{the life} My first time having new girl friends over

by Rachel on February 20, 2012

As I’m doing more friend-courting, I’m seeing all the ways that it’s similar to courting a mate. I have a good amount of experience with courting a mate, so that can be rather comforting. Still, there are some ways courting friends is harder; this was very apparent last weekend when I hosted the first meeting of our newly-formed Kindle club at my apartment.

When having a male potential love interest over for the first time, here is my typical getting-the-apartment-ready list.

  • Cleanliness. Is there clutter on the table? Laundry on the floor? No? OK, all set.
  • Dogs. Are they going to bark a lot and be Those Yappy Small Dogs that guys hate? Probably not, but I better have a back-up plan in case they start to interfere with the hooking up that is going to ensue tonight.
  • Smell. Does it smell dirty? No? OK, all set.
  • Food. Is there anything to snack on? No? OK, run to the nearest convenience store and pick up…pretty much the first thing you see. Beef jerky? Mike & Ikes? Hostess cupcakes? OK, all set.
  • Drinks. Are there a few beers in the fridge that will appeal to the average guy? OK, all set.

I’ve never really worried about having a guy over. They are excited to be hanging out with me and aren’t going to nit-pick the smallest details of my apartment. Sure, I want to impress, but I don’t have to devote a lot of time to it. As long as

Women, on the other hand? Well, here was my getting-the-apartment-ready list before the Kindle club meeting.

  • Cleanliness. Is there any dust visible anywhere? Yes? On top of the tallest shelf of the entertainment center? OK, I’m going to need to make time to dust that. And how’s the kitchen? Sure, no one will probably go in the kitchen, but if someone does, she needs to be able to see her reflection in the sink. And do I have time to get the carpet steam cleaned by Sunday?
  • Dogs. Are they going to bark a lot and make me look like an unfit owner who can’t take care of her dogs properly and make them stop barking?
  • Smell. Does it smell clean? I’ll plan to leave and then walk back through the front door several times throughout the day of the meeting to make sure the smell of puppies is not the first thing hitting the olfactory glands. I also need to find the perfect candle to have burning, so it not only smells clean, it smells fabulous. Maybe I should plan to bake some bread right before they arrive to make it smell really good. Oh, which reminds me…
  • Food. I love making delicious food for people…but my new friends know that, so the bar is set really high. I should probably get on Pinterest to find something creative, beautiful, and delicious to make. OK a cupcake-banana-split-kabob sounds good, but I should try to work some red velvet in there too. Fuck, I’m going to need to go to Whole Foods and Michael’s for all the ingredients and supplies. And oh shit….is this recipe gluten-free?
  • Drinks. Are they expecting drinks at 4 PM on a Sunday? Probably not, but even if there is no alcohol involved, I should try to make something from scratch. Raspberry lemonade, perhaps? Ugh, that just sounds boring, even though it will probably take $40 and three hours to make. Could I put mint in it or something? Or serve it in mason jars? Back to Pinterest. On second thought, maybe if I put alcohol in the drinks, no one will notice the dust on the tallest shelf of the entertainment center.

It’s no secret that a lot of times, women are more interested in impressing other women than they are impressing men. I’m used to this with fashion, hair, and beauty though; this was the first time I had to deal with major apartment insecurity.

Despite the fact that I did way less than I wanted to in terms of preparing my apartment for my female guests, I felt like the meeting went really well. Everyone brought food so I was glad I didn’t put too much time and effort into creating some Pinterest-worthy creation. No one was interested in cocktails; most everyone just wanted water. The dogs were on their best behavior; Chuck cried once and I was able to silence him with a single look/correction sound.

I wish I could say that my apartment passed the women-friendly test, but I honestly have no idea! I was trying not to be That Woman Who Apologizes For Everything You Hadn’t Even Noticed About Her Home so I didn’t mention all the little things I was worried about. Did they notice the dust and the fact that the dogs have destroyed huge portions of the carpet? Hell if I know. But I hope the dust and the carpet didn’t take away from the meeting. I don’t think it did; I know I was mostly focused on the conversation surrounding the books we’d like to read, as well as tons of other topics, and I hope everyone else was too.

