Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Agnes and I enjoy entertaining, but it's not always easy or enjoyable to get ready for the arrival of guests. The house has to be tidied up, the bathrooms cleaned, the worst of the junk put away, etc, etc. But that said, we're relatively laid back about it ... we have friends who believe their homes must be completely spotless before guests arrive, in case someone should need open heart surgery between dinner courses, perhaps. We just move most of the unsightly stuff into my study or the guest bedroom and close the door.
As you can imagine, I was thrilled to run across a reference earlier this month to the concept of Scruffy Hospitality.
Scruffy Hospitality is the style encouraged by Anglican priest Jack King in his blog Knox Priest, and he defines it this way -
"Scruffy hospitality means you’re not waiting for everything in your house to be in order before you host and serve friends in your home. Scruffy hospitality means you hunger more for good conversation and serving a simple meal of what you have, not what you don’t have. Scruffy hospitality means you’re more interested in quality conversation than the impression your home or lawn makes. If we only share meals with friends when we’re excellent, we aren’t truly sharing life together."
I like this idea. There's an old Pennsylvania Dutch saying that a home should be clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy, and if we're happy, our friends should be, too. This doesn't mean, of course, that we should invite people to come to a home that looks like the aftermath of a category 5 tornado, but that we should invest more time in the guests than in the preparation.
I think scruffy hospitality is the way to go. If you're in our area, come by and we'll try it out. Just don't look in the study or the guest bedroom*.
Have a good day. More scruffy thoughts tomorrow.
* Our equivalent of Fibber McGee's closet.