The Last Mojito

Last night, friends Christy and Ant came over for a cocktail before we all went out to dinner.

They're fantastic hosts, the kind of people who greet you at the door with your favorite cocktail, draw you in to their immaculately-kept home, ply you with handmade appetizers, tell you funny stories that bring you to tears while just the right music is playing in the background... we never say no to an Ant and Christy invite.

Cut to our house. They arrive, carrying a big bag. In it? Fresh mint, and all of the makings for mojitos. They've brought cocktails to our house! How awesome is that?

They are greeted by a screeching Baby Mak, who, despite sitting in her high chair completely beschmeared with sweet potato, is thrilled to the point of throwing her food that people have arrived for a visit. "PEOPLE! PEOPLE! PEOPLE!" She has large chunks of tofu in her hair.

Christy and Ant tentatively pick their way past the potato bombs, trying not to get any on their shoes. The dulcet tones of The Teletubbies are thumpa-thumpa-thumping in the background. Since Mak is eating in the living room, we skooch past dropped toys and stale Cheerios and pick our way to the kitchen which is overflowing with the detritus of Mak's meal preparation. I push stuff out of the way to make room for mojito making.

After a small scuffle about who's-doing-what, an unfortunate incident involving the chewing of hairy mint leaves, and the general knocking of knees and elbows in the 10 x 3-foot space that is our kitchen, we stumble out to our patio, push the cat off the table, whisk away the beach-towel-as-tablecloth and sit down to the dusty, slightly hairy surface to enjoy our mojitos. Mojitos brought - and made by - our guests.

An hour later, as my stomach growls as we prepare to leave for the restaurant, I realize: I never offered appetizers. No chips. No dip. Not even a crust of bread. I'm mortified. Plus, I'm feeling pretty lit from that mojito, which had more alcohol in it than I've had since, well, I can't remember when.

We say goodbye to Gramma and the baby. Realizing we're leaving, the wee one unleashes a torrent of wailing that the best Irish banshee would envy. Obviously, this whole graceful-hosting thing, which, I swear to God, we used to do fairly well, is yet another example of solid social skills fallen by the wayside. Toddlers will do that to you.

Preparing for a night out these days is more like preparing for survival training - you make choices based on necessity. For example, prior to our guests' arrival, we opted to put away the stacks, and stacks, and stacks of more than 17 loads of folded laundry piled on every flat surface of the house. We thought it would be worse for our guests to realize we'd been living in a laundry fort for the past two weeks than it would be to starve them a little before buying them dinner.

I think we miscalculated, there.

But, now look at us! It's the day after the big night. We got out of the house! We socialized! We have more leftovers than any normal human being would ever want! We had fun. We might even be a little hungover... Wow.

So, there's hope. Who knows? Maybe with practice, and a couple of extra days' preparation, we might be able to con the next couple into a repeat visit. Ant and Christy, I'm afraid, are a lost cause... That, or maybe the next time they come over, Christy will pack a few mini-quiches to stave off the hunger.







Please enter your contact information, so we can verify you aren't a bottom-feeding spambot. We promise we won't pass it along to anyone.

I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >