There is a question that has been bouncing around in my head. I wanted to bring it up here to see what you all have to say about it. The question is this: Do my hospitality habits determine whether you want to invite me over?
See, I have been plagued with the notion that hospitality needs to be ‘perfection forward’. I am not a perfectionist, but I have this idea that I need to put forth that kind of effort if I invite someone over. I agonize and stress over it way too much. It pays off, though. My house looks amazingly different 5 minutes before a guest arrives than it did 24 hours prior.
At the same time, I have noticed that I am more hesitant to invite my friends whose homes are always show-worthy. I feel inferior and insecure about having them over. I worry they will notice details that I have overlooked and not feel honored, despite my best attempts.
So I have this nagging question about whether other people feel that way too. And if they do, does my desire to make a clean impression on my guests make them feel uncomfortable inviting me over? Does my attempt to welcome my invitees with my best faux-foot-forward cause them to assume I’m a great housekeeper and make them nervous about what I will see at their house?
I wonder if some of the people, who I think are amazing at keeping their homes immaculate, are actually just like me. Are they also barely keeping on top of the mess until they invite me over and then frantically clean for my arrival? Do I make assumptions about all-the-time based on what I see sometimes?
I’m not talking about my best friends. I know them well and they know the real me. And to be honest, most of them live too far away to get together very often, which is a bummer. I’m referring to hospitality towards people who I am still getting to know.
I’m anxious to hear what you all have to say. Do you feel more comfortable inviting someone into your space whose standards are a bit lower? Does it set you at ease to see a bit of their dust, realizing it might help them understand yours too?
Or is it more honoring to you when someone elevates their standards to welcome you? How does it work in your home? Do you prefer to entertain, and be entertained, with perfection forward hospitality?
I realize that hospitality is much more than the cleanliness of a home. I would even say it is mostly about the way a guest is made to feel during the time we spend together. Related Post: SuperPower Sunday: Hospitality
I am specifically asking about the preparations that happen before the doorbell rings, because that is where I struggle most, both in thought and in practice. It may be a silly question, but it is an honest one. Do you think my hospitality habits would affect whether you’d want to invite me over?