Bringing Back the Art of Calling Hours
Remember how in Sex and the City the foursome always made time to have lunch or dinner or generally hang out all the time? Or how in almost any show friends are always spending time together? Even though I know its just a literary device so the theme of the show could be identified, I was just so envious of the time they were able to spend with their friends!
After 25 years in New York City I thought perhaps it was just the logistics of seeing friends who lived on the Upper West Side or Brooklyn — we’re talking a good 45 minutes to see them. And I did see friends more often in my 20s, but when I started having kids in my 30s all of a sudden it was harder and harder to keep up friendships, or start new ones.
When I moved back home to Cleveland three years ago, I was introduced to a magical group of ladies who had started a Girl Scout Group, and so my first year here I was brought into an established group of friends and scheduled monthly outings. Without having to do anything I suddenly had this great group of friends whom I saw all the time. But then the kids went off to the upper elementary, the Girl Scout Group disbanded and it became harder and harder to see these lovely ladies.
Now who knows, perhaps everyone is having dinner parties and not inviting me. And maybe it’s why in my neighborhood during the warmer months every street closes down for block parties every other week. Built in socializing! I have managed to have a few parties of my own with the Girl Scout ladies and their kids, but only once or twice a year because it’s a lot of work, and I would like to see more of all my friends more, not just my neighbors.
Because my confession of a messy dining room table last week, and the fact that it actually got comments on Facebook, Kelly and I decided to talk about it in our podcast this week. Yes we have a podcast now! We’ve done two and you can listen to the first one right here. I asked Classic, tidy Kelly why her dining room table was messy and learned that she does something called Family Fridays. She’s usually at home on Fridays between 5 and 8 or something close to that, as an Organic Freedom, details are not my strong suit. But she’s makes pizza — buys the frozen dough doesn’t make it herself, I mean she’s not THAT Martha Stewart (but damn close.) And if people come, that’s great, and if they don’t that’s fine too. She has a Family Fun time with her three boys and they make pizza and watch a movie. She also has grown up appetizer snacks on hand, like olives and something else I can’t remember. Cheese maybe? That’s what I’d have. But as she said, why shouldn’t she have things she likes on hand too?
She told our Organic Structure mom about this — she who had dinner parties when we were younger, and has a regular tennis night with her tennis friends as well as regular couple plans with friends — so maybe it’s a generational thing? But Mom says to Kelly “So it’s like having Victorian calling hours” And it kind of is. And it’s kind of cool. To be fair, one of the reasons I don’t have people over as much as I’d like is because while the first floor of my house is organized — I know where things are and everything has a home — I don’t always maintain it. In fact, I DO NOT maintain it. I have a five year old who likes to play in the “formal” areas of my home, and as I confessed last week, projects tend to end up on the dining room table, and then it quickly becomes a dumping ground.
So having weekly calling or visiting hours would be an incentive to do a quick maintenance tidy on my first floor every week. This would be very helpful for Organic Freedoms, Smart Freedoms and busy Funs. Frankly it would be helpful to all types because anyone with kids and a job who doesn’t have the Downton Abbey staff is very busy.
So I’m going to do it. But first I have to finish putting up my Halloween decorations. They’re, of course, half done. Luckily there’s a deadline coming up on Tuesday. Boo!