Nov 30, 2008

Unplanned Hospitality and a Scenic Ride on the Karma Train

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Typically, Thanksgiving is a holiday I don't worry too much about. Over the last 10 years I simply try to work it, as the pay is good and I get a decent meal to boot. This year was slightly different. While I actually worked on Thanksgiving, I was off the next day.

I brined my bird, I roasted it for most of the day, and it was solid. The food was excellent, and I have to say my turkey could not have turned out better. 23 pounds of juicy, tender goodness.
But I don't know that recounting the meal is what this is all about. In fact, I do know. Its about a small lesson I learned regarding a simple act of Unplanned Hospitality.

Wife and I don't open our home to too many people. In fact, we are somewhat reclusive in that aspect. I have always been this way. In high school I had a small group of friends who I hung with, but never needed any more than that. Once I left high school I actually found myself somewhat floundering socially since all my friends had gone their separate ways and I was about the only one who stuck around home. This has carried on into my adult life. I have a small group of friends who I am close to and don't need any more. Its my comfort zone. Wife is the same way really. I think she is even less tolerant of others (at times) than I am.

So we invite 2 couples over for a post-Thanksgiving dinner. Dennis and his wife, Duane and his wife. The same group we made our Disneyland trip with. This was a good plan. Our home is a little cramped at times, but we were prepared to squeeze in and have a good evening. Then the plans changed a little.

Duane, who apparently has a habit talking before he completely processes the impact of his words, invited someone we barely know to join us for dinner. Lynn is a nice person, she is the ex-wife of one of our co-workers, but we barely know her. Dennis and his wife know her even less than we do. Now, we have spent the last week reminding Duane of what a dumb ass he is, and about simple manners when you, yourself, are invited over to someone elses home. We have been fairly relentless. But I digress.

We could have told Duane to fix the issue, as we did not invite her. This would have taken a lot of the burden off of us, which would have been the easier thing to do. Or we could simply accept her into our home and make the best of it. I guess these statements are somewhat drastic sounding, but we really, rarely invite people to our home. So for us this was a bit of a leap.

We decided we would not turn someone away from our home )Karma would most likely hit us later like an atomic bomb of unhappiness). So we accepted that Lynn would be joining us for dinner. And she did, and it wasn't a big deal. One more person made very little difference, except a little less elbow room at the table. But the conversation was pleasant, the food was excellent (a little pat on the back for me and my turkey), and hopefully Wife and I are better people for simply opting to be better people instead of shutting the door on a person. And let me tell you, the door shuts very easily (its a pretty light door).

So Karma, dear Karma, hopefully when we meet again it will be on pleasant terms; after all, I'm doing my best to do my part.


  1. Congrats on jumping out of your comfort zone just a bit!

  2. Good job! I have a small circle of friends also so I can relate. I wish I could have tasted the turkey! Mom and I are proud of you and the good karma you are inviting into your home. --Dad

  3. Kudos for you.

    I feel the same way about my home. I seldom, SELDOM have people over. And when I do it's only after hiring a cleaning crew. (not that my place is filthy, I just have this weird fear of being judged as 'dirty').

    From what I've read here, you seem to be creating lots of good karma. I hope you reap the rewards of that with love, happiness and health.


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