come as you are

June 27, 2014

come as you are

Columnist, humorist and mother of three, Erma Bombeck reflected on what she might do differently if she had life to live over. On the list: "I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and sofa faded."

Oh the agony of truth.

If we're honest with ourselves, we've skipped hosting because we've told ourselves we'd do it when our backyard was done or once we bought new patio cushions. When we had 12 matching wine glasses without water spots, a clean garage, a remodeled guest bath with fancy soap or when our lawn had seen better days. This. Never. Happens.

bbq

The older we get, the easier it is to let go of this idea of perfection. But it still grips us when we least expect it. Until we let go a little and have a spontaneous night when we're talking with neighbors outside, grimy from mowing or planting or jogging and we end up inviting them over for something hot off the grill and cold from the fridge. They bring snacks and throw together a salad and all of a sudden we're having fun.

We're wearing swimsuits and ratty t-shirts, the kids are running around barefoot and is that neighbor kid wearing pajama pants? Who cares? Fancy serving dishes and bowls are so last year. We're eating chips from the bag and no one's checked their phone in, like, hours. Amazing.

We've never felt more relaxed, freer somehow from expectations and the need to impress. Freer to be ourselves. To come as we are. That's when the real fun begins. Spend your long weekend the way you've always wanted. And Happy Independence Day!

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