I read this post from Susan at Learned Happiness yesterday about the logistical nightmare of her daughter wanting to have friends over at a moment's notice. I felt her anxiety at having her house judged so acutely, it's like we really are kindred spirits.
In two years of belonging to my mom's group, I have never hosted a playgroup. I am so ashamed to say this out loud. I go to playgroups almost every week, but I have never offered to have the group at my house. I feel like such a mooch.
Only a few times, mostly right after I had the baby, have I had people here at all, and then only one person at a time, only carefully vetted people, and only with a serious crisis clean of the house before. And then, no matter how much time I've spent cleaning, I apologize for the mess anyway. Just in case.
What would happen if I opened up my door to all the playgroup moms, or all of the moms in my neighborhood, people who I'm going to have to see again and again, and they saw my house for what it really is most days? The crumbs on the floor, the blocks everywhere, my pajamas in a corner of the living room? What would they think of me?
What if they didn't like me?
Those jerks, judging me just because my house is messy. Who do they think they are anyway?
And at this moment I reach the realization.
Because, yeah, I'll scoop up the underwear out of sight and throw them in the basement before you walk into the room because that's just polite. But if you don't love someone who has both crumbs on the kitchen floor and a laptop open to facebook and twitter? You don't love me.
And finding 2 or 3 real friends who genuinely love me and accept me is worth so much more than having 12 friends who think I'm an awfully sweet lady who they see at the park once in a while.
So maybe it's time I open my front door.