I will wife the $#!t out of this house!

It’s one of my many goals in life to be a kick-ass house wife. Not like subservient and wearing mom-jeans and wiping snot from kids’ noses with my sleeve. That’s not my game. However, I do feel that when I have company, it is my civic obligation to cover everything from food and drinks to equal playing time and quality seating.

I strive to make my home beautiful, organized, interesting, and most of all welcoming. Deep down, though? I want my husband’s friends (and eventually my kids’ friends) to be a least a little envious of the mad wifery skills I bring to entertaining and comfort. It’s a competition with no other players.

I love having company (who I like and have given me appropriate notice and haven’t just come right after some other folks. I need my space too.). It pleases me to no end when people feel at home in my home.

I want my guests to open a drawer and find what they’re looking for. It is important that my husband’s homies intuitively know where the bottle opener is and don’t have to ask if we have the liquor they love. My ladies will never have to shuffle out of the bathroom to discreetly ask me if I have any “women’s items”, then shuffle back to the restroom again, this time red-faced. That shit is stocked in a clear container above the toilet (as are tissues, face wipes, tiny deodorants, and floss.).

Video game sessions are a big part of our entertaining life as a couple. His friends come over and we play and drink and curse and it’s just too adorable for words.

Sometimes his friends bring their girlfriends who are less into the games but willing to make a valiant effort, as a supportive significant other should. (Stop whining about your man enjoying himself and either find one who only enjoys the stuff you enjoy or make an effort.)

I’ve learned a thing or two in my few years of domestic bliss, and I’d like to share a few with you. They don’t only apply to wives and girlfriends; maybe you’re a gamer who has trouble balancing entertaining and entertainment.

1.       THE FOOD SITUATION

photo credit: Kan Kanbayashi
photo credit: Kan Kanbayashi

It’s strange, rude, and not fun if I spend a butt-load (that’s metric) of time in the kitchen making/finding snacks or meals. I hear them in the living room having all the fun, by the time finish with this prep work all the fun will have been had, and there’ll be none left for me.

SOLUTION: Crock pot (slow-cooker)! Pulled pork specifically. (Or chicken chili, that’s good too.)

a.       I went out before the guests arrived and bought a pork shoulder, barbecue sauce, an onion, and slider rolls.

b.      I cut up the onion and dumped it in the crock pot with the bottle of barbecue sauce and the pork and some water. (There’s a recipe, but I later found out I didn’t follow anything except the amounts… whateves everyone loved it*.)

c.       The Crock pot stayed on high for four hours while I played with the boys and got to be part of the party.

d.      After the four hours I used my tongs and a fork to shred the pork. I added a little extra barbecue sauce, some crushed red pepper flakes, and some hot sauce for a kick.

e.      With paper plates and napkins on hand it was self serve. (We paused the game and switched tuners to watch some DVR’d Always Sunny while we ate for the first time. Everything after that was feeding frenzy style. You’re hungry? Go feed yourself, you’re grown.) Sometimes the easiest way to put people at ease in your home is to let them make themselves at home.

PRO Tip: the slider bun size makes it easy for guests to quickly shove another in their face in three bites, and then jump back in. Also, the smaller the sandwich, the less messy it gets.

*I was happy they went over so well but I was scared that people were eating so many and drink so much that I would have a puke situation. Woop! Didn’t happen.

2.       GAME CHOICE.

If you’re playing with a mixed group of hardcore and casual gamers, it’s only polite to allow the less skilled to play in a way that doesn’t make them feel dragged along.

Did you ever notice how when you play Halo on Xbox Live Someone’sUsername(1) is usually at the bottom of the leaderboard? It’s because it’s likely some guy’s girlfriend or friend from out of town who doesn’t play much, if at all, and is probably having a shitty time.

But what are some games that are fun for all skill levels and the entry level understanding of some of your guests?

a.       Fighting games that are accommodating to button mashing, like Dead or Alive.

b.      Fighting games that allow you to handicap yourself, like SoulCalibur and sometimes Super Street Fighter 4.

c.       Adorable, interesting, funny, aggressive, team games like Castle Crashers.

d.      Rock Band. Double awesome is an achievement that makes the two who chose singing because of their discomfort with dexterity feel double awesome. Also, this game has individual skill level choices. You can play on expert while you friend from out of town can strum out three note combinations at a safe speed.

3.       HARDWARE

Please organize your shit before you have people over. (This includes your general household.) Nothing ruins the mood of merriment more than a real life pause thrown in the mix so everyone can help you search between your couch cushions for your other controller.

a.       If you need batteries, get them before hand. If you need to charge a controller, make sure you have enough chargers or charged controllers so it doesn’t become an issue.

b.      If you only have two controllers but six people are coming over, there’s nothing weird about your friends bringing extra controllers. Make sure not to mix up accidentally or steal on purpose your friends’ hardware. Not cool.

That’s all for now. Good luck. And if all else fails, shove the mess in the closet, get a 30 rack of cheap bears and a handle of something (and a mixer), find some board games, and order pizzas.

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