Entertaining is not my thing. Cooking and cleaning, yes, but providing a warm and welcoming home to people not actually living in said home? Not so much. Slightly obsessive people with control issues (however self-aware) really have no business trying to play host.
Once every blue moon, my husband and I either choose to invite friends over for a meal or are sort of talked into throwing a party. Last week, we did the former and it was wonderful. Here's what I learned about throwing a successful summer dinner party:
1) Invite people you like and who don't need to be impressed.
2) Make most of the meal ahead of time.
3) Have the kids eat outside while the adults are inside.
4) Go barefoot.
5) Have another glass of wine, sit down to enjoy your meal, and talk to your friends.
6) Check on the kids now and again, but let them figure out what to do. Ours invented elaborate outdoor games and then chased fire flies.