I like to fill my house with people. I’m more comfortable hosting dinner for a boisterous group of ten than when our family of three eats alone. However, my excitement is coupled with stress when I invite people who don’t know one another well. It’s a little like organising blind dates. There’s a small chance the guests will make an inspired combination, chatting the night away and demanding far too many bottles of red wine to be opened. A more significant probability is that awkward silence dominates the night.
On Saturday evening, my friend Astrid and her partner were due to arrive in ten minutes time. I was wearing exercise gear, sporting unwashed hair and covered in a combination of sweat and cocoa powder. Dashing to the shower, I hissed at my introvert husband, “This is really important to me so be friendly please”. I could hear his bemused laughter floating into the bathroom, between the sound of running water and my furious soap lathering.
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