I definitely didn’t expect to be so anxious about having my new friends over for the first time, but I’m hoping that is one of the aspects of making new friends that gets easier with time. Well, really, I’m hoping that my potential new friends will just become my friends because I’m pretty sure I’ve never stressed out this much before having any of my best friends over. Perhaps the day I start chilling out about how my apartment looks before I have a woman over is the day I’ll know she’s officially my friend.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine February 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm

This is actually really, really funny to me because I’m 100% the opposite. I’m kind of OCD about cleaning anyway, so I’d be mortified if ANYONE saw my place (which, at the moment, is my room at my parents’ house…adult) looking shabby, but when I have male friends over I tend to get even more clean-freakish in preparation. Which is probably for all the wrong reasons, to be honest- I’ve always been the “mother” of my friends, and I guess I feel like I have to maintain that perfect image far more with the guys than with girls. I’m kind of glad this post called it to my attention, though, because it’s made me think about how freaking stupid that subconscious mentality is…


2 Elle February 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Ha! This made me laugh. I do the same things when I have new friends (or potential friends) over. The thing I’ve noticed though, from visiting other people’s houses, is that I am more likely to notice what the house says about them (or at least, what I THINK it says) as opposed to how much they cleaned / cooked. I notice little things like what’s on the walls, whether they have pets, whether it seems like a cozy place to hang out, etc. So unless the couch is LITERALLY COVERED in pet fur (have seen this!) I’m not going to care at all that the cat has used the sofa as a scratching post. I just notice: Oh, cats, cute. Oh, cute prints on the wall, nice. Oh, this sofa is so comfortable, sold.


3 Meghan February 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I notice this stuff as well. Like a really cute tic-tac-toe small wall book shelf holder thing.


4 Meghan February 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Why do we freak out so much! I swear I do the same thing. I think it boils down to this: You held the party at your place and I am super overjoyed I didn’t have to stress about any of that. And to be honest, people who don’t get that, and want to judge, well, go away. I totally freaked out about what I was wearing to such and such for a long time until I really thought about it and decided that I didn’t want people in my life who cared about what I was wearing. Not saying that if I am going somewhere nice, I’m not going to try, but I am not going to go dressing up all uncomfortably for shopping/movie/dinner at taqueria just to be more uncomfortable because I am stressed about why my spanx won’t stay up. (srsly at that price that stuff should really stay up better) That was a lot of words to say, be who you are, and we will like you for you.

A) you have dogs. I have/had a dog. Things happen. They were fine. Bone distraction trick was nice. At least they aren’t tall enough to crotch sniff. That is so embarrassing for some reason. I know that my dog does it to new people, and that I should expect it, but I’m afraid it reads , hey! You. I know what you did last night!

B) I’m still really epically interested in your sofa set/ book entertainment thing. I loved it.

C) Your place was exactly what we needed. It had seating, quiet and warmth. I thought not one bit about the cleanliness vs dirtiness or smell, we had plenty of food, and the cupcakes were very tasty indeed.

D) I didn’t even investigate your kitchen/bathroom/what do you have hiding in the bathroom cupboards. I’m a bad guest.

I felt very welcome in your home.



5 Sabra February 21, 2012 at 10:37 am

I always get stressed about having new friends over to my home, but when it’s the other way around – me going to someone else’s – I don’t have any sort of expectations! Funny how that works. Like Elle & Meghan I notice the stuff that makes someone’s home unique to them, the personal touches. Anyway, I agree – when you stop worrying so much about how your apt looks before someone comes over is when you really feel comfortable about their friendship.


6 Emily February 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I just had 2 new girl friends over on Friday, including (gasp) one of my yoga teachers. I was so stressed about what my yoga teacher would think about my house that… I skipped yoga class to clean. So dumb!

At least it’s not just me…


7 Rachel February 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm

HA. This made me feel better!


8 Kavi @ Lab to Fab! February 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm

This cracked me up! I stress out before having people over too, wanting the my apartment to look perfect. At least it forces me to clean ;)


9 Becca February 21, 2012 at 6:59 am

What did you guys read? (or what are you reading next…) My book club struggles to come up with something to read, and it’s always a last minute decision, and it’s been hard to track down whatever we’re going to read (for those w/o an e-reader). I’m curious to see what others are reading!


10 Rachel February 21, 2012 at 9:39 am

This is our current list:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Sarah’s Key
Flame Alphabet
Bitch in the House
Never Let Me Go
The Alchemist


11 Becca February 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Awesome, thank you! We just read Sarah’s Key, it was really good! Enjoy :)


12 deva at deva by definition February 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I totally do this, and since we moved into the house have done it EVERY TIME we have someone over – old friend or new. I’ve even taken to dusting the slats of the blinds when we are having company. I told The Boy a few weeks ago “I don’t CARE if our guests aren’t going to see the bathtub, I AM and it needs to be clean. Besides, I’m cleaning the full bath anyway, may as well scrub the bathtub (even if it doesn’t need it – which it didn’t, but it doesn’t until it does and then it’s not easy to clean.. end sidenote there).”


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