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Do Less to Impress

Years back, my mother started a tradition – when guests are arriving all hell must break loose.

It doesn’t matter who is coming, the preparations must be professionally done for any guest. The president or a family member, the drill is the same: everyone must lose their minds in hectic cleaning and occasional shopping for the new furniture. And it doesn’t help if you try to intervene with a casual “But it’s only aunt Kate” or “Mom, she will stay only a day, we really don’t need a new mattress”. When you try to make a joke that you are not living in a museum but in a house where people are actually living – brace yourself for a fury storm.

This is why I found myself anxiously turning around, trying to find everything which I must clean, move and throw into the trash. My head was throbbing, my palms were wet and all because of a family member coming for a visit. But then I stopped – why in the world would I do this? I am who I am, my living room is always crowded with books and a thousand little things that make it my home. Yes, my home. Not some strange sterile place meant to present someone’s ideal picture of what a house should be. And even if the guest finds it ugly or repulsive in any way – well, tough luck!

Expectations, that is the problem. Trying to fulfill someone else’s possible expectations of what we should be. Even if we are someone completely different than the person we are trying to present.

So, this is how it’s going to be – I will do a little dusting, clean the table and the floor and this is it. No more and no less. Because this is who I am: a casual person and lazy housekeeper but a friendly host. Because I would prefer to be hosted by someone who is laid back and pleasant, not a nervous wreck and cleaning freak. Starting a tradition f my own, doing less to pleasantly impress.

Because I deserve it, 179.

Cleainging house

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Aquatella's Blog

QueenThere was a time when she would wait for his call. The same call which would mean that He is on his way. His arrival was always something special: flowers in his hand, a nice dinner, lots of laughs, and pretty good sex. She loved the way he was looking at her with those deep brown eyes, always hiding a spark of something unsaid. He was polite, kind and thoughtful. And distant.

Yes, distant. At first, she was sure that it was just a result of physical distance. He lived in another city and they didn’t have the luxury of everyday things, like a simple afternoon stroll in the park. And she didn’t mind, not really, thinking that these are the perks of the long-distance relationship – every date and every weekend are special. But a year passed. Then another. Their third anniversary came so quickly that it surprised even her…

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So, there’s me, standing on the street, minding my own business. After few minutes of such performance, a woman comes along. She stops and starts some light conversation, adding that she is just waiting for her husband to pick her up. A minute later, a car stops, the woman smiles, waves to her good man, turns to me and… She hugs me! She really hugged me! Like she knew me for years. I met a real true street hugger!

I was so surprised that I just stood there and remembered to pat her on the back because I really didn’t know what else to do. And it was a long hug. I mean, I don’t know if my mother hugged me for that long in my whole life. Don’t get me wrong, the woman seemed really pleasant, but I was so shocked that I was blinking like an idiot way after she was gone.

What in the world came to her? Why would you hug a total stranger? On the street, someone you don’t know, who is just sharing a piece of a public space with you for few minutes. And she looked really happy during and after the act. Then she got me thinking, maybe I looked sad and she thought that I needed it. If I did, maybe I should wear a t-shirt with the sign “It’s just my face. Move along”. I’m not a big hugger. I have only a few friends with which I would do it and those hugs are saved for special occasions, like birthdays and so. OK, few more when one of those friends gets a little drunk and starts to compulsively hug everyone around.

But somehow, that day that woman felt the need to do it.

And I accepted it.

You know what?

I have probably deserved it, 177. Bear hug