My husband loves to entertain. Me? Not so much. As I’ve explained, I’m an introvert. It’s not that I don’t like people. I do like people, in small groups and in small doses. Supper just the two of us? Count me in! A couples date night? Absolutely. An intimate gathering with ten people or less? Well, now you’re pushing my introverted boundaries. But yes, I can do it and live to tell the tale.
A party of thirty people in my backyard? Uh, well, no thank you. I mean, feel free to come on over, open the back gate, stroll on in and hang out in my backyard. You can even turn on the television in our outdoor kitchen, open the fridge, and have a bottled water or iced tea. But please don’t expect me to hang out with all thirty of you for an extended time. God just didn’t make me that way.
Some might wonder why on earth I married an extrovert. That’s a great question! I’ve wondered that myself several times. The times that I question my judgment occur at about the same time as John coming home and announcing, “Well, we’re up to sixty-five people for Memorial Day. Yep, it’s gonna be great! And we still have a bunch of people who haven’t committed.”
John’s love of people goes hand in hand with his positive spirit. The man always thinks the best of people. Yes, it’s a good quality, unless he’s planning for a party. Jimbo and Lela might be coming? Oh, well, they probably are so put down two. Allen and Millie said they’d get back to us? Oh, yes, put down two for them as well. John cooks for the number of yes folks, as well as the maybe and we’ll see people too. And he spreads the inflated number to the guests, like a virus—a virus of food.
“Hey, John, this here’s Merle. We’re comin’ to ya’ll’s party, an’ Myrtle wants to know how many’ll be there, so she can figure out how many deviled eggs to bring.”
“Oh, hey Merle, glad you and Myrtle will be there. Yeah, we’re expecting fifty-seven.”
“Woo-eee, John, that’s a mighty big number! Allrighty then, I’ll tell Myrtle she’d better get in that kitchen!” Ugh! Not only am I battling my dislike of large groups for hours on end, I’ve got another issue: the leftovers.
Southern folks just love to bring food—it’s part of our DNA. But they don’t want to take it home. “Oh, honey, you just keep that seven layer bean dip! No, sweetie, it’s just Carl and me at home, and we don’t need all that food.”
Really, Alice? You and Carl don’t need all that food? While I appreciate your compliment that I’m skinny enough to afford the extra calories, honestly John and I don’t need them. Or want them. Well, John does, but he definitely doesn’t need them.
But it’s too late…I’m the proud owner of a quarter eaten seven layer bean dip, and the three bags of chips that come with it.
On and on it goes. After every mega party John and I become the proud owners of a half eaten buttermilk pie, a dozen chocolate chip cookies, four unopened bags of chips, six double fudge brownies… And maybe it’s a Southern thing, but there are never any leftover deviled eggs. Well, they’re my favorite, of course, so that’s why.
This past Fourth of July John informed me that we’d be hosting eighty-two people, give or take. Fortunately for the introvert (unfortunately for the extrovert) we only had forty-six. John’s 2024 goal is to double that number. I’d better stock up on Tupperware and Ziploc bags…
Jann Goar Franklin graduated Russellville High School in 1985 and lives in Grand Cane, Louisiana. Jann also writes books, which are for sale at www.jannfranklin.com. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org