On the day we moved into our apartment, Davis and I raced each other up the stairs with box after box of wedding gifts. By the time the car was empty, a small summit had overtaken the living room. We sat on the wood floor, overheated and relieved, and salvaged two clean plates from a Pottery Barn box. Someone had given us fancy olive oil for the wedding, and we ripped and dipped chunks of leftover ciabatta bread. We ate our first meal in that home amid chaos while listening to Voxtrot and saying thank you - not quite communion, but close.
That same night, friends came over bearing gifts: toilet paper, hand soap, butternut squash soup, a pot, and beer. (Side note: always, ALWAYS bring a friend who's just moved toilet paper, so they can finally use their own bathroom. And bring them cold beer.) We made grilled cheese sandwiches and heated the soup and sat on the floor again to eat, a little tribe this time.
Of all the meals we've eaten in our apartment, those two might be my favorite.
I love them for their unexpectedness and informality. And I always liked this about Chilean hospitality, too. No pretense, and no invitation needed; if you showed up at a friend's house you could count on being welcomed and fed. On more than one occasion while living in Chile, I watched guests appear unnanounced at the dinner table, while my host mother ran to the kitchen for extra plates and food. Even for planned gatherings, there was little prep. No cleaning or fuss - just heat the grill and open the front door.
What I love about our home is not how it looks but who fills it. Here's to informality, and more meals on the floor.