There is an internal battle between two aspects of my personality. I call them "the Hermit" and "the Hostess." The Hostess reads Martha Stewart Living and thinks of all sorts of cute things to do to make the house welcoming to hoards of theoretical guests. She buys things that will make really cute party decorations. The Hermit points out that the house is in no shape to receive guests. They agree on that, and the Hostess suggests getting to work, cleaning, painting, and arranging pretty things. The Hermit says, sure, but let's read up on it first. Then she gets a book and three magazines on decorating and goes to the hammock.
I don't think the Hermit wants company and she knows that the Hostess wants something close to perfection before she starts hosting. You can see who has the advantage here.
So, do I want my house welcoming? I think it's unrealistic to think the house will be perfect, of course. It's also unrealistic to fear that it will be so welcoming I won't be able to get rid of people. It would be nice to have friends over for dinner or just to hang out awhile. Not too long. Not past 8:00 on a week night. Maybe not on a weeknight at all...
Maybe I can have some people for dinner. The Hermit is getting three cookbooks and a half dozen magazines. Maybe I'll just have a cook-out. The Hostess is rushing to World Market to buy cute cook out containers, napkins, throws... Maybe I'll just sit down and read my book while they work it out.
OK, my house should be:
- Welcoming, but not too welcoming
Two and a half down, four to go.