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Old 03-20-2006, 10:56 PM   #1
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Entertainment Anxiety

My next door neighbor is getting ready to throw a brunch. Whenever she entertains (a few times a year) she gets very anxious. We're talking fewer than a dozen people, a brunch (which is so easy). My husband is presiding over a bloody mary bar. I'm bringing the ham. I guess what I'm getting at is why is this so stressful for her? Don't get me wrong, when I'm expecting 40 or 50 people over for my two annual parties, I tend to stress out myself .... not because of the people coming, but because I hate to clean house. Hubby says that from now on he's hiring a friend of ours to do the basic house-cleaning. But this woman really goes ballistic. What can I say to her to calm her down? She always asks me, "Claire, what do you do so you can throw a party for 40 and not be anxiety ridden like I am?" I really don't know the answer. Is it just personality? I'm not saying I don't have my anxious, 3 a.m. moments when I think of everything I should have done. But it is always worth it. If I got as upset as she does, I doubt I'd ever even have someone over for dinner (something I do at least monthly), much less throw a party. Any words of wisdom I can throw her way would be appreciated.

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Old 03-20-2006, 11:29 PM   #2
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My sister is the same way. She worries herself half to death and always turns out the best foods and desserts. Her holiday celebrations are legendary.

Sis is an internationally recognized worrying champion. If she has nothing to worry about, she worries that things are going to well to last.

Of course we all worry about a big event. We just handle it differently, Your friend talks to you about it. You worry and wake up in the middle of the night. I make lists and check them constantly.
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Old 04-10-2006, 05:30 AM   #3
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The brunch, by the way, was great.
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Old 04-10-2006, 07:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire
What can I say to her to calm her down?
Give her directions to hubbys bloody mary bar
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Old 04-10-2006, 07:35 AM   #5
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Give her directions to hubbys bloody mary bar
What a great idea!!!
Yesterday I was walking around feeling like I was missing something all day and I was we usually host an open house Palm Sunday brunch and we didn't this year .
We usually have marinated turkey, spiral ham, scalloped potatoes, veggie pies, french toast, belgian waffles, fresh fruit, danishes, bagels and assorted cream cheeses, mimosas, bloody marys, mudslides and a few different things every year.The best part is all our friends come and we get to spend pretty much all day with them.
I guess I can look forward to Dennis' college graduation party June 3rd but, it would have been nice to have both!!
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:37 AM   #6
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Unfortunately she also suffers from anorexia nervosa and you rarely see food, much less alcohol, pass her lips. Virgin Marys do very little to relax you! I met the woman's mother and realize why she's such a bundle of nerves.

Yes, my husband is internationally renowned as the king of Bloody Marys. To me, brunch isn't brunch without them and a few bottles of brut champagne.
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:22 PM   #7
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To me, brunch isn't brunch without them and a few bottles of brut champagne.
Claire, you are an extremely civilized woman. I salute your taste!
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:15 PM   #8
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Claire, you are an extremely civilized woman. I salute your taste!
Don't forget the Mimosas! And the Bailey's to go in the coffee!
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:46 PM   #9
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Some of my friends and I have what we call (very un-originally) The Bunch For Brunch. The basic group is two fifty-something couples and a forty-something widow. We take turns, aiming at trying to get together on a monthly basis (we do skip months when there are a lot of holidays or illnesses). Everyone ALWAYS brings at least one bottle of champagne. There is always OJ for mimosas. Usually bloody marys. Sometimes someone finds another exotic beverage recipe and we try it out. Anyone who has family or freinds visiting is welcome, we just go from sit-down dinner to buffet line mode. It is always a bit of potluck. The host fixes the main dishes, but we all bring salads, sweets, whatever is appropriate. The particular woman I'm talking about is not a part of this group .... I think, much as we like her, her anxiety level would drive us crazy. This group is very much a group who love to entertain and don't really feel anxious about it at all. I don't get anxious myself until the guest list hits 20 or so. Even then it's just a few minutes at 3 a.m. a night or two before the party.
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:41 PM   #10
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Claire, that sounds so much fun - Bunch for Brunch! Right up my alley! I feel sorry for your friend who gets so anxious. I wish I knew what you could tell her, but I don't. My mom is the same way. It has now come down to her not entertaining at all - even just my family and my sister's family. She clearly does not enjoy herself. She doesn't drink either - she should!
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:56 PM   #11
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Dunno if there is anything you can say. Some people just get frazzled quicker then others. I thrive on the pressure myself, and whatever flaws may arise, I roll with the punches and make mental notes for next time.

My example was Christmas dinner. Turkey was done over an hour before everything else (and before everyone came to eat it!). The acorn squash wasn't quite done. As people arrived and brought stuff, my kitchen turned into Grand Central Station. The latter was easy enough, as I allowed those in that needed to prep stuff or drop off stuff for the dinner, and threw everyone else out. Even those with a pass to stay were only given the minimal required time. As for the squash, it was done enough to pass, but I would keep it in a bit longer. For the turkey, I just pulled it out and kept it covered until about 20 minutes before time to eat, then put it back in the oven. Was perfect.

My point? What's done is done. If you do your best, what more can you ask for? No one could have said anything to me to help. The only thing to really say to your friend would be to ask if it was really worth her stress level, and could there be alternatives to reduce the level (i.e. personal chef for food, cleaning service for housecleaning, etc.). Then again, if she's meticulous like Mrs. Big Dog is and wants everything done just perfectly, which can only be done by her, there's nothing to say but best of luck, I'll help if I can!
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Old 04-12-2006, 04:09 AM   #12
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My answer would be to have everything do ahead. I make lists of everything and leave them in a convenient drawer so I can check off without worrying about losing the list, etc. Some anxious moments are going to happen anyway, but no need to worry over it.
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:19 AM   #13
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MicheleMarie, your name alone cracks me up (I have a sister named Michelle and one named Marie). Licia and Big Dog, I'm with both of you. I guess this freind is anxiety-ridden about everything. I'm mostly flattered that she turns to me for comfort, and I know that she tries hard. She just gets upset way too easily. I've peeled pizza off the back of my oven, taken food from the floor and presented it, spent time making sure that there are no ingredients in my food (after the fact) that might upset someone. But I really don't think of these factors in advance. In fact, I like having a really true vegetarian dish at my parties. Mom taught me good nutrition, and I learned it well.
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:00 AM   #14
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Claire- You sound like you have it all together!Like Bigdog said paraphrasing here- what will be will be.As much as the food is important the enjoying the company part is as well.I love the idea of you Brunch Bunch and wish my friend's lives weren't so busy that we could do this more than once a year.I feel for your friend- anxiety is tough and probably caused by her anorexia- had a little problem last night with my anorexic daughter after the awards with the dessert reception.I know how hard it is to be around someone that anxious- it's exhausting and I give you kudos for jumping in to be her comfort zone when she needs it!!!Love and energy, Vicki
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