Read an Excerpt
I Like You
By Amy Sedaris
Copyright © 2006
All right reserved.
Dear [your name here],
Whether you live in a basement with the income of a ten-year-old
girl or on a saffron farm in the south of Spain, the spirit of
hospitality is the same. It's the giving of yourself, a present of
you to them from me for us.
"Hello, and I like you." This is what you're saying when you invite
somebody into your home, without having to hear yourself say it out
loud. This colorfully illustrated book (see pictures) is my attempt
to share with you something I take very seriously: entertaining in
my home, my style. It may not be the proper way, or the most
traditional, or even legal, but it works for me. I can't write good,
but I can cook even better and I am willing to share with you my
sackful of personal jackpot recipes that, because of their proven
success, I continue to make, over and over again. I will also show
you ways to plan, present, and participate in self-award-winning
Even though the word "entertainment" is commonly used today, to me
it sounds charmingly old-fashioned, like courtship or back-alley
abortion. I like the traditional idea of entertaining, which for me
means lively guests, good food, cocktails, and bubbly conversation.
I'd like to bring entertaining back to these essentials. I'm not
concerned with proper table settings, seatingarrangements, or
formal etiquette. Who can have a good time with all those rules? How
can you enjoy yourself if you're worried whether you're using the
right fork, or wondering whether the pumpkin is the bowl or part of
the meal? I'm not trying to discourage you from being creative or
encouraging you to neglect the details, but know that the nuts of
any good party are the simple basics provided in a warm environment.
I tend to live my life like a deaf person. I communicate with my
actions: the way I dress, the way my home is decorated, and the
gifts I give all speak for me. I take this to heart when I
entertain. My food, my party decorations, the games I create, and
the music I play are all personal expressions. This is what will
make your party special, sharing a piece of you, a feeling. It's not
a competition. You don't have to be the perfect host, just the
This is not a joke cookbook. I don't like joke cookbooks because I
can't take them seriously. This book is full of real information.
Most of the little I know, I learned from my mom, as well as Girl
Scouts and Junior Achievements, my second first grade teacher, my
family, Aunt Joyce, the backs of boxes, the lady who works at the
post office, encyclopedias, the beach, bartending school, grocery
stores, airports, waiting on tables, Mrs. Enchandi, nurses, sitcoms,
Hugh, listening to the radio, babysitting, rock concerts, summer
school, and the House Rabbit Society. I was also fascinated by two
local hospitality shows: At Home with Peggy Mann and The Betty
Elliot Show. I wanted to be both those women and now here's my
chance, and hopefully, with the help of my book, it will be your
chance as well.
Dear [your name here),
It occurred to me that I neglected to acknowledge in my first letter
that not everyone is interested in hospitality. There is nothing
wrong with not wanting to be a hospitable person and have groups of
people in your home touching your personables. Luckily, this sturdy
book will also inform you on how to be the perfect guest. From the
minute you say "Yes I'll be there," until the moment you say "I'm
sorry, I should go," you have an important role in making a party a
hit. Remember, one cannot throw a successful party without
Dear [your name here],
I hate to be a pest, but I was concerned that perhaps in my first
two letters I failed to completely convey my passion for
entertaining. I go bananas for entertaining! Sometimes though, I
feel entertaining is a dying art. My goal is to encourage you, [your
name here], to entertain in your home, your style. Having a party is
one of the most creative and generous activities that every person
can enjoy and indulge in, if you're on the list. Remember, by
inviting someone into your home, you're saying "I like you".
Excerpted from I Like You
by Amy Sedaris
Copyright © 2006 by Amy Sedaris.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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