The best hostess gift I’ve ever given

4 mins read


My husband and I attended a dinner party the other night. It was one of those gatherings where one always brings some kind of hostess gift.

Many times, we will bring a bottle of wine or maybe some flowers. It depends on the kind of get together.

As we were driving over to our friends’ home, my husband said, “Oh, we forgot the wine.”

“No,” I replied, “I have something else for them tonight.”

As usual, the hostess met us at the door and put the hostess gift aside as we greeted one another. And her husband tended to our drink requests. We stood chatting around with some of the other couples when we all heard the wife in the kitchen laughing hysterically.

I knew right away, she had opened our hostess gift.

She walked into the living room with the bag in her hand and pulled out a roll of toilet paper. Everyone laughed because we all know how precious the gift is right now. After all, how many of us have gone into the stores and discovered empty shelves where once there was toilet paper.

We started to discuss other “hostess gifts” that would be welcomed now. Naturally, Purell and other hand sanitizers were on the list, but so was soap and bleach. We also started to discuss the ways in which we have changed our own behavior.

How long have those wipes at the grocery store been available to wipe the shopping cart? How many of us have regularly used them? How often have we washed our hands for the correct amount of recommended time?

After a while, it seemed evident, that regardless of one’s current health, and regardless of a potential virus coming into the community, we believe that the steps being taken now are pretty much common sense.

But for the most part, we just have not been doing them. Little kids have been sneezing into their sleeves for years now, and adults have not. This has been an eye-opener.

As we were having dinner, the topic turned to other creative gifts we might give. Our hostess suggested little timers next to the sink that beeped after 20 seconds to let the hand washer know they are finished. Imagine the shame coming back to the dinner table and hearing the beeper go off in the other room.

At the end of the evening we started to say goodbye. There was none of the usual hugging and kissing. We did our “air” kisses to one another and nodded appropriately.

We of all people understand the seriousness of the situation. We are all older than 60.

But we also acknowledged that good friends and laughter are always a key to good health.

Lee Scott, a writer and recent retiree, shares her everyday observations about life after career. A former commercial banker responsible for helping her clients to reach their business objectives, Scott now translates those analytical skills to her writings. She lives on St. Helena Island and enjoys boating, traveling and reading.

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