We all know people who are great hosts and hostesses. These people can throw a great party or just have you over for dinner and make you feel like they are genuinely happy to be with you. There is an art to being a great host, some people have it and some don't. Hosting is not just about serving the right food or decorating or the right wine....although the right wine can never be underestimated! There are just people who make you feel welcome and at ease. They are happy to see you and they listen when others talk without looking around for the next conversation, try to be the center of attention themselves or constantly check their cell phones. They are genuinely interested and present in the moment. They are good at just being with people.
I think it is an art to be with another person and make them feel welcome, important and at ease without fussing too much... because that just makes some people uncomfortable (or is it just me?). I always think of the bible story about Mary and Martha. It is usually in the rotation at church during the summer when we are in Nova Scotia. Coincidentally, it is when we often entertain and are entertained. I am always torn between being Martha and cooking, serving and cleaning or Mary and just being with the guests. Jesus did say, " Mary has chosen the better part."! Maybe a caterer would facilitate my being Mary! I know so many people who are wonderful at being Mary. I try to take queues from them, sometimes it works and sometimes I know I fall short and pay too much attention to the details. Is it so hard to just sit with another person and have a meaningful conversation without being distracted?