A Light Supper Will Be Served

Juggling food, friends & fun can sometimes be tricky.

The Husband and I are serial entertainers whose schedule has just changed drastically. This has presented some challenges as to when we can do our serially entertaining. Like Dexter, the pressure of my “dark passenger” not being able to plan a dinner for 6 two nights a week has built up to the point where this week I had a psychotic break and found myself typing the phrase “we will have something on the stove for a light supper.”

I don’t really know what a light supper is either, and I typed those words. But if I had to guess, I would say that a light supper is something akin to a salad. When I close my eyes and picture it, is has melon balls on it. Neither of these things are prepared on the stove.

Light supper is something they say on invitations to pyramid scheme presentations and what it really means is, “Don’t get your hopes up.” And I guess that’s what I meant as I tried to navigate my new social frontier. “Don’t get your hopes up because we don’t quite know how this is going to work yet.”

What exactly is our new social frontier? Did we have a baby? Are we caring for an elderly parent? Being forced to not go within 100 yards of a middle school? No. We are simply getting up at 6am. Yes, I know, most of the world does this every day without using bullshit Junior League invitation phrases like “light supper.” Most of the world does this without having to develop a new social strategy.

I should add that in addition to the 6am wake up call, The Husband works until nine, ten o’clock at night. We’re not complaining, we’re thrilled! Yay work! But a lot of times this means Friday nights, too, and as I’ve said, we’re social people. This leaves Saturday nights as our only nights to socialize and one night isn’t enough for all of the people we love and want to see and catch up with. When you only have one night a week you find yourself booking into January and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.

That leaves us Sunday to try to get creative with. As we’re up early Monday morning we’ve learned that doing anything Sunday night is a disaster. We stay out later than we plan. We drink more than we wanted. We leave things that need to be done before the week starts for when we get back from our “very reasonable, no reason this should go longer than 2 hours, 7pm dinner” only to find that is does go longer, sometimes by hours and now our week is, in a word, fucked.

We’ve experimented with brunches. Brunches out are a good alternative, although like some kind of hobbit, I find I have to have a meal before the brunch, otherwise I get way too hungry by the time we get there, get seated and actually get served. Brunches at home take a little getting used to. As fun as they can be, I can’t help thinking it defeats the purpose of a Sunday to have to get up, put on pants, a face of make up and get your house cleaned for guests. Plus after you have cocktails for breakfast, there’s not much direction for the day to go in but back to bed. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Why not do brunch without the cocktails?” Sure, and why not forgo breakfast altogether and just go with friends on a 2 hour hike while I’m at it? Neither option is going to drag my ass out of bed on a Sunday. I’m a serial entertainer. Not an exercise bulimic.

The next idea was late afternoon drinks. We could have breakfast on our own terms, get everything we needed done for the week by 4:00, and then have some wine and cheese. Seems like the perfect compromise. Unless you’re the psychotic person who realizes that you’re going to have to cook something for yourselves to eat for dinner anyway, and that it’s just as easy to cook for 4 as it is for 2 and besides you can’t quite kick people out of your house when you clearly have something simmering on the stove. It just seems rude. And speaking of rude, somehow you do feel you need to convey that while dinner now will be served, you need to be in your jams and watching Homeland by 8, so this dinner proposition is really more of an end of the night thing, not the beginning of it. And by the way, all of this is much more thought than most people give any social gathering they’ve ever participated in, including their own wedding. Most people would lead a quiet life of not seeing friends on Sundays and be happy with it. But I can’t say no and I suck at boundaries and I’m an extrovert and need to see people, according to my therapist, and that’s how I find myself employing the marketing school phrase “light supper” in an email to people whom I want to have something to do with again.

OUTCOME: I had a delightful time with friends, was in jams by 9, and am well-rested and hangover free this morning, so the 4:00 wine, cheese, “light supper” plan is not a bad one. Incidentally, the light supper was boeuf bourguignon and roasted potatoes which there is nothing “light” about. However, all can be prepped ahead of time, which makes is a perfect dish to literally “have on the stove” when you’re friends arrive.

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