Saturday, December 9, 2017

nostalgic

I'm feeling nostalgic for the time, a few years ago, when I was so "into" the ideal of hospitality--host and guest coming together authentically with recognized (or not) reciprocal roles and duties.

Now, after having read Susan' Cain's Quiet quiet-book-softcover


qr_03.pngand reading the weekly newsletter from The Quiet Revolution,

 I'm rethinking how exhausting it is to be committed to hospitality.
Case in point...a periodic gathering of acquaintances for which I prepare something really special and receive praise for my culinary contributions.  And that's where it ends.  I never seem to have as good a time as everyone  else seems to be having. I can't appreciate the inside jokes. I fail dismally at small talk.  I feel awkwardness mount to anger and a genuine feeling of injustice.

I return home, vowing not to return but find myself going back.

I could catalogue the perceived snubs and feel mighty indignant. But then, I always come back to my observation that everyone else seems to be enjoying themselves--a lot!--and that, despite my strategies to keep my conversation light, not be sensitive to perceived slights, and listen attentively to others' stories, complaints, and jokes, nothing works.

Why do I care so much?  Well, all those studies say that I'm better off with a slew of friends.  And there's my sincere commitment to hospitality.  Plus, I can't shake the hope that I'll soon be accepted.

So is it genuineness or pride that keeps me returning?
"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - from A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf