You know what’s slightly terrifying?
Having people over.
I know, I know. It seems silly. But it’s really a lot to commit to. Clean house, good food (in the right amount so there’s enough for everyone but not buckets of leftovers. And also accommodates allergies), look nice, have pleasant conversation, get along with S, don’t drop chocolate down your shirt in the first 4 minutes of their arrival and then (in your nervousness) somehow neglect to retrieve all of it so the guest points out the chunk of chocolate slowly melting into your cleavage and the shirt and you have to wonder if you pretend it’s not there and button up the next button or stop everything and get a paper towel or just lick your thumb and wipe it up and you end up preoccupied for the entire rest of the evening and want to crawl into a hole.
Not that that happened….
(Okay it happened.)
I am introverted. People aren’t exactly my forte. I feel awkward most of the time. I can punch through it and talk and even have a nice time. It just isn’t my natural strength.
As I was preparing for company this weekend, I was thinking of all the lovely people I’ve heard say ‘Well, hospitality just isn’t my gift!’
What is the gift of hospitality, anyway?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized it’s basically just inviting other human beings into your home so you can be nice to them and care (at least a little) about them.
That seems easy enough.
Even an introverted, potentially socially awkward person with a rumored history of wearing chocolate can be hospitable if that’s all it’s about.
My house is not an empty show house – I live here. It doesn’t have to be totally spotless. The food served may not suite everyone’s tastes perfectly. It’s okay; I still shared a meal with them. S sometimes makes me crazy. Guests are driven crazy by other human beings as well.
These things I am so quick to count as flaws are simply reality. Reality connects people.
It’s okay to drop our fronts, to discard the masks. We may even find that they are just waiting for someone they don’t have to pretend with either.