Outburst #018: Hospitality

By February 1, 2012Food, Introspective, Life

It’s probably pretty standard to visit a friend’s home and expect to be treated reasonably kindly. This host-guest relationship, though quite common, possesses variant levels of hospitality. During our college years, there isn’t much to really offer a guest really besides water, a snack, or the occasional drink of alcohol. My dorm room is shared with another roommate causing the space to become more public and less personable. In contrast, my parents’ (and subsequently, mine) home, is an established haven, and is considered “our territory.” With said territory established, the responsibility falls on those who own the space to care for guests who enter or visit. This doesn’t entirely apply to dorm rooms, though, since limited space, limited funds, and limited everything create difficulty in really offering any hospitality of considerable mention (besides the, here…sit on my…bed?). I was surprised, however, when I had to crash at linzian’s place for an evening.

Having accidentally locked my belongings, which included backpack, laptop, wacom tablet, dorm keys, and winter jacket (to name a few…), inside a high-security vault room where thousands of dollars worth of electronic equipment is kept (don’t be surprised…I have classes in there), I had no means of returning to my dorm. Though I have roommates/suitemates, I never sucked up the guts to even ask for any of their phone numbers. Embarrassing, yes, I know. However, given the situation, I was not in the mood for camping outside my dormitory door for an hour in the cold, which I had done the previous day. Upon entering linzian’s humble abode, otherwise known as “The Shout House,” I was warmly greeted and introduced to three of linzian’s housemates. Since they were busy studying, we didn’t loiter for long, and immediately headed up to linzian’s personable bedroom.

Now, since I was only related to linzian by friendship and otherwise had no real connection to another individual in the house, one would reasonably expect that the only person responsible for caring for me, the-man-who-is-locked-from-is-own-dorm, was he who invited me. This happened to be incorrect. As soon as word spread that I had miserably barred myself from retrieving my belongings and thus unable to sleep on a proper bed, someone I did not know (but was an acquaintence of linzian) came into the room an offered a sleeping bag. This was already great, since no longer would I have to sleep on the hard (but carpeted) floor with no covers. If this weren’t enough, about 20 minutes later, two different people barged into linzian’s room with an inflatable bed, a pillow, and sheets, as if I had filed a complaint to a hotel.

I was duly impressed and thankful for everyone’s desire to help the mystery man in need. My sleep that night was infinitely more comfortable than I could have expected. The pair of men who carried in the inflatable bed even offered to make me hot chocolate (whoa…), which I startlingly, but gladly, accepted. My view on hospitality, after this incident, has shifted slightly. When a friend of a friend would visit last year, I would happily say hello and introduce myself, but would hurry to tend to my own business soon afterwards. Tending to the guest of a friend beyond the initial greeting never seemed important. I left the Shout House the next morning, feeling happy (though tired), and grateful for the kindness and generosity that those in the Shout House displayed. Thanks.

Let us all make our homes (or at least, mine) slightly more like the Shout House.


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