Sunday, July 09, 2006

COME IN! COME IN!
Does the thought of having people over send you into a tailspin? If your best friend in the world dropped by, unannounced, would you apologize for the state of your house, attire, hair? What's up with that?
I've hosted gatherings in my house many times. What I've finally come to learn about myself is that the less I know/care about the people coming over, the more I work to prepare for them. Tell me 20 strangers will be over later, and I'll be down on my knees cleaning the baseboards in no time. Tell me in July that I'll be having a Christmas party in December, and I'll compulsively start a list of all the things that need cleaning by then, plotting each one on my calendar as though the world's continued ability to spin relies on the cleanliness of my grout. It's crazy.
If one of my true blues drops by, they're likely to catch me unshowered, dishes and crumbs everywhere, the house in general disarray. The fact that I would actually let them past the front door, is the highest possible compliment I could pay.
"Come in! Come in!" translates to: I know you love me, unconditionally, the state of my house does not in any way translate to the state of your approval. I am willing to be seen "naked", if you will.
When I go to someone's house and they apologize before letting me in, I'm slightly offended. Do they really think that I am there to judge? Do they really think that if their house is not perfect, my love for them will be imperfect? How did the cleanliness of the house get so intertwined with our ideas and value of ourselves?

8 comments:

Wanda Tucker said...

Yeah, I'm with you. If I waited until my house was pristine to have anyone over, I'd NEVER have company. Here I am--warts and all!

Reverse Stalker said...

Habit, Honey. Good daughters descended from good mothers. If they had style, we have style. If they apologized, we apologize. It's in the blood.

Of course you aren't judging me for the fact that my house looks like a bomb went off. It's not about YOU...it's about ME!

I'm apologizing for how sorry I am that you cannot step anywhere without landing on a fishy cracker, a ballet slipper or a wayward lego piece. I am sad that you cannot sit anywhere that isn't sticky or wet. I am full of regret that the best I can offer is a cushion on the front steps, where you will not be able to finish one sentance of a conversation and will be fully accessorized with a feather boa, a tiara and Mardi Gra beads by a four year old.

But, I shove my sadness aside with my happiness for your presence in the chaos!

I know you love me (and the mess) and that you will graciously take a seat on the steps and very soon, we'll be laughing like hyenas over a nice cuppa tea! (is that getting old yet??)

Suzy said...

Fortunately when my friends come over, they come over "dog hair ready", that is, no black clothing or anything that shows all the dog hair. Love me,love my dogs. (i.e.-mess)

Lee Wolfe Blum said...

Oh yes, I am right there with you. I get down on my hands and knees to scrub the baseboards and literally within 5 minutes there are crumbs everywhere! It never ends!!! And how about the walls that we haven't finished painting??
Or the curtains that haven't been hung.

I just keep telling myself...if Katrina hit it would all be gone in a second and I would still have my relationships. That, to me, is more valuable (eventhough I still go crazy over the disarray in my house!)

Oh...and I forgot one minor detail...we don't have hurricanes in Minnesota :)

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