VICKI'S VIEW: Hostess Horrors Part One


By Vicki Brown


I am a perfectionist. It’s a curse. I always want everything to be perfect, so as you can imagine, I am frequently disappointed.

When I know that people are coming into my home, I begin a week or two in advance making plans and putting lists to paper. Then, as a drill sergeant, I begin to bark out orders to the family on what needs to be cleaned. I drive everybody crazy. I worry, fret, change my mind a hundred times, and run around in circles like Chicken Little screaming “The sky is falling!”

But nothing ever drives me more insane than when people come over for a meal. Because I want my home and food to be perfect, disasters always occur. It’s Murphy’s Law and my rotten luck.

Cases in point:

One Sunday, our church had a guest speaker visiting, so my husband invited him to lunch at our home. I had prepared for almost a week. Nervous as a cat, I knew we would be sitting down to eat with the president of a major university, so I fixed my specialty (barbeque meatballs), put it in a crockpot, and readied everything else. My parents were also visiting at the time, so I was even more nervous than usual.

Mom came into the kitchen to help me get food on the table. Minutes before we sat down to eat, I moved the crock out of the pot and onto my stove, not even thinking about the potential disaster that might ensue. Suddenly a BOOM rang out….my crock had burst into two major parts.

My mother was standing next to me, and we both immediately jerked our eyes up, staring at each other in shock with wide eyes. A voice rang out from the living room.

“Honey? Is everything okay?” my husband asked.

“Yep…right as rain…no problems here. Just dropped something,” I said in a shaky voice.

Desperately whispering to mom, “What are we going to do?”, my mom calmly grabbed a bowl and started dumping the meatballs into another pot. When she got near the split bottom, she stopped. “I don’t think any crockery pieces are loose in the meatballs; we didn’t go near the bottom,” she whispered.

Do you know how worried I was all through dinner wondering if our guest was going to keel over any minute choking on a piece of crockery? I fretted for a week, figuring that’s how long it took for my meatballs to go through our guest’s digestive system. But God was with me; no one died.

Another time, my son brought his two best friends over for Thanksgiving dinner, bragging to them about my homemade ice cream. He had been begging me to make it, so I bought the ingredients and readied the churn. But as I was spooning out the ice cream, I noticed some odd coloring. It looked like there were some tiny orange pieces in it. I shrugged, thinking that maybe it was just some frozen cream that stuck to the sides of the churn. But suddenly, my son said, “Um, mom? Why does this ice cream taste funny?”

I blinked at him. Funny? How? I tasted it and sure enough…it was awful. I ran to the garbage to check my suspicions and sure enough…there it was. Instead of using regular egg substitute, I had used egg substitute with carrots and green peppers. Yuck! So, we just ate pie, and I thanked the Lord especially hard for giving me the idea of making another dessert…just in case. I laughed off the disaster; I mean really, what else can a person do?

On another occasion, we were going out of town, so my husband asked a very important man to come to speak at the morning and evening service at our church. We invited the guest speaker to spend the afternoon in our home while we were away and left him a key.

On our return from our trip, I walked in my front door, looked down at my legs and noticed they were covered in little black dots. What in the world? FLEAS! Our house was infested by the neighbor’s dog that got under the house. Screaming my head off, I ran back outside and demanded that my husband take me somewhere else for the night.

The next day, my husband called the man to apologize for the fleas, but he graciously laughed and said that it didn’t take him too long to notice the fleas and escape from the house. He spent the day in the church.

Now, do you really think that these are the only disastrous episodes that I have had to endure in my past?

I. Don’t. Think. So. Stay tuned for Hostess Horrors Part Two next week.