Monday, January 21, 2013

The Art of Hospitality



Nobody that I know of likes a glutton.  That's the guy you had invited to your party or BBQ, and acted like a human vacuum cleaner; he sucked up everything in his line of sight.  Usually, people like that do not get re-invited anywhere; they make everyone feel uncomfortable.  On the opposite side of the hospitality coin is the host.

If you are having a party or BBQ, have you planned to have enough food, drink, and some music for your friends?  Or have you skimped out?  Nothing is more embarrassing than running out of food and drink before the event really kicks into gear.  You have decided to serve burgers.  You invited 20 people but only purchased 12 burgers and 12 rolls.  What are you going to do?  Have one of them cut your grass and then make a salad out of the clippings?

The underlying principal of hospitality, I believe, is a willingness to share, but also it is the willingness to be generous with your hospitality.  If a shortage happens like mentioned above, you will make your guests feel unwelcome and you will come off as not only dimwitted but cheap.  If you are not willing or for some reason cannot provide amply for your guests, don't have the event.

On another note, if your next door neighbors drop by, be prepared to offer them at the very least a cup of coffee or tea.  It does not matter if it is a surprise visit, that is not an excuse for poor hospitality.  

A friend of mine and his wife were invited to another couple's home.  When both couples still were young in their marriages, they had lived in the same apartment building.  They were reunited at a mutual friend's backyard BBQ and were amazed at how the other couple kept going back for "seconds."  The inviting couple had made a big deal about the four of them getting together.  When my friend and his wife arrived, the other couple did not ask if they could take their coats.  For almost two hours they sat there, their coats around their wastes, and were not even offered a glass of water.  My friend told me that it was quite embarrassing for he and his wife, but the other couple thought nothing of it.  Who needs people like that?

When I gave all of this some thought, It appeared to me that there is a direct link between the glutton and cheapskate/miser.  They both want it all but give nothing in return.  They have to be one and the same person.  

                                                    Copyright @2013 Terry Unger



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