When Good Place Settings Happen To Bad People

December 12, 2009

We have friends coming in from out of town tonight, and I’ve just finished baking a lasagna and a batch of cookies. We haven’t yet decided whether we’ll stay in or go out for dinner, but they’re coming a long ways and I know they might be tired – it’s nice to have a viable option for staying in if that’s what we decide to do.

My friends Doris and Mike used to be so good at this – Mike would always have a fun new drink for us to try, as well as something delicious simmering away in the kitchen, and Doris was a great stage setter. Candles, soft pillows and throws, a skillfully selected playlist coming through the iPod speakers, and those little Martha Stewart touches like seasonally appropriate table greenery and pewter napkin rings that I’ve never quite been able to pull off in my own untucked-and-cat-hair-covered life (if there’s not a cat actually sitting on one of the dinner plates before the end of the meal I consider the evening a success).

Our cozy evenings à quatre came to an abrupt end when Doris ran off with my first husband – which, as it turns out, was the most thoughtful thing she ever could have done for me (I know who got the raw end of that deal, and it’s not me and Mike).

In any event, I’ve been thinking that it’s nice to be able to find little bits of inspiration from even the most unlikely people in our lives – even if, in hindsight, we should have told them precisely where they could stick that pewter napkin ring.

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