home · relationships

My Fancy Friends Are Coming For Dinner

My personal community is diverse in every conceivable way, including in levels of income. Several in my tribe are poor, and many are wildly wealthy. I used to “feel weird” being in the homes of wealthy folks. Now I’m equally comfortable visiting the homes of my broke friends and my fancy rich friends. I get a real kick out of being in what seems to me “like a magazine photo.” I know that income and asset levels do not in themselves make people different from each other. At heart, we’re all the same.

And yet, this week I made myself very nervous by inviting a wealthy couple for dinner at my house. “What was I thinking?!!?!?” I balked after they said yes.

Here’s the thing, though: I really enjoy them. They are sweet and smart and compassionate and good-humoured and we have lots of trippy stuff in common. And, they’ve invited us to their home twice!

I don’t want my nice friends to not be hosted, doted on, and served just because they’re wealthy! I don’t want them to have to be the only hosts—or to experience isolation—just because they happen to have a really pretty and large home.

So, I’m taking a deep breath and pulling my psyche together.

I have a very, very, very small home. They will still fit inside.

My place could certainly use an interior paint job. It is okay if they notice that. Also, I will make our dinner a candlelit one!

Our chairs are hard, folding, and wobbling. As folks with full mobility, they will easily survive an hour in them, and you know what? I will graciously allow my guests to stand up whenever they want  😉

When I see my home through my perspective, I adore it. When I see it through the perspective of friends of similar financial “status”, I feel comfortable and proud. But when I view it through the imagined lens of my friends who own multiple, gorgeous homes, I am mortified. Enough so that in preparation for their visit I washed the doorway casing.

But, I am remembering, too, these things:

1. Many people in “developed” nations feel isolated and alone, because we’ve stopped sharing our lives.

2. Some of my dearest online friends are reluctant to invite folks into their sweet homes because their cupboard doors haven’t been replaced as recently as a neighbour’s.

3. Personally, I love going to any home that is hygienic. Size and fanciness don’t factor in. If my home is clean and accessible, I am already meeting all the needs many of us have.

4. I want my relationships to be reciprocal. I don’t want my wealthier friends to have the “burden” of doing 100% of the hosting. I want to give to them, too!

5. My little and modest home, while entirely comfy for me, leaves others feeling increased appreciation for their own. What a great gift to them!

This is not to say beauty and comfort are the domains of the wealthy. Plenty of talented folks create stunning atmospheres with very little cash outlay, and some with big bucks struggle to create or maintain an atmosphere that soothes or delights them.

I believe I create warm, cozy, comfortable spaces, albeit not visually striking ones. Soon, I might ask a few buddies—whether broke or rolling in it—who have a pronounced esthetic sense to come on over as a group and give me their ideas.

In the meantime, I’ve invited my friends of the multiple large-and-fancy homes to wobble on a chair, bask in candlelight, and enjoy unlimited bowls of love, my treat.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “My Fancy Friends Are Coming For Dinner

  1. Excellent points! The gift of your loving meal and time is a great present, especially those who can receive without being in judgment of their surroundings. I love modest homes–so cozy! So much better when the resident is utterly at ease and happy with their space, too.

    I have friends who have fancy places as well (and they were willing to work longer / study more than me, by far!), and hadn’t really concerned myself with their judgments of my place (except on the cleanliness side). But I do admit to occasionally feeling guilty about having more than some of my friends with less, primarily at my parties: I tend to be excessive in the range and quantity of food offered for guests, because I don’t want anyone visiting to go away hungry…

    Like

    1. Well, we love you as much as you love us, BNgarden! I LOVE the Feasts of Excess so many friends throw, and love leaving a place all full and warm 🙂 Definitely there is room in the world for all the experiences: simple, lavish, spare, abundant.

      I felt very hospitable when I asked my friends if they have any preferences, food allergies, or environmental sensitivities I could be aware of for them. Regardless of anyone’s income level, there are just so many ways we can show care and love for each other, aren’t there? So many aspects of life that money doesn’t touch, but that care does…

      Like

  2. I struggle with this too. Growing up, the message I received was that your worth as a human being was determined by your financial wealth. I still have a hard time believing that other people will not judge me as worthless if I don’t present signs of financial wealth.

    Good for you for pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and inviting others into your home and heart!

    Like

  3. BNGarden and Darcy, the dinner was AMAZING! The food turned out ridiculously delicious (that’s hit-or-miss in my world), and the space was so pretty and cozy. Red tablecloth from the thrift last year, a bright bunch of re-cut flowers still strong from the bouquet I’d bought myself a couple of weeks back, an eclectic mix of dinnerware and candles, fairy lights, rich scent. We talked freely about money and financial prioritizing, among other things, so they know I have “enough.” They seemed entirely comfortable, as I was sure they would, since they’re groovy, relaxed, warm people 🙂 A truly wonderful several hours. I’m looking forward to inviting more folks (as well as these ones again).

    Like

    1. I too am doing a happy dance for you! So lovely to have a great gathering and meeting of minds, and delicious food doesn’t hurt either. Happy holidays!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s