I am always looking in discount aisles and thrift stores and yard sales for paper napkins. In a pinch, they work well for me.

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I was at a friend’s house recently, where we had a gathering for about 20 people. A business was catering the food that came, but when they actually arrived they did not bring the dishes, silverware, napkins or wine glasses for the buffet dinner.

I saw my friend stressed for about 2 minutes, and then she got over it. We talked it through, we decided “forget the cloth napkins,” and we rummaged through her napkin drawer, coming up with 3 different “Fall” patterns of paper napkins (from previous parties) that would work.

We were creative in putting them out on the table, her husband helped her gather 20 dinner plates, she reached for her nice silverware, and the table was complete.

I agree that cloth napkins are lovely, and I use them most of the time (especially when I plan ahead for a party), but for last minute or when you don’t have time to iron cloth, paper works just great.

I love this story because I saw my “reluctant” friend go with the flow, come up with a plan, and this story says that sometimes what we think should be perfect is not how things turns out.

Do you use cloth or paper for a dinner party? Do you have a time where you realized that embracing imperfect actually turned into something really good?

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