Hospitality as a virtue has been de-emphasized in most corners of the western world. That’s a shame, as hospitality as a core masculine concept has been around since antiquity. Zeus Pater was the god of hospitality in the ancient world. Of course this was more important when a journey of a hundred miles might take months, and your survival might depend upon the hospitality of strangers. A vow of hospitality made to Zeus between two men from different countries was sometimes symbolized by breaking a coin or votive disc and giving one half to each man. To break hospitality with someone so sworn was to invite divine disaster.
Growing up in the American Southeast gave me an interesting perspective on hospitality, particularly around the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas in the South are often elaborate affairs, excuses to flaunt prosperity and achievement, renew family ties, gossip, show off children and grandchildren, and generally affirm social position. At the heart of this effort is the opening of your home to valued friends, family and colleagues and demonstrating your ability to be genuinely gracious and hospitable.
Many men consider this responsibility a chore, a tedious exercise in filial bullshit and social posturing that they too often come out the poorer for. That is because they do not understand the full implications of this display, either socially or within their marriage. They do not realize the valuable potential for buffing their Alpha through being perceived – by their wives and everyone else – as Master of the Hall.
When a couple opens up their home to entertain there are certain areas that must be seen to: food, drink, facilities, entertainment. And while most dudes are content with a bag of chips and a keg, a big screen television, and a working toilet for their comfort, the goal of hospitality is not just feeding and entertaining people, it’s a high level social display.
As every wife knows (or should) when you have people over you are inviting them to inspect and judge you. And as every wife knows, forestalling that judgment by not entertaining doesn’t postpone that judgment indefinitely, it cements it. By entertaining well and demonstrating a sincere home and a gracious hospitality you help boost your wife’s position in the Matrix . . . and properly done that can raise your relative SR in her eyes tremendously.
How do you go about this? Start by refusing to be a victim of the holidays and embrace your role as host. Yes, that means a lot of ass-busting work on your part, but lazy isn’t ALPHA. Pitch into the pre-event cleaning with dedication and thoroughness. If nothing else, hearing how your wife spent a week cleaning and you didn’t lift a finger isn’t going to do you any favors in the bedroom. Figure out what needs to be done in terms of repair and cleaning and handle your business.
Cultivating a proactive, not reactive attitude toward the event will give you an advantage. If you know that the four areas of hospitality – food, drink, comfort and entertainment – are involved, you plan accordingly.
A bag of chips might be appropriate for a football game, but it’s actually quite easy to impress your guests with your table without expending dozens of hours in the kitchen. If neither one of you cook, then relying on catering instead of serving a trainwreck of a buffet or dinner might be less dramatic of a presentation, but it does demonstrate class and attention to detail. More importantly it places the comfort of your guests at the forefront. Practically speaking, few of us can devote the time, knowledge, and resources to creating delicious, well-presented food from scratch and remain at all charming. (I can, but I am an aberration). In a pinch, you can focus on one or two signature dishes and buy the rest.
Your menu selection is important, regardless of whether you made it or bought it. Ensure that there are at least a few all-vegetarian dishes available. For bonus points or a diverse crowd, make certain you have at least one Kosher and Vegan dish prepared. This need not be extensive. A fruit or pickle plate and an all-vegetable casserole is easy enough to prepare or procure.
Presentation is at least as important. Nothing demonstrates your dedication to hospitality more than your willingness to present your food in an attractive and pleasing manner. “First we eat with our eyes”, so make sure your food is pretty, attractively displayed, and fresh. At Stately Ironwood Manor we garnish. Everything. We’re just that way.
But the plate it’s on is as important to presentation as the scallions on top, so don’t hesitate to get out the good china for the occasion. Hell, that’s what it is there for. Use serving platters for meats, attractive serving bowls for food and wicker baskets for breads and such. Invest in some cloth napkins to dress your table, and for the sake of all the gods of hospitality get a decent tablecloth.
Ensure that each dish has the appropriate serving utensil and make sure that the plates, napkins and silverware are in close proximity. Also make certain there is a place for trash nearby and a clear spot for dirty dishes. Never let any item on your table get below 1/3 empty before removing it, or moving it to a smaller container. Make certain salt and pepper (and hot sauce, should the occasion demand) are also available.
If it is a full buffet, make sure that the traffic flow is managed and that everyone gets what they need in correct order. If it is light hors d'oeuvres or snacks, keep the area from looking like a bomb went off by checking it regularly. And keep the trash and dishes from piling up. If that means you need to jump into the kitchen to wash a few real quick, everyone will understand.
