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We had some long-time friends over for dinner last night with their little girl. We enjoyed a nice meal, had some great conversation, shared some wine and the kids happily played together. When they were leaving, my friend said next, we come to her house. We both looked at each other and sort of laughed.
A nice life they have indeed, a beautiful and sweet mild-mannered two-year old in a pretty house–all seemingly manageable. Here? Three boys in often loud, chaos that involves weapons, a sharp eye for anything breakable, plenty of wrestling and always farts. Do you really want to have us over?
While I concede we don’t always make great company at “your house” it isn’t just the kids. I spend my entire visit at someone else’s house scanning the room for potential towering launch pads for bodies, breakable treasures that seem to have blinking lights on them flashing “Get me, Sam!” and apologizing profusely. A good time had by all? Most often not.
Maybe we should go more places so they learn to behave, but I am sure that will come in time. For now, they are little boys and too many rules just makes for lots of conflict. Conflict makes for frustration and frustration makes for punching! Don’t even ask me to take them to a restaurant, I will likely laugh right in your face (unless there is outdoor seating).
While I don’t usually enjoy myself at the home of others (unless the kids are home with the babysitter), it sure is nice to be invited. We do a fair amount of entertaining here, which I love. I have shared before how much I love to have a great meal with friends. But, it seems as most often, the invitation to someone else’s house is never extended.
I try to think that not everyone likes to entertain like I do, but then, being the obsessively-insecure-about-any-kind-of-relationship-outside-of-my-marriage kind of girl that I am, I obsess and think they don’t like us. I think they came over here, we chatted over dinner and they didn’t have a good time and decided they didn’t like us. But really, I think it is more that people just don’t like to have people over any more.
Do you keep score? (That is a hint to comment, all you stealth blog-readers). Do you expect a return invitation if you welcome someone in your home? I certainly don’t want the invitation if it is nothing more than a formality, a “now we have to have them over to our house.” Trust me, it is no picnic in the park to have us over (unless we are outdoors, then all of the above doesn’t apply and the boys are great). So, the invitation itself has become just as good as the actual event.
In other words, just getting invited makes me feel validated. Then, I usually talk them in to coming back over here. Not a martyr, just want to actually enjoy myself and that is most often done in our own home where anything they break, I know I already paid for.