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.