Tonight my in-laws will be arriving for a visit. It will the be the first time we have had visitors in our new apartment and I am feeling what I always feel about such things, both excitement and apprehension.
I like it when people visit. Your routine is altered: instead of having breakfast the same way you do every day you skip it or you go out to a diner. Instead of being in bed at exactly ten o’clock you find yourself having deep conversations in the kitchen simply because there is someone new in your kitchen with you at that time.
It is when the visitors arrive and they open your cupboard and take out your favorite mug, or sit in your seat after dinner or use your computer at the time of day when you usually check you email; these are the times when it becomes apparent to me that I do not like sharing my stuff. Sometimes the item in question is breakable and I find myself watching intently as the grip on the handle or the lack of two-handed support is employed. I stop listening to the conversation and I become focused to the exclusion of everything around me as I watch this person, this visitor, toy with my emotions as they gingerly sway the mug as they speak or turning the keepsake over in their hands.
It’s not something I am proud of and it always leads my thoughts to that of being a parent and how this is a major shortcoming for that role. I have always believed myself to be relaxed and easy-going because things in my home do not have to placed in a certain manner or cleaned according to a set schedule. The handling of my possessions, the respect I feel they must be shown, is entirely a different matter and is the clearest indicator that I can see of problems to come.