I really wanted to host a BBQ/cookout for a few neighbors, but my other half vetoed the idea. First, he didn’t want to invite his boss and wife, plus the office manager and her husband. It’s a three person company. The excuse was that his boss’ wife would be assessing the quality of our china. glassware, and silverware (not that I personally give a shit what she thinks). Knowing her slightly, having met her a few times, that might be accurate. She is a little snobby, but I like her well enough. Still, the rest of the guest list was okayed a month ago.
Then, yesterday, the royal command was issued to not to send out any invitations, because my other half didn’t want to host neighbors we barely knew. Gee. The whole point of the thing was to invite neighbors we had met a few times before, who had done at least one of the following: invited us to their parties, dropped off Christmas cookies, free range eggs, traded trailer loads of cured sheep shit for our wood chips, or gave us excess produce of their own. It was supposed to be a way we could get to know them a little better in a casual setting, outside on our patios, over the course of a few hours, while reciprocating their favors by other means than dropping off things like half a cord of firewood, or excess squash, peppers, etc. for them.
This time, the excuse was “but we already gave them something to return the favor.” Not the couple diagonally across the street from us, we didn’t. I sent them a handwritten “thank you” card for the Christmas cookies, asking if they’d be willing to share the recipe for those scrummy-licious chocolate peanut butter bars. Got a card back in the mail that enclosed the recipe. We haven’t done a damn thing for them to return the favor.
I’m a little pissed off. Three or four hours out of your life to provide a little casual hospitality to a dozen or so neighbors isn’t going to fucking kill you. Hell, we got invited to a Christmas party, and again a couple of days later for dinner by the people across the street who we had never before met. I cannot imagine that anyone on my proposed guest list would not behave themselves. Those of us who aren’t quite old enough to qualify for Social security are damned close to it. The worst thing that could happen is a glass or two gets broken, or a game of frisbee breaks out. Sheesh.