A recent comment made by a friend reminded me to blog about how much we've been having friends over since Nathan and I got married. During a pleasant evening out to a recital, my friend Holly commented, "It's funny, I think I've gotten to know you more since you started dating Nathan, then more when you were engaged, and even more now that you're married! With most couples, it's the other way around."
It's true, isn't it? Most people get married and immediately join the ranks of what Rebecca calls 'The Married Club' - when time isn't spent exclusively with one another, it's spent with other married couples. And for most dating or engaged couples, the pattern begins far before marriage. I've lost many a friend's frequent company to a current boyfriend, and seen many engaged couples become wrapped up in one another to the exclusion of other friends.
For Nathan and me, it's been different. Three days after we returned to Beverly after our honeymoon, we had Sarah, John, and Michael over for dinner. The prospect of guests served as a wonderful incentive: Nathan painted a wall in the bathroom, we both got gifts sorted and put away and boxes removed from the living room floor, and I scrubbed and cleaned and caught up on laundry. In the following weeks, we had guests like Lisa, Megan, Cara, Melissa, Holly, Krista, Kayla, and many others come for dinners, desserts, movies, chai tea, or just hanging out. I've made hamburger cheese-bake, pasta, hamburgers and potato spears, chocolate cake, giant pan-sized chocolate chip cookies, coffee, tea, and more. We've even had overnight houseguests - FavoriteBoy's brother came to visit, which was splendid, and this past weekend Holly and her brother stayed with us.
Back in February, we even had an official party. I felt like Gretel from The Sound of Music - "It'll be my first pahty, Father!" -- it was the first time I had entertained a large group of people, and I was nervous about being a good hostess! The party was in the evening after the Gordon orchestra/choir performance of Mozart's Requiem. Oh, and Nathan decided at about 11:30 that morning that we should have a party that night. So I made Mexican 7-layer bean dip, a fruit dip that turned out positively delicious (if I do say so myself), sausage-cheddar balls, and much more... and we even got out the chocolate fountain Wes gave us as a wedding gift! We had strawberries, bananas, and angel food cake for dipping. I'd say about 25 people came, which, considering our modest apartment, made the place pretty packed. It was a fun evening! Even friends we hadn't officially invited showed up, which was very flattering -- people wanted to hang out with us!
How have we avoided the traps and pitfalls of 'The Married Club'? I'm not sure I really know the answer. I think it's just that we're so happy and content together that it naturally spills over into wanting to share our happiness with others.
Jenn has a nice post up about hospitality, too!