Many years ago, I learned a valuable life lesson from my friend, the late Dr. Linda Foley. Linda lived in Jacksonville, David’s hometown and the city where his parents lived, such that we rarely stayed in her home overnight. She repeatedly invited us to stay with her and her partner, Roger, and finally David and I agreed. The first morning, when we woke up, I saw Linda completely dressed in a chic outfit, with makeup on, and hair neatly coiffed. I, on the other hand, looked like something akin to a train wreck as I walked down the hall to take a shower. I asked Linda how she could have possibly had time to look so lovely and she replied that she never greeted her house guests in pajamas because she thought looking amiss conveyed a lack of respect for them. I considered this statement as I padded toward the shower, making sure I reported downstairs for breakfast after I became attired in the clothes I would be wearing that day. From that day forward, I have heeded Linda’s sage advice and I greet my house guests in the morning clean, fully clothed, and with my hair brushed. Many years after this experience at Linda’s, David and I stayed with a dear friend of mine, whose wife seemed not to realize there were guests in the house. She barely spoke to us upon coming out of her bedroom, appeared in a daze while dressed in a frumpy nightgown, and in general, was anything but a gracious host. No mention was made of breakfast, leading David and me to hurry, hungrily, out of the house, never to stay there again. Here’s a word to the wise: It is far preferable to be like Linda and show your respect for your house guests (who, presumably, you invited to stay with you) than to be the type of host whose guests feel like they are intruding in your personal space. Get dressed, greet your guests with a smile, and by all means, offer them something to eat!
I never know what topic Melissa will come up with next, but she doesn’t know where I’ll be going next either. Linda was the epitome of class in many ways. Pre-dinner “snacks” was cocktail hour, for example, with unique serving dishes and glassware. I guess I don’t have to worry about showing up in a frumpy nightgown, or even pajamas as I’m more of a shorts/t-shirt kind of person. But, I do my best as a guest, or host, to be respectful and helpful. Melissa and I have certain routines down to a science with respect to hosting. I usually greet the guests before she does and get things moving like coffee or other beverages, maybe do some clean up or breakfast prep and work out the plans for the visit. We enjoy our visitors, or most of them, as has been written about previously. And, I don’t recall any showing up in sloppy pajamas at our house. There may have been other issues, but not that. Guests can be challenging; the best ones monitor themselves carefully knowing it is a 2 way deal when one is a guest. Or host. But, the point of all of this is twofold. First, have some, or show some, class, and second, respect goes a long way – respect the host, respect the house, and any house rules. Follow Dr. Linda Foley’s example if you are ever in doubt about early morning attire. Look good and treat your guests well.