My best advice for Staying Alive if you’re Undomestic:
Marry a man or woman who can cook.
Not that you have to marry him/her. Just beg the person to live with you – especially at mealtime and most especially when guests come to visit.
If you’re resolutely single, make sure that all your close friends are chefs living nearby.
Advice on Arranging Flowers:
Grow hostas. Not for the flowers, but the leaves. Grow hostas in pots or in a garden bed, but do grow them.
Their large green leaves make an easy centrepiece on your dinner or lunch table.
Should you feel aspirational, you may want to arrange them: place flowers in the centre of the vase.
Advice on Inviting Guests to your Home:
Never invite tall people to your house. They are bound to see the dust of ages in spaces where you can’t reach/have never thought of cleaning. If you’re tall, then the same advice goes for very short guests. They’ll see the dust-balls in the corners of every room.
Advice for Guests:
Ask questions. If an Undomestic Diva invites you to dinner or lunch, there’s only one question that needs to be asked: “Who’s cooking?”
If, for example, I tell you I’m doing the cooking, you must instantly remember a previous and very urgent commitment for that date. If, however, I indicate that my husband is doing the cooking, you’re safe. Just show up on time, with a bottle of wine.
If, per chance, you are determined to visit me, then do what my close friends and relatives have done over the years: phone back and say, “We know how busy you can get, so we’re going to bring part of the meal.” That way, you’re guaranteed to have something edible or at the least, unburned.
Listen, friends — it’s not that I can’t cook at all. It’s that everything I’ve ever cooked for guests turns out badly. As for flower arrangements: the photo above was my best ever. I decided to quit while I was ahead!