After slaving away all day in the kitchen to host the smallest of small Super Bowl gatherings, I finally have a moment for my now habitual Sunday posting. It’s actually good I waited all day because I had no idea what to write up until an hour or so ago. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to write this post but since Sunday has become my day of wordy and honest posts, I decided it was okay to share my thoughts on being present. Not only being present but being respectful of others by showing up and being present.
Now when you search the Internet about being present, it’s almost always connected with “Put down that smartphone!” And while I agree with that, what I’m about to talk about asks for a little bit more. Let’s get down to it: as I said I’ve been cooking away this afternoon to prepare for a Super Bowl party for a few good friends. Bean dip, chili, cornbread, brownies, the works. About two hours before everyone was set to get here, one person texted me that she would be running late, about an hour and a half late. Instantly I was annoyed; the Super Bowl starts at 6:30! Then I took a step back and evaluated my feelings. What was really making me mad?
Thinking about it I decided what was making me mad was that this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. It’s become a habit I’ve noticed from many friends and sometimes family to send quick excuses for being late or even not showing up at all. I feel like it’s becoming acceptable to send a ten word message to excuse yourself from a commitment you made. When did your word, your commitment come to mean so little?
Now I will forgive the occasional absence or running a few minutes late; I’ve had to do it myself once or twice. But when your hostesss spends a few hours preparing the food, ensuring that the food comes out of the kitchen hot and ready, ensuring that everything is taken care of and comfortable for you, it can be hurtful. It seems that, as guests, sometimes we forget about all this, especially in this day and age when home cooking and dinner parties are becoming more and more rare.
This is my plea: in addition to putting away your smart phone while you’re hanging out with friends, make the commitment in your busy life to honor your commitments. Honor yourself and your friends by showing up and being there, all the way, when you say you will. Show that you care about your host or hostess and be all in.