We usually believe that we are in the ‘right’ state to receive our friends when we’ve tidied up our sofas, hidden the packs of chips and chocolates, dusted the magazines and the books, fluffed up our cushions, hidden our wrecked diaries under the mattress, put together a three-course meal (a meal I’d never feed myself if it were not for guests), brought some Italian wine, put together a playlist of songs we think our guests will enjoy. These efforts, when put together, we believe will help us be known, accepted and liked.
But each time, I’ve done this routine, I feel so much under pressure before the party, during the party and even after. Before the party, I am busy prepping things up, during the party I am making sure that the guests are enjoying what I have put together and after the party I find myself wondering if they had a good time. So much for a party, huh?
We strive so much to be liked and accepted by the rest that somewhere we forget that we are not only disguising our houses but also our real selves. If the true idea behind friendship is to be seen as we truly are, then tasks like these will not help us even a bit. We’d be forced to always maintain our masks. Such staged social gatherings are not likely to foster the kind of intimacy we are seeking within our friend circles.
Rather than creating and polishing a fake version of ourselves for these parties, why not take a leap of faith and show our friends who we truly are and take onus for it. So the next time, instead of hosting a dinner party, let’s invite our friends for a cleaning party wherein we show both ourselves and our houses as it is and ask our friends to accompany us but through housekeeping.
We can ask them to help us clean the fridge, dust the drawers, sort the dishes, wash the curtains, stack the magazines and diaries and in the process, help them see us for who we really are. We display the mess not only inside our house but inside our own selves. We don’t condemn this mess for it is a part of our existence, we own it. We work on it as a collective.
Yes, for a moment sipping onto some wine with a friend might seem more pleasurable but it is in the above mentioned tasks that we shall find some humaneness of our existence. The act of sipping wine may make us appear more competent, focused, achieving, happy and satisfied than we really are. With so much pressure to be and show these things, are we really going to enjoy that glass of wine? Don’t think so.
Yes, handing over a friend a toilet brush instead of a glass of wine may not look as nice but it stages ground for the truest of friendships, where you let yourself be seen as you truly are, without any facades.