Why I can't stand the word 'entertaining!'

 
Here is a classic form of entertainment - sitting in a cafe, enjoying a sweet treat and a coffee while indulging in one of my favourite pastimes, people watching! This is one of my favourite cafes in Esztergom, Hungary, it's called  Szamos,  they are famous for their beautiful marzipan creations.

Here is a classic form of entertainment - sitting in a cafe, enjoying a sweet treat and a coffee while indulging in one of my favourite pastimes, people watching! This is one of my favourite cafes in Esztergom, Hungary, it's called Szamos, they are famous for their beautiful marzipan creations.

 

Let me put this into context first. The word 'entertaining' in most of its uses is perfectly fine, for example, when you read an entertaining book, watch an entertaining show or meet an entertaining person. In fact, I use it regularly in these situations. But, here's the thing, it's been far too enthusiastically adopted into the vernacular of homeowners - and it drives me bonkers!

Somehow 'entertaining' has become the central focus of homes, particularly for new homes and newly renovated homes. No longer is the sole purpose of having a home to provide a sanctuary that you can hide out in away from the noise and the idiots in the outside world. Or a place where you can just be you, one hundred percent you, where you can rest and nourish yourself. A place where you don't feel judged or riddled with anxiety. That wonderful place that's all yours, where you can hang out in tracksuit pants, read a book or have sex. Home for me is a private space, and I've noticed that the older I get, the pickier I get about who I'm happy to share my space with.

Because, the wrong person or people change the energy of a space and that in turn changes my energy - this is something I experienced over and over during my years of intense 'entertaining!' Back then this word hadn't acquired such potency yet, instead, the phrase 'dinner party' was still in vogue. But now it's all about entertaining, yep, fucking entertaining. 

 
Here we were invited by our hosts into their private cellar for wine and  pálinka  tasting in a tiny village in northern Hungary. This was truly delighful entertainment - our hosts poured generously and insisted we drank every drop. We learned about the various grape varieties - but somehow can't recall much of it - and we snacked on freshly shelled walnuts straight from their trees.

Here we were invited by our hosts into their private cellar for wine and pálinka tasting in a tiny village in northern Hungary. This was truly delighful entertainment - our hosts poured generously and insisted we drank every drop. We learned about the various grape varieties - but somehow can't recall much of it - and we snacked on freshly shelled walnuts straight from their trees.

 

People buy houses with entertaining in mind, they fucking take out massive mortgages so that they can 'entertain.' They renovate so they can entertain. They build massive decks, indoor-outdoor spaces, enormous built-in BBQ's or outdoor kitchens so they can invite and 'entertain' people, lots of people. They even want extra bedrooms when they're buying and renovating so their pesky friends can sleep over! And I know all this because I'm a keen observer of humanity and also because (confession time!) I watch House Hunters and various renovation shows - and I now have this weird fascination with watching people spend exorbitant amounts of money and energy on houses just so they can entertain.

I regularly yell "what are you doing stupid people?!" at the TV. They openly and excitedly announce that they love to entertain! They want stainless steel kitchen appliances and massive, I mean massive island benches so they can entertain! Is there nothing else going on in their lives I wonder? Probably not. So, here's the thing, this idea of entertaining has gone too far. Our homes are our homes and not a space for 'entertaining.' Yeah, sure, have a few friends over occasionally for a catchup, drinks, or maybe even a dinner - and hope to hell that the conversation and the 'entertaining' will be a two-way affair because that isn't always the case - and really, that should be it.

Sometimes I wish I lived in Paris, or at least I wish we could adopt the Parisian way of living. Apartments are usually small, kitchens are often tiny - no space for those ridiculously big island benches - and the home is a place for bathing, sleeping and enjoying whatever it is you like to do on your own. When you want to socialise, you meet out somewhere and that's that's. But sadly our urban sprawl cities aren't conducive to this type of civilised socialising, distances are great and houses are humungous and this in turn has spawned the dreaded 'entertaining' at home phenomenon.

 
Another fabulous place to be entertained is at a public pool. This however, is no oridnary complex, it's a beautifully maintained historic pool in Esztergom, Hungary, where can you still get to witness classic high-cut white Speedos on old men.

Another fabulous place to be entertained is at a public pool. This however, is no oridnary complex, it's a beautifully maintained historic pool in Esztergom, Hungary, where can you still get to witness classic high-cut white Speedos on old men.

 

But I think if you want to be entertained then go to the fucking circus (preferably one where animals aren't tortured!) or go see a bloody show, go to the movies or the footy because I'm done 'entertaining' and feeling like a freakin clown on a stage! Been there, done that! You get sucked into shit like that when you're young and stupid. But one day I grew up and got honest with myself and realised that 'entertaining' drains the fucking life out of me and it leaves me feeling empty and tired. Because entertaining isn't just one night; it's hours of preparation, menu planning, house cleaning, cooking and stocking up on booze, and that's all before anyone even arrives - this is otherwise known as work!

And really why should it be my responsibility to spice up your otherwise dull life? You should take care of that yourself. So how about we stop using this word in this context and try to adopt the Parisian way whenever possible? Entertaining is too much pressure and too much expectation and I believe it's developed superficial and negative connotations, at least it has for me. Our homes shouldn't be about pleasing and impressing others. And 'entertaining' certainly shouldn't be the major objective when buying a new home! 

  

 
Daly Waters Hotel is on the Stuart Highway on the way to Darwin. Here we were entetained in a kooky, hillbilly style - there was a band and a comedian, a real leathery outback character. Not necessarily our taste, but it's a must along this iconic Australian road.

Daly Waters Hotel is on the Stuart Highway on the way to Darwin. Here we were entetained in a kooky, hillbilly style - there was a band and a comedian, a real leathery outback character. Not necessarily our taste, but it's a must along this iconic Australian road.