Survey: Do You Feel Judged When You Host?

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Here comes Cook-zilla. New Yorkers are caught up in a food frenzy, reports The Times.

The article says guests are evaluating each other's dinner parties, passing mean comments about the eats as they pass the gravy. And hosts stress over menus and fear what their friends will say about the food.

"Dinner parties have been fraught with performance anxiety for as long as people have given them," said last week's article. "But for some hosts in the age of the armchair Boulud, even a laid-back dinner with friends can be a challenge to their sense of self-worth."

Pratie Place sums the story this way: "In a society where people have too much money, the unending quest to ruin simple things continues." Pretty sad, right?

Where do you think all this stress is coming from? People used to blame Martha Stewart for pushing people to be the perfect host, but she's relaxed her standards the past couple of years.

We say: Lighten up, people. Enjoy the summer, enjoy your friends, and have fun cooking for them. Grilled foods and some easy summer drinks are a great antidote to all this drama. Please remember the old saw: Guests have more fun when they see you are having fun too. Anything less would be uncivilized.

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