I'm trying hard to resist the urge to type a disclaimer!
You know those sentences which absolve the writer of a document of any guilt? That's what I'm so tempted to insert here.
I haven't written because...
...I've been sick.
...I've had another grandbaby.
...I've been overwhelmingly busy.
...I've had company. A LOT of company!
But really, do we need those explanations? What do they accomplish?
An acquaintance of mine, best-selling author Susan May Warren, has a fun and interesting take on disclaimers in her blog today (you can read hers here: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/blog/2013/07/16/disclaimers/#comment-9797).
She notices that she uses disclaimers when people walk into her house. And that got me thinking.
I do the same thing.
I'm sorry my house isn't perfect but...
...the kids have been sick.
...we're still building/remodeling.
...we've been out of town a lot.
But do these types of disclaimers really accomplish anything good?
I tell myself that I'm covering my tracks, making sure people understand there's a valid reason something might not measure up to their expectations, an excuse why something might go wrong.
But what discaimers really do is show that I'm uncomfortable inviting people into my space. And in turn, they tend to make others feel uncomfortable as they notice my discomfort. Which makes me uncomfortable, which makes all of us dizzy...
And discomfort is the OPPOSITE of what I want my friends to experience when they visit my home!
We have had a lot of company lately. Kids are bringing friends here for overnighters, over-weekenders, over whole weeks at a time... :) And I love it! I'm so happy that my kids want to open our home to their friends. Yet I often catch myself making one of these disclaimers as I welcome our guests.
I wonder why.
I suppose it's because I want people to know that I realize my house isn't perfect. I want them to know that my house is not a good basis for which to judge my character. Something like, "I'm sorry my house doesn't look like a Sears catalog display room, but you know I'm still a good person, right?" Which is totally illogical--whose house DOES look like a picture from a catalog?--and downright insulting. Do I really believe that our friends judge my character on the basis of my house? How rude!
Maybe the greatest compliment we can give someone--after that of actually inviting them into our inner sanctum--is to expect that in the graciousness of their heart they accept us no matter how long it's been or what the place looks like.
No disclaimers needed.
So welcome back to my blog, the outward expression of some of my inner cogitations. Sit down, put your feet up, and relax with a friendly cup of refreshment.
(questions for you)
- What makes you most comfortable (or uncomfortable!) in someone else's house?
- Besides your own house, what is the one place you've felt most at home?
I'd love to hear from you!