Chances are that later this year, I’ll be living in a small apartment (student budget, etc), and so when I saw this cute-looking book on how to be a great hostess in a small space for $5 at Walmart, I picked it up. (Yes, sometimes I buy books at Walmart.)
But I was disappointed in A Warm Welcome. I’ve never known anyone in a home, big or small, who stocks their bathroom with exclusive guest amenities, or who bakes a variety of muffins to leave out on the counter for their houseguests. I’m sure all of this is very nice, of course, and I would love it if someone did it all for me, but it’s certainly not something I expect.
In my world, overnight guests are good friends – the kind you can just say ‘hey, help yourself to my shampoo’ or ‘there are lots of different kinds of cereal in the cupboard, you can help yourself’ or ‘do you want to make pancakes together?’Some of the warmest welcomes I’ve ever received have less to do with tiny bottles of shampoo and everything to do with wonderful hospitality. Amy and Gabe – and later, Phillip and Carolyn – showed me the warmest welcomes possible when I was getting ready to leave Australia in October/November last year. Tiny shampoos, a fluffed up pillow and a muffin basket wouldn’t have changed a thing about how appreciative I was (and am!) of their kindness, warