If you ever find that your house/apartment/shack/shoebox has been selected to host any type of social event – whether it be a friend’s birthday party, graduation dinner or movie screening for 20 Twihard teenagers – there are a few things you should know about proper hosting etiquette. And no, I don’t mean knowing how to tri-fold a napkin or failing to appreciate proper table settings. I’m talking about more critical things… like how to make sure your wife feels appreciated, and most importantly, like she’s not the only one responsible for pulling it all together.
First of all, understand that this is a place where you live TOGETHER and as such, preparation should originate from a place of collective pride in the home. If you both (and your children, if you have any) contribute to its “lived-in” look, then you both (including said children that may or may not exist) should contribute to the initial cleaning, setup and presentation.
Secondly, be aware of the order of events. This means, discuss what is going to take place and when, and who’s responsible for each part BEFORE your guests arrive: What times does it start? What time does it end? Who’s being honored/celebrated and why? Who’s been invited? Who couldn’t make it? What kind of food is being served? As the host, you should know the answers. Plus, the last thing you should want (and your stressed wife needs) is for someone to come up and ask you a simple question that you should know, but don’t. What’s even worse is you looking happily befuddled while redirecting people to your wife for answers.
And lastly, when it’s all said and done… and the final inebriated guest has been shoved into a cab or a sobbing teenager has been carried away by a “Team Jacob!” mob driving a symbolic hybrid SUV, do NOT ask if your wife needs help cleaning up while you scoop the last bit of guacamole from the serving bowl. It’s like asking someone if you should call the fire department while their house goes up in flames.
Contrary to popular belief, while mom may be the interior designer of the home, she does not want to be the taskmaster. She shouldn’t have to ask for your help. It’s everyone’s responsibility to put the house back in order. Doing so not only communicates to your wife that she isn’t the default janitorial staff of the house, it also lets her know that you (and those rambunctious children you created) desire and appreciate a clean house just as much as she does. 😉