One of the core values I try to live by and have for most of my life is Hospitality. On a basic level it is opening my door to someone in need, within some safety parameters of course.
On a more personal level it means offering our guest bed (and before we had that, I offered my couch/blow-up mattress) to friends and family that are visiting from out of town or in transition and needing a place to crash for a bit. In fact my husband takes it to another level and offers our guest room to colleagues coming to town.
This may sound mundane to some but for me it is a big deal. I’m a very private person who likes quiet and peace in the home and I get anxiety about people judging my home and liftestyle. I’m stuck in my ways and to be honest I like being bra-less which doesn’t happen when people are visiting. That said, I have enjoyed every single person who has come to stay with us. Truly. But it does amp up my anxiety a bit. Still, we offer.
On the flip side it has come to my attention that I hope for hospitality in return by my friends and family, not as payback but as a life core value and standard I guess I hope most people live by. I am a little bitter right now because it hasn’t been extended to me by not just my home town people who know I’m coming in from overseas but by a group I’m driving to visit in another state. Not even my parents, I had to ask. In fact, they went so far as to remove the guest bed altogether a few years ago so I feel uncomfortable asking to stay there. It isn’t even because they offered before and I declined or I accepted and was a bad visitor. They have never offered in the 20 years I have lived away and come home for visits. I have stayed with my parents before but I had to ask every time. I do shower and brush my teeth every day and think I’m a nice person, most days.
A select few have mentioned in passing if I ever need to crash there when I’m in town, it’s an option but when I plan a trip the long ago offer is not re-extended. An open invitation made 10 years ago is uncomfortable to bring up by the receiving end.
Should I really have to ask?
I’ll even say that I wouldn’t take most up on the offer because I prefer a hotel for privacy but its the thought that counts isn’t it?
There are a couple of shining star friends who have offered up their home when I visit and to me they are leaps ahead of those who don’t say anything. One even offered to cover the hotel room for me because I am driving quite a distance to visit her. It’s kindness and thoughtfulness. It just occurred to me too that those who do offer are also the ones who come to visit me, so maybe it’s because they understand travel costs?
Anyone reading this…when someone you know says they are coming to town and its someone you want to get together with (not an undesirable), do you offer up your guest bed/couch in case it is helpful? If not, why?