Almost as important as the food at your event is your beverage selection. The soft drink side of this is relatively easy: soda, diet soda, caffeine-free soda, water. Add in lemonade if there will be children present and iced tea if you live in the South. Coffee, tea, and hot cocoa should be available as well, as needed, particularly in cooler weather. Coffee should be freshly made with sugar, artificial sweetener, and cream available. Making a pot of decaf, particularly late in the day, is often recommended.
Make sure you have enough glasses, and have extra disposable cups at hand just in case. Stock napkins aplenty, and keep coasters at hand. People will judge you about coasters, and you don’t want to hear about a tiny detail like that for the rest of the season. Get some damn coasters. Running out of ice is never a good sign, so make sure you have a cooler of it in reserve.
Hard drinks are another matter. One can go broke with an open bar, particularly if one has my in-laws. Ensuring that you have Scotch, Rum, Tequila, Bourbon, etc. is an expensive prospect. What I usually do is mix up a big batch of a signature cocktail ahead of time and then provide a small but select number of other spirits for people who want something in particular. Add one good beer and a few bottles each of red and white wine. Keep the white chilled, the red at room temperature.
This realm involves the comfort of your guests. That begins in the bathroom, where you have ensured that there is a goodly supply of toilet paper and all incriminating prescriptions have been removed from the
medicine cabinet. Cotton balls, tissues, and an empty trash can, along with discreetly concealed feminine hygiene products, are all mandatory. Towels and extra towels should be provided, and make sure you get out the good soap. Clear away toothbrushes, deodorant and other personal items.
Make sure you have a well-stocked first-aid kit on hand, and for that matter get a cheap sewing kit, glasses repair kit, and that you have the following drugs on hand: Immodium, Benedryl, AZO Standard, aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, pseudophedrine. Ensure that you have a private place for someone to nurse or change a baby, a place for coats to be securely held, and that the thermostat is set at a decent level. Having a quiet place someone can lay down is also recommended.
If possible, see to the ambiance of your place by starting a fire in the fireplace. Nothing projects warmth like fire. Candles, too, add to the effect. If your guests smoke, make sure you have a decent place for them to do so outside, with a convenient place for their butts.
Never argue or fight in front of your guests. When you are Master of the Hall, then you deal with your conflicts in private, or postpone them. Do not undermine the appearance that you are the perfect couple by trying to enlist your guests in your private issues. Nothing makes a guest more uncomfortable.
Music is almost mandatory. Keep the volume low and the tunes soft and non-distracting. Stay away from anything controversial or discordant.
If you have kids, this is a no-brainer. If you don’t, be sure you have a few kid-oriented activities (coloring books, crayons, videogames, etc.) to occupy their time, and be sure to have kid-friendly snacks and beverages at hand. And no, Bloody Mary Mix is not an acceptable child-friendly beverage.
The temptation exists to either spend all of your time with your guests or all of your time keeping the party running, but you should alternate both in fifteen minute cycles. Spend a quarter hour handling maintenance – toilet paper and ice check, dishes, glasses, trash, etc. Then spend a quarter hour greeting and mingling with guests by yourself. A quarter-hour back on maintenance, and then a quarter-hour mingling at your wife’s side.
That’s an important point: a woman’s role in the Female Social Matrix is established in part by how secure her marriage is. Being demonstrably affectionate and united in purpose, jovial and visibly happy in each others’ company, you build her position in the Matrix. Ignoring your wife allows her to be targeted by unscrupulous guests, so don’t be afraid to mate-guard if necessary.
There comes a point where the party is decidedly over . . . but there are always one or two lingerers. If they’re close friends, get them to help with the cleanup. If they aren’t, offer to call them a cab. In extreme situations you may offer them a place to crash and sleep it off, but try to avoid that unless you can’t in good conscience send them out into the world.
These are just a few suggestions for having a Very Alpha Holiday Season, if you’re a Red Pill husband. Demonstrating your value through your ability to successfully host a social even can pay huge dividends on the marital front.
But every party also carries the risk of drama. Don’t let that scare you. How you deal with adversity is one of the things she admires about you . . . and it’s your damn house. If you want to throw your drunk-ass brother-in-law out, go ahead.
There’s nothing Beta about that.
