becky found and purchased said massive hardwood table. She got a killer deal, too…it’s 65″ across, and it came with twelve chairs.

  • africaflyboy

    dang, no holds barred there. I just stick out a bowl of chocolates. Of course, I’m entertaining youth from 12 to 16, not adults for a dinner date.

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