It is two and half years since we moved here.We do have people coming and going and staying with us for a few days to nearly a month even, but I don’t have any local friends who I have invited over for a meal. That is very strange because I always have friends and I always love having friends over for a meal or even for a cup of tea.
Actually, if I remember right, my house keys would be with close friends and they had access to my house whether I was at home or not.
That was the case even after the kids came. Now all of a sudden I realise over the past six years since I quit my job and moved to India there are very less visitors home on a regular basis like it used to be. I remember having someone over even five days a week sometimes. When I think back I think I know the reasons why things have changed.
I believe in scruffy hospitality. My house was clean, at least clean enough with things in place till kids came. I never was a person who liked my house dirty anyway. I was not one of those people who would run around cleaning the house because someone arrived at the door. I believed that when someone comes to your house, they know about you and your home and you don’t have to pretend to be someone whom you are not. Things were OK with the other person in the house because the house was clean.
Now all of a sudden the problem is that the house is not “clean” anymore. I have two kids, two homeschooled kids so we mess around with everything, the house is not spic and span anymore! We have lego all over the living room floor and if you walk without hurting your feet then you deserve a medal! Then the kitchen is full of bowls of salt water growing salt crystals as on today! Tomorrow it might be some other experiments! Initially, it was very hard for me to live like this. I was a person who used to clean the house when the kids nap only for them to wake up and mess it all over again! But I had to do it! I had to bite my teeth and say “it is not the end of the world, it is not life or death, let it be”. If I hadn’t done that then I would have been in a mental asylum. Now comes the problem, while I have learnt to bite my teeth and manage with what I have, I think the other adult in the house is not ready to accept this. He tried telling us to clean up, we would and it would remain like that for like ten minutes, ten whole minutes and then it would be back to its “normal” self.He has given up on us! So no more visitors for us.
We are like extreme opposites here. He likes the house to be clean, likes people to appreciate him for everything and loves to push food. Not a single person can come to our house and leave with an empty stomach! Whereas, I am more casual. The door will always be open, the house will remain as it is. My close friends have access to the kitchen and they are allowed to switch on the kettle and make their coffee while I am busy doing something! I am not a person to say, please sit in the living room and be treated like a king/queen, I would gladly ask them to be a part of the family and pick what they like from the kitchen! I will always offer food but will not force people if they don’t want, while he is the opposite, as in, he will forcefully put food on a plate and hand it over, sometimes there will be food on the plate which the other person might not like!
Anyway, back to the point. I like people, I love to have them over. Bring your food if you want. Come to my home, pick what you want from the table and have good fun without having to think about it. If you are hungry, ask, or better still explore my fridge. My home may not be the cleanest home, but I can guarantee you that you will always be welcome and be made to feel at home. Welcome to my scruffy home for some scruffy hospitality!