What a fucking crock of shit. If running round like a twat like this, waiting on a bunch of greedy gutted fucks, doing everything except wipe their shitty arses, is alpha, forget it. You're not impressing these people. You're marking yourself out as a soft touch. If people want to come into my home and inspect and judge me, then all of this is a waste. They can see my upraised middle finger from the doorway. That's what they can have, for free, every time.ReplyDelete
What a hoot, Anonymous...You missed the whole point of the post. Just below this post is "How do we find a fucking good wife." And now this post, "How to be a good fucking husband." If you want a fucktoy, than have at it. If you want a woman who wants a man with style, then be stylish and show her off: She's a hottie, she cooks, she cleans, she has a home that shows her off skills and WTF, you get to show off too...ReplyDelete
And Ironwood Old Chap,ReplyDelete
Don't get lost or anything, you espouse many things I deem appropriate, necessary, and manly as hell. Always the naysayers, their brains running out on the floor...
"Not everyone likes eggnog." I get it. They see domestic life as a trap to be avoided, and cling to their masculine cloisters like life rafts. I can appreciate that. If you aren't a domestic sort of guy, go see the world. But be sure to stop by for a drink afterwards.Delete
I think everything this post says is true. I think it's excellent advice, and I think it's an area that many of your readers will have given insufficient thought to. You've summarized a difficult concept into a few thousand word essay, and done a splendid job of it.ReplyDelete
That said, the only thing I could think of by paragraph three was, "I am so very, very glad I'm single..."
Halfway through, I kept repeating to myself "The MGTOW are going to be foaming at the mouth at this."ReplyDelete
But, yeah, this was completely on point, generally! For those of us who came to the red pill late, this is very helpful to codify some good practices.
For those who cry BS, I suppose they're a product of their experiences (or lack thereof), but for people in the military or away for extended times, large parties are actually a good thing. For guys like me who married a foreigner, they're critical to her happiness, for exactly the reasons specified. Logic don't enter into it, but a decent party has minimal downside- if it's boring, you're a shitty host and blame is hard to avoid. If it goes well, the wife will be leaving snail trails on the furniture after, and, from my own experience, you find yourself feeling sincerely proud of your wife, and that's something we all could use.
This article is also very applicable to the single man. Being able to be the consumate host obviously raises your SMV and clearly displays high value.ReplyDelete
Exactly. I met one of my ex-girlfriends after I threw a particularly successful party. She stayed to help me clean up.Delete
I get the principles apply at any point in the socio-economic hierarchy, but starting to sound like a nice 1% fantasy life. You catching a case of self-justifying affluenza, Ian?ReplyDelete
Not at all. Certain principals of hospitality are darn-near universal: food, drink, comfort, and entertainment. It doesn't matter if you live in a a hovel, a hacienda, a hotel or a hobbit hole, knowing the sacred elements of hospitality and being able to effectively bestow them has been a hallmark of mature masculinity since the paleolithic. You fulfill them as your socio-economic status permits, proudly and effectively. The depth of your purse is not a measure of the generosity and thoughtful consideration of your character.Delete
In his previous post on domesticity, there was a lot of points about doing hostessing/other domestic activities on a budget (both direct as in the how would you plan an emergency wedding with only $2000 and implied as how are things presented irregardless of how much they cost). While being the local Gatsby may not be within everyone's budget, being able to pull off a dinner party half way decently can be and how well you manage when of limited means makes it all the more impressive. Going to a wealthy family's home and them having the best of the best is kind of a given; going to say my small apartment with bare furnishings most of which are Ikea pieces barely holding together and having to buy extra plates from the dollar store last minute because I didn't have enough of the same that matched- buying only what hubby, baby and I needed as well as having moved across country and specifically keeping our possessions to the minimum) yet serving a full turkey dinner with high quality ingredients HOPEFULLY says something;)Delete
"The depth of your purse is not a measure of the generosity and thoughtful consideration of your character"ReplyDelete
But its hard to do any of this when you're skint. And it's probably worse to do it on the cheap than not at all
Long story short, I'm trying to read your blog on male dominance from 12/2012 but no matter how I do it, I cannot read it past the question, where you start the explanation. I LOVE reading what you write & what I can see of it ;-) I'm not sure if it's just me, or is the background too dark or vice-versa? Thanks & sorry to post here, but I'm having a hard time finding how to message you privately. I'm not a novice, but I'm on my new phone, so maybe that's part of the problem.ReplyDelete
hehehehe, Now it's time to blow my own horn.ReplyDelete
By these standards, I fucking nailed Christmas dinner as if I had this blog post as my check list.
Yes, it is an important skill and it is appreciated, all the more so by guests who themselves have done such entertaining. Thank you to my parents for teaching me at a young age how to host people properly, anywhere, and any time, with what you have at hand.
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