(Inspired by Unpacked Writer’s post.)
I grew up in a house where visitors were not received without notice. This meant that my friends and suitors often spent their visiting time on the porch with me, or sometimes, in the driveway.
However, with my own household, I am only a bit more relaxed.
I’ll open the door for a few people. If I’m not in the mood for company, I might hide in the back of the house. Really just depends on how the dog reacts to who’s at the door…Yes, my dog makes a lot of my decisions about etiquette.
I opened my door to a policeman the other day, because I think one should, but I was clad only in my towel, with dripping wet hair. Policeman was extremely embarrassed, probably because he looked to be about twelve. He could have called first, couldn’t he?
I’ve often had the house where all the kids hang out and I’m okay with that, because I know where my kids are and I know where my kids are and I know where my kids are. There are a lot of strange people in the world, and they make strange little kids, and it’s just better for me to deal with strange little kids than to subject my children to strange adults. Please note: if allowed, strange adults and their strange little children will come to your house and behave strangely, while saying strange things.
For inside hospitality, we hafta know the kid’s parents, or have come to know the child pretty well before the welcome has been issued. Most of our children are introverts, who really just seem to collect a friend here or there, but Moo brings the entire party home. For this reason, I’m happy to be the mom with boxes of ice pops and plenty of outside toys.
I lived on an Army base for seven years, and many of my neighbors came to call regularly, which I enjoyed, and did in turn. I had several neighbors who became friends, almost like family, in the way that we were, at times, the only local support we had. Army Wives are extremely independent people, but they are also incredibly vulnerable and no one is an island. With all of our families and closest friends states away, we came together easily. Who will babysit, throw you a baby shower, give you a ride, or make you soup when you’re sick? An Army Wife.
Seeing the same people day-in and day-out, through all their highs and lows produces a certain level of comfort, I suppose. I didn’t hesitate to leave my children or my house key with the exemplary women I came to know and love.
Now that I am back in civilian world, few people are welcome to drop by my house at any time. No one has my house key.
My schizophrenic neighbor comes by at least once a week, always with a kindly, but completely ridiculous token. He has terrible timing, bless his heart.
The about six people I welcome to drop in on me do not do so often, because it’s quite a drive, or because their good manners prevent them from doing so, but they really are always welcome.
I’m not much for dropping by. I prefer to call ahead, in case you’re knee-deep in oven grease, or worse, you’re already entertaining a person I can’t stand.
The people who drop by here the most are my in-laws, which ALWAYS happens at the least convenient times: I am barely dressed, I am painting the dining room, I am crazy neem-faced lady, I am giving the dog (and most of my clothes) a bath, I am having a nap, I am wiping out cupboards and all of my items are on the counters while loud, inappropriate music rocks the casbah. *facepalm*
I wish very much that I could tell them always to call first, but it would offend them, I’m sure.
Ironically, when they call me, they always ask me if it’s a good time.
How do you handle unannounced company? Do you let your dog make your decisions, too?