Monday, August 10, 2009

The Hostess with the Mostess

Having friends visit from out of town is never exactly easy. Nevermind that the apartment is in disarray because I've just moved. Nevermind that there is much work to be done that I've put off in order to complete said move. No, suddenly I have bigger, more pressing concerns, such as: Where are we going to eat? What are we going to do? Are they going to have fun doing it? Am I going to keel over from exhaustion if I have to walk one more block out of the way to look at yet another pile of I-heart-NY t-shirts?

Don't get me wrong - I do love it when people visit. It makes me feel important, flattered and loved, that a few friends care enough to travel here to spend time with me. But let's face it. I live in NYC. They're not just here to see me, they're here to experience the urban jungle in all its glory, and it's my responsibility to deliver.

A visiting friend once told me not to stress over planning our activities. "It's the guest's responsibility to have fun, no matter what you take her to," she insisted. "You can't make people enjoy themselves." While I appreciated the gesture of her saying it, and I actually do agree with the sentiment, I can't quite pull it off. I worry. I'm a worrier. I always want people to be comfortable and happy, and have a good experience, but especially so while they're on my watch.

The two friends who are here this weekend have visited me three times, so I must be doing something right. Despite the fact that they are sleeping on the floor because I don't have a couch yet, and despite the fact that a few directional mishaps led us into strange urban territory last night, they still woke this morning with smiles on their faces.

So, maybe I can relax after all. If I treat my guests with warm hospitality and plan our outings with enthusiasm, good friends will be up for anything!

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