Photo by Elizabeth Lloyd
I promised my friend I would write this post so here we go (at the risk of embarrassment and possibly losing all credibility as someone of style and taste). Brenda, you’re welcome. Readers, I apologize for tricking you with the cover picture.
Last July Tim and I had a few friends over for dinner. We live in a condo near the beach, which is really convenient because you don’t have to do very much to impress your guests. You live by the beach, so automatic style points right?! We toasted our friendship with champagne and enjoyed the usual lively conversation. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t really cooperating and it ended being one of those cold and gloomy overcast days so we didn’t really get to enjoy the beach. People tend to think this is a regular weather occurrence in Santa Cruz, but after living here for a few years now we’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that we actually get way more stunning and sunny days that often thought. Regardless, the crappy weather was pretty much negating my initial style points.
It soon became time to set the table for dinner. Tim and I were in the middle of a busy work week so we were feeling a little chaotic at the time. Tim was doing the majority of the cooking so I was in charge of the table setting. For whatever reason I wasn’t feeling particularly confident in my cloth napkin situation, so I opted for folded paper towels. Here is a picture of the evidence.
Again, I apologize for leading you on with the beautiful photo at the beginning of the post. But if it’s any consolation, that was a photo of the table setting at our wedding. I think this should count as style redemption for what I just showed you. In my defense, my husband has kind of an obsession with paper towels. He loves them and we always have a Costco size amount of paper towel rolls in the pantry. So I’ve kind of gotten used to them as an acceptable choice for any kitchen or dining needs.
In hindsight, I certainly could have been more prepared for the dinner. I do have cloth napkins and they’re quite nice really. But I had laundered them recently and they came out really wrinkled. So I shoved them in the drawer not anticipating guests anytime soon. There are 2 things I like to note at this point. First, I grew up with paper napkins (I always preferred the triangle fold myself). I really had no idea about cloth napkins being a thing until later adulthood. Secondly, I already don’t like to iron and the idea of having to iron cloth napkins really threw me off. Why would I spend that much time ironing something someone is going to wipe their greasy hands on? I’m obviously wrong, and possibly lazy. But I was too busy before the guests came making sure the toilet was clean. It seamed more important at the time.
The reason this because a blog post (and don’t you think it would been an awesome Seinfeld episode?!) is because our guests were so cool about it and we laughed because it was funny and we know we don’t have to impress each other. These are the best kind of friends. I remember that night because of the napkins, and because it was the night we learned our friends were pregnant with their first baby. It was really special. I still smile when I think of that night and I’m grateful to have such awesome friends.
Once again, I never want to leave you without helpful shopping tips so here are a few of my favorite pieces for entertaining and creating a little more sophisticated dining experience. Enjoy!