Dan plays poker every Tuesday night. He loves it. In addition to hearing his fantasy baseball status, Dan never fails to tell me his poker status: whether he wins or loses.
Since our Polish party a few weeks ago, I guess the poker people were jealous and wanted dinner too, and so we hosted the poker game/dinner last night at our place. I decided to make Mexican food: salsa/guacamole with chips for appetizers, chicken enchiladas, black beans and salad for dinner. I debated for a few nights what to make for dessert (Dan had the nerve to say that I didn't need to make dessert. No party of mine has no dessert!) Ultimately I went for what I was in the mood for and was easy to make given the week night -- (no surprise) cupcakes. To bring it all together, we had plenty of Polish beer (leftovers from last time, obviously!).
I am pretty new to the entertaining thing, so I don't really know how to cook for large groups of people. I know exactly what to do to make a salad for me and Dan, but for 7 people, I totally overcompensated, and I ended up enough salad to feed a small African nation. It's something I learned from my Polish mother. There is this fear that there won't be enough food. Also, I have to do a lot of planning and thinking and shopping to pull it all together. I am nowhere near the spontaneous "Let's throw these things together" casual gathering. Maybe the art of entertaining is making it appear that it feels that way.
Actually, I was planning to make a mixed drink: a watermelon lemonade spiked with Polish vodka. I bought two huge watermelons to make the drink. An hour before guests arrived, I put the watermelon in the blender and it wasn't breaking down. I pushed all the different buttons and none made any difference. I was pissed because I use this blender like once a year and the one time I needed it, it failed me. And so I just cut up watermelon wedges and served it for dessert. How's that for spontaneous?
It was fun having Dan's friends over, and I enjoyed the talking and the dinner part. Then came the poker, which was less fun for me. This might sound really strange and kind of dull, but I don't really like to play games. Dan says he thinks it is because I am not competitive. Maybe so. Another thing is that I have a hard time adding numbers in my head, so card games make me feel anxious. So I simply watched them play for a while, hoping to join in, but they played a new game variation with each hand, so I couldn't keep track and I completely lost motivation and just sipped my wine.
I planned to stay up for the entire night (poker usually ends around midnight or later) even though I usually wake up at 5:30 every morning and go to bed around 10 or 11. I think it was the combination of being really tired from work/preparation and all the wine I was drinking, but in the middle of the game, I slipped into the bedroom, wanting to lie down for like two seconds and I ended up falling asleep. Dan came in and assured me it was fine and he made me take out my contacts.
It was totally weird, and I know it. I didn't even say good bye to my guests, but in my foggy state of mind, it seemed like the right thing to do.
I guess I still have a lot to learn about entertaining after all. Here's to being socially awkward!
Tom, Justin and Kayleen.
Dan and Kim.