One of my favorite ways to spend time with friends is to have them over at my place. There's something so comforting to me about having my buddies, my partner, and my fur babies all gathered together in the place where I work and sleep. Having a bunch of friends hang out in my live/work studio sort of reminds me living in the dormitories in college, where people often crammed a dorm room together to hang out and didn't mind sitting on the floor or drinking wine out of mugs.
Before friends come over, I often stress out while making sure that everything is clean and that there's enough food for everyone. Last night, two hours before Super Bowl LI, I was busy vacuuming the floors, prepping the food, and chiding myself for not starting the process earlier. There was a batter-failure with some vegan cupcakes I was trying to make, and my cats kept meowing for food. But somehow, as soon as my first friend showed up, my stress began to dissipate. I was reminded that people are here to hang out with me rather than to judge my menu and the state of my home. I think about how I feel when I go into a friend's homes—often, I'm just very happy to be invited, and love being shown their personal side.
The night was a success. The veggie dumplings that we bought from Trader Joe's were a big hit—sometimes, the things that are easiest to make are the most appreciated. Even though we had the game up on both the big projector screen and the TV, we mostly squeezed on the couch and gathered around the smaller television screen. My friends were kind enough to each bring a dish and beverages, and we had more than enough food and drink (the failed vegan cupcakes were not missed).