December 2009 We are at Sly and Doris' for our forced visit. Yay. When we walk into the guest room, I notice a flower in a vase on the dresser. Wow. Doris has never put out flowers for us before. I might have to re-think my attitude about her hospitality, with my attitudes being formed by having to bring our own lunch and their unwillingness to buy the canned diet Dr Pepper, which they did not do because they didn't want all the leftover cans after we were gone.
Kind of like I did not want all that leftover Lactaid. Just saying.
Anyhow. Flowers. Nice! I have done many things in my life that I am ashamed of. In high school, I was mean to Kelly C. after Sally D. decided that we were no longer going to be friends with Kelly. I wanted Sally's approval more than I cared about Kelly's feelings, so I was mean to Kelly. A year later, Sally decided she wasn't going to be friends with me, so there I was, hoist on my own petard or whatever. What goes around. You know. In my defense, I will say that I sought Kelly out at our 20-year high school reunion and apologized to her. She, graciously, denied remembering a thing. But I would remember if someone had been mean to me like that.
I have also eaten leftovers in the fridge at work. Yes. Awful. But on those nights that I had to work late and that white styrofoam container with restaurant leftovers had been in the fridge for three days, I figured the original owner had forgotten about it. I did this twice and am now mortified that I ever thought it was OK. Shame, shame, shame. Shame!
But one thing I do pride myself on, rightly or wrongly, is that I am usually a decent hostess. I provide my houseguests with a comfortable, clean place to stay and feed them well. I try to do the little things that make the room even nicer: I put out bottled water and chocolate. I put out current magazines. I keep shampoo in the shower and those little hotel soaps because really, doesn't it gross you out just a little bit to use soap that someone else has used? I am not usually squeamish, but that's one of my Things. The soap. Yes, I usually rinse it and it's OK, but for guests who share my delicate sensibilities, I like to offer them an option.
And in the summer, I cut flowers from my garden and put them in the guest room and the guest bathroom. It's nice. It costs nothing and makes the place nice.
So I am so pleased to see that Doris has finally started thinking of us as guests and not as an unpaid maid and garage cleaning service. She cuts a hibiscus from the bush in her front yard, sticks it in a vase, and puts it in our room. I am impressed.
And I comment so to Doris. How sweet it is of her to put the flower there.
Oh, she tells me. The cleaning lady did that.