Dear Beat Babe,
My really good friend has asked to use our house for his daughter’s engagement party. I love them, but I don’t really want all of these people I don’t know in our house. It’s a lot of work to have a party in the first place, and it’s not even our crowd. Help!
Well, caca… I feel your pain here. How about a pineapple martini, straight up, to help ignite your brain with some graceful excuses to get out of this house party trap? On the one hand, you could be very flattered that your good pal asked to use your beautiful abode. Obviously he thinks your house is a suitable place to have a very special party, right? But on the other hand, it is a huge pain in the arse to plan, arrange, clean, serve, party the night away, and then pick up and recover. It could be stressful if you were handling these things, BUT, I imagine that your friend would manage all of the issues, wouldn’t he? I mean if he is asking you to use your home, I can’t imagine he would not provide all of the help you could possibly need to make this party wonderful. Talk in detail with your buddy to see what the details are and what you expect to have happen to make it a success. Let him know that you are happy to host with some stipulations. Mainly, that you are not hosting at all! You are only providing the setting.
So, when you really think about it, maybe the best answer you could give to your friend is a YES! And one more martini is not going to kill you, so let’s say yes to that, too- bottoms up! Listen, how many parties are you going to host at your home? Probably not too many in one period of time- and this is only one night. Why not bite the bullet and provide your home to your good friend? This would not only be a generous offering, but a great way to strengthen a friendship. You will survive, for heaven’s sake. Get over your Jonathan Adler console table. It’s not going to explode just because you have young whippersnappers scurrying around with their e-cigarettes, Moscow mule cups, gluten free hors d’oeurves and hipster haircuts. What the heck did you buy a nice house for, anyway? I know…. to entertain FRIENDS. So what if the majority of those friends might not be yours? You will be strengthening the friendship you already have and you’ll get to enjoy your home in a different way.
Aloha, my pineapple martini friend….I hope this one is super strong to soften your NO to a YES!
Dear Beat Babe,
How do I deal with my nutso mother-in-law that cries when I don’t spend enough time with her? Can I tell her to grow up???
Desperately Seeking Solitude
Oh dear. Shall we fix up a lovely gin and tonic with a slice of lime to lighten your load first?
Where do I even begin? What a mess you have. Tears over time spent? She’s got some issues, huh? Take a big sip. OK, I hate to say it, but you are dealing with crazy. And while crazy is not solvable, crazy can be effectively dealt with by setting up expectations. I mean, I completely understand the desire to tell this titty baby to get it together. She raised at least one child, so she has to know what real heartache is about for god’s sake! They are precious indeed, but raising children is a serious pain in the ass that takes years off your life from worry and stress. Why is she blubbering over this? And how in the hell did your husband make it out of that house without losing his proverbial shit on daily basis?
Let’s toast to setting expectations.
You’re an adult, and so is your mother in law. Therefore, you should expect her to react in a logical way, but let’s accept that she CRAY. First, when making plans, let her know when you are available and for how long. This way, you nip this in the bud. It doesn’t mean that she won’t have the same reaction, but at least she knows this in advance. She knows that you have a certain amount time to spend and that you should make the most out of it. (I kind of want to know if you enjoy her company in the first place.) Take a sip of that Tanqueray and let that muddle a bit. You don’t have to feel guilty about having a life outside of your mother-in-law. You don’t have to change your entire life to make her happy. But you do need to ask yourself if you’re really making an effort to spend any quality time with her, if not for your sake, for your husband’s,who will thank you for the effort, perhaps even with accessories and liquor. Yes, the world could be yours…. if you just take Mumsy to lunch now and again.
Above all, remember she is a bit on the dramatic side if she is literally weeping about this type of thing. I would bet dollars to gin and tonics, that she has this issue with almost everything in her life from tears at Mah Jong card night, to blow ups with the other old birds at the deli. Relax… it’s her, not you. You are doing your part! Now, let’s go freshen those cocktails…my tonic needs a refizz.