I hate having houseguests. It bugs me to have people in my living room watching TV and wanting snacks. I hate having my routine disrupted, having to run the dishwasher five times a day, having every meal being a production when all I really want to do is have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and call it a day. We have a house full of people coming for Christmas and I’m dreading it. How can I relax? What can I do to make it more enjoyable? I hate to just dread the entire weekend.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with caring what other people think. If we didn’t, we would all be walking around in thong bikinis, letting it all hang out when we shouldn’t, or passing gas in a crowded elevator and yelling, “HAHAHA! I farted!” Caring about others’ opinions is what makes us, in some ways, a nice, civilized society.
But when caring so much about presenting a perfect house and family ruins your vacation (and honestly, that of your guests), you need to sit yourself down and think for a minute. What’s more fun: glaring at your guests every time they use a coffee cup, or throwing a bunch of paper cups on the counter and saying, here you go, use these for coffee? You could stand there with a sponge, waiting to wipe up every drip that hits the counter, or you could just stay out of the kitchen. Only go in there every few hours, do a quick swipe, and go back to your game of charades or Wii curling or whatever it is you do for fun.
I bet you a million dollars your houseguests would vastly prefer an untidy sink and takeout Chinese to you stomping around the house, seething with resentment and serving a fourteen-course meal. Deep down in your OCD, hermit-like heart, you must love your family and friends and want to spend time with them. Think about that, and remind yourself of it every time you start to get all tense and freaky. Also, try drinking. That will help.