I have issues.
They started when I was a kid. My mom literally BEGGED me to invite people over for my birthdays etc. I couldn’t. I never fully understood why I was like that. It’s not like I was ashamed of where I stayed or anything and my parents were certainly not embarrassing in any way.
I recently read this post from Margot at Jou ma se blerrie blog where she had an issue because her little boy REFUSED to have his birthday party at home. It brought it all back for me. AS a child I couldn’t articulate WHY I was this way. As an adult, I can.
For me, it has to do with two things: Privacy and Insecurity.
I don’t like people coming around because it feels like they are in my space. My home is MY space. It’s the only place where I can completely let me hair down. I don’t need everyone seeing how I let my hair down. I reserve this part of me only for my husband and sons.
I don’t like people coming around because deep down I feel insecure (and yes, intellectually I know that it is ridiculous) about the fact that I live in a tiny little house with 2nd hand furniture. I am conscious of the fact that my house needs a lot of work and I keep thinking that visitors can see ALL the cracks in the walls etc.
I don’t like people coming to my house because I somehow just don’t feel “free” if that makes any sense. It feels like I need to play a role – the role of homemaker, entertainer, hostess. ALL these roles don’t come naturally to me and I have to work VERY hard to get into them.
People in my life already know not to just pitch up at my place or to just quickly pop in. Those who know me (including my very close family) know that they MUST call first – this gives me a chance to prepare myself mentally and psychologically for people invading my space. And they also know that they can’t stay long. Really, I have been known to tell people that it’s time to go home now – especially if they have been sitting on my couch for two hours already!
Co-incidentally, my husband and Child1 are completely opposite. They LOVE having people over and I have really had to work hard to come to terms with this and make it work for me. After all, I would rather have Child 1’s friends play at our house than to have him go outside of the home to socialise. I literally can’t relax when I have people over and I am incredibly tense. Interestingly enough, when my son has his friends over I am not like this at all, it’s only when other adults come around. The other strange thing is that when I do entertain (usually under duress) then I pull it off sooooo well so I know that I can play that role and play it well.
Truthfully, I don’t really like my house all that much. I am VERY grateful for my shelter and that it is liveable and relatively comfortable, but purchasing it was a mistake. My DH and I made the mistake of buying a fixer-upper. We kind of forgot that one needs money to do the actual fixer-upper work and I think we thought that doing fixer-upper work would cost next to nothing. The house wasn’t expensive compared to all the others in the area so we thought that we could pull it off.
When we eventually moved in we saw that there was just so much wrong. In order for us to fix our house, we need to first fix the mistakes of OTHER PEOPLE. We find this COMPLETELY overwhelming and during the last few years of financial difficulty it certainly wasn’t a priority to do fixer-upper stuff.
My house reminds me that I can make bad decisions. It reminds me that I once did something without thinking properly about it. It reminds me that I can be stupid. It reminds me of an incredibly difficult time in my life.
I think that I don’t like people coming over because then they will see this. I don’t want them to see this.
We are going to sell this house. Soon. We need a new beginning.
Seriously though. Please don’t take it personally if I don’t invite you over. It’s not you. It’s me.
We can meet at the beach. Or at a venue. Or at a coffee shop. You can even invite me to your place. Just not at my house. Sorry.x
Are you big on entertaining? Do you love having people over?