You know what’s even nicer than having people over for dinner? Having them over for dinner and then they go away. No, even better – then they go away after helping with the cleanup.

I was going to have one rowing friend over for chili, but invited two more when I realized that serving a salad with it and having it over spaghetti would mean I had enough food for four. They came at 8:30, which is later than I usually eat, but one person had a running training session. (AFTER our rowing practice. Yes, she’s a bit scary.) That gave me lots of time to come home, get the place more or less in shape for guests (my stuff only arrived a week and a half ago; I figure I have an excuse for the one remaining box) and get everything ready at a nice leisurely pace. They liked the chili. I have enough left over for one meal. We talked rowing. I showed them pictures of the house we’re trying to buy. (I need to write about that but it feels too chancy to do until we have an actual firm closing date.) They perused my bookshelves – I love when people do that because I like looking at other people’s. Even better, one person commented that he noticed I had a few by Charlie Stross. (I do not generally get to hang out in the sort of circles where people talk about Charlie Stross, except online. So that was wicked cool.) It didn’t feel like we were rushing at all, but they all left about 10:30.

(It’s not the going home at an early hour I think is so great, it’s the going home before I start to get sleepy and wish you would go away. The actual hour of that depends on the life I’m living at the time – in college it could have been 1AM.) Between this and knitting night on Wednesday, I feel like I have a social life again. It’s a good feeling.