Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hospitality Stage One

I am so sick of 'fellowship' I could scream. 'Honey, we're having dinner with the Schmo's tonight,' is enough to cause me to grumble, grit my teeth and get that weird little twitch in my eye.

'Dad, she's twitching again...'

Mr. Visionary tries to help: 'Relax, Baby, it's just dinner. It's no biggie.'

No biggie. Right. At the Schmo's house, I know what is happening. Maniacal cleaning, , the 'perfect' meal rivaling a Thanksgiving feast is being prepared, fussing at the kids that 'They will be here in two hours. Hurry up!', and all manner of pressure and strain. I've been there. I know.

It's mirror image occurring at my house is equally stressful. We all have to be dressed 'just so', we give the kids 'The Talk' about behavior, best and otherwise, and Mr. Visionary and I run down the list of contraband conversation topics. Right. Don't talk about Christmas, homeschooling, or homesteading because they aren't into all of that. Check. Remind me again what I can talk about?

The appointed time arrives, as we do ten minutes later. We spend the next three hours in politically correct conversation, dressed in our best clothes, with all our kids on their best 'company' behavior. How sweet...in an artificial kind of way.

On the ride home...

Mr. Visionary: 'Well, did you have a good time?'
The Mommy: 'Yeah, I guess. It was fine.'

Mr. Visionary: 'So, what does she think about ___? What are their plans for ___? How are they liking ___?'
The Mommy: 'I don't know. All I know is that their children, their house and their life are all perfect, school is going great, and she got the chicken recipe from her Mother-in-law.'

Mr. Visionary: 'You, too, huh? I feel like by the time we got everyone ready and drove there and back, we just wasted half a day of our lives to go see a show, and walked away just as lonely as we went in.'
The Mommy: 'There's got to be a better way...'

Whatever happened to real life? Whatever happened to real fellowship?

For Stage Two of our journey through hospitality, click here.

For Stage Three of our journey through hospitality, click here.

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