Once every few months, I host a ‘ladies night’ at the house. (Jim very graciously deals with the little boys and watch action movies in the office.) We start about 8 and go ‘til the last gal goes home—often 1 or 2 in the morning. There’s no plan and no agenda, except to enjoy one another’s company. Sometimes there are only 2 or 3 gals who show up; sometimes is 15 or 20. Both are fun, in their own way.
Tonight is ladies night. My boys are helping out (to earn TV time tokens!)—Ryan’s vacuuming the carpets and Logan’s doing the hard floors. The dishwasher is running, and the clothes are in the dryer. Will everything be perfect tonight when the gals come over? NO! As I walked through the living room, I was struck by how much the ‘age’ is showing in our carpet. It is, after all, more than 20 years old. 20 years, 6 children, and countless friends old. It shows. But something else occurred to me as I looked at the aged carpet: my house is lived in. Real people LIVE here. Play here. Get messy here. Do life here. Some of it can’t be vacuumed up. And it’s okay. (Good thing, too, since my kitchen is partially torn up as part of an unplanned plumbing project! )
Do the gals who come to ladies night come to see a perfect home? Nope. They come because it’s fun. Because it’s casual and comfortable and safe. They know I’ll say “The glasses are in the cupboard next to the window. Make yourself at home.” They know it’s about people not things. They come because we laugh and share and talk. It’s a chance to catch up with old friends and welcome new ones into your world. Would new carpets and a spotless home make the evening better? Our lives better? No. So why waste the time to fret about it?
After lunch, I’ll do some dusting. I’ll make sure that the boys get their toys put away, and that all the seating is uncluttered. (I can pretty much guarantee there’ll still be fingerprints on the fridge.) After that? I’ll relax and enjoy and an evening with friends, both new and old. Isn’t that what ladies night is all about??