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Rules of the House May 10, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, People, Spirit & Ego.

We had an unexpected house guest this weekend, who showed up carting a lot of baggage.  

After depositing his luggage in the living room, the visitor looked around our somewhat eclectic space and immediately pointed out a few pieces of decor which clashed with his bags.

Rather than focusing on the totality of the space, or on the pieces he liked and admired, he focused exclusively on the one or two articles he found unsettling.

He claimed the discordance made him feel unhappy,  uncomfortable, unwelcome, and ill-at-ease.

Surprised, we wondered what he wanted us to do about the negative feelings he was generating inside himself.

We did not have to wait long to find out . . .

Instead of setting his baggage aside, or putting it in the other room for the duration of his stay, he calmly suggested that we redecorate our living space to accommodate his baggage.

Smiling at this rather unusual request, we declined.

Our living space, rather unique and abstract, works perfectly for us.  It’s comfortable, cozy, and makes us happy. 

Most visitors feel completely at ease in the space.  Many are repeat visitors.  

While I doubt that our guests would decorate their interiors in exactly the same way, none has previously suggested that we change our interior to suit any particular sense and sensibility on their part.

When we ignored our visitor’s increasingly forceful suggestions, he accused us of being insensitive, callous, and cruel, and left in a huff ~ taking his pride and prejudice with him.

After he left, we reflected on the situation, and decided to post the following Rules of the House:

1.  All visitors welcome.  Make yourself at home.

2.  Your baggage is your responsibility, not ours. 

3.  If you leave your luggage lying around, please don’t expect us to step gingerly over and around it as we tend to our business. 

4.   This is not a therapist’s office, and we are not your therapists.  

5.  Our interior decor is the process of conscious choices made over a period of years using our cumulative life experiences. 

6.  Please don’t expect us to redecorate to suit your likes and dislikes.

7.  If  you feel uncomfortable with our choice of interior illumination and decor, we’d like to toss out a few options for your consideration:

* Learn to accept what you cannot change
* Choose to change what you can ~ i.e., your own focus
* Use visualization to create your dream space  
* Meditate to reclaim your serenity & peace of mind
* Focus on the positives, not the negatives
* View our decor with amused detachment, not anger

One last rule: 

If none of the above works . . . please stop looking around at our stuff.   

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote:  It takes 17 muscles to smile and 47 muscles to frown.  Conserve energy.  ~ Unknown


1. Loreen Lee - May 10, 2010

You’ve got a good sentence here to post on Uphill word for the day. He’s looking for something ‘eclectic’. All the best.

2. nrhatch - May 10, 2010

I saw that . . . synchronicity at work? : )

3. Joanne - May 10, 2010

Okay, Nancy, may I be perfectly blunt about this…? I think you might have conserved some of that creative writer’s energy of yours by simplifying those Rules of the House to not accomodate peculiar visitors like that.

I entertain a lot and I’ve been entertained in many homes over the years… So, forgive me for sounding a bit calloused towards your “unexpected” guest who just “showed up” with all of his baggage… but what kind of person does that — show up that way and then voice such unrealistic expectations — as a guest in someone else’s house…?

I might have put up one sign in plain English: “Welcome to our ecclectic abode… Variety is the spice of life… If it’s too spicy for you here, please cover your buttocks on the way out…” Of course, I softened it a bit from “Don’t let the door hit you on the ‘arse’ on the way out…” I’m sure there’s more to this story if read between the lines, but really…!

4. nrhatch - May 10, 2010

Joanne ~

You are exactly the type of guest that we love to entertain!


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