6 Items I Didn’t Know I Needed Until My Family Came to Visit

In my quest to embrace adulthood, I thought having my own apartment, sans-roommates, was a good step in the right direction. I was eager to show off my non-Ikea furnished apartment, equipped with a full-sized kitchen table and a patio that is actually used for sitting, not storing. I even have a basil plant on said patio. Real adults use fresh herbs.

I was ready to play the role of the gracious host. The conveyor belt of relatives turned on, I have had several visitors come by over the past few months. It began with my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins, more aunts and uncles, and continued on with my immediate family.  After having multiple guests over, I learned that unbeknownst to me, my adult apartment is only in its infantile stage. Here’s what I really could use:

1. A Tablecloth

I really shouldn’t serve food on a nice wooden table with out a plastic tablecloth beneath it. I thought the four place mats I had should suffice, but my grandmother could not emphasize enough the need for a full, plastic tablecloth to cover the entire table.  The only place I can picture that item is on my grandmother’s own dining room table, and I don’t find it very aesthetically pleasing. I guess she was right that the placemats were not enough though because months later I am still trying to get the granules of her Sweet N’ Low out of the cracks in my kitchen table.

2. Folding Chairs

How could I have six people over with only four chairs at the table for them to sit at? I need to get folding chairs. I was coming from the field of thought that any item with a flat top could serve as a chair—be it the coffee table, a large box from a recent online purchase, or several towels stacked on top of one another. Not so when you are entertaining for real. I guess it was a bit unreasonable to ask an 85-year-old to sit cross-legged on a blanket (kidding, Grandma got an actual chair at the table).

3. A Grown-Up-Sized Coffee Maker

Would anyone like some coffee from my Keurig machine? Yes, they all did. But the mini Keurig I have couldn’t go the speed it should to serve my aunt, uncle, cousins and grandparents all coffee, all at the same time. Impatience runs in the family. And no one liked waiting. For company, a full-sized coffee maker is needed.

4. Real Knives

Not all knives are created equal. If I am going to be cooking at home I need good knives. The cheapo set I got at Bed, Bath & Beyond will no longer cut it. Literally. I have gotten by, chopping and slicing most vegetables, albeit unevenly, and with a bit of a struggle, but my mother let me know that a good set of knifes would be life-changing. When I asked her to cut up a cantaloupe — because I sure as hell don’t know how to cut that thing — she was appalled at the knife selection available for her use.

5. Soft Scrub Bleach

Clorox wipes are my savior. They are pretty much the only items I used to clean. Bathroom, kitchen, living room, patio. . . grab a wipe and wipe away! When my mom starting asking me if I had soft scrub bleach I was confused as to why she needed it. Did she not see the round box of wipes? Apparently, some counters need more than a quick wipe. That was unfortunate to find out since I like cleaning as much as I’m finding I like entertaining.

6. A Sleeper Sofa

I love my new couch — it’s comfy, it’s the perfect indescribable color that magically matches everything and it has a big chaise lounge for total relaxation. But ya know what it’s not? A bed.  Both my sister (who had to sleep on it) and my father pointed out that a sofa with a bed in it would really be better. You know what I think would have been better? A hotel room!

Dyana Goldman moved from New York City to Los Angeles to pursue a career in sitcom writing. You can find her most weekends hiking in Runyon Canyon, taking sneaky photos of your dog, or at the Melrose Place Farmers market, making a meal out of free samples. While living in LA she has worked on several shows including
Entourage, Happy Endings and Growing Up Fisher. You can follow her on her blog or on Twitter @DyanaGoldman.

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