I don’t invite many people into my home. I meet friends and coworkers at restaurants, cafes, lounges, stores and offices. We get together at nice, public, neutral places. Places that don’t belong to me. Places for which I’m not responsible.
I spent a lot of years living in a full house. My mother and my brother moved in with me just after I graduated from college. And I became the head of household with all that that entails. Arianna moved in shortly after, with the pretext that she was going to help with the bills. After that there was never any room, never any privacy. I didn’t invite people over.
And many many years passed.
It was just a few years ago that I got my space back. A quaint, comfortable little apartment in the middle of town that was perfectly perfect. Big bedroom, big closets, and small living room and dining room. Just enough space for me. And not enough space for anyone else.
In the two years I lived there I only hosted two dinners: one for friends and one for family. Both were within a few months of moving in. Then I never did it again. I did bring a few friends in, casually, but that didn’t go well and it only reinforced my natural hermit tendencies.
If I invite you to come over to my place, it’s rude to just bring someone else without checking. It’s mean to tell me that the place is really small, “so cozy,” 50 different ways in a condescending tone. It’s hurtful to tell me that I’m wasting my money on rent and should be a grown up and buy a house.
If I invite you into my home, you should be a good guest.
I’ve lived in this new place for nearly a year and just this week had friends over for dinner. Not family, who are here frequently but I haven’t actually had over for a formal dinner, but friends.
Immediately after making the invitation i looked around and I worried. There were piles of shoes on the floor of my bedroom… my tiny bedroom that looks like the dorm-room of some college kid. There were piles of dishes sitting in the sink and stacks of mail on my coffee table. And I had a laptops and stacks of files on the dining room table.
And so I cleaned and organized and washed and got things settled. and then I worried… Did I clean the house well enough? Is everything organized? Will they like it? Did I get enough food? Did I get the right food? Etc., etc., etc.
In essence, what they think would matter. By inviting them over I was giving them the opportunity to judge me. And that’s what I was worried about.
My home is my safe space. Why would I invite you into my safe place if I don’t trust you?
***** Written on my ipad. I promise to proof and edit it later (maybe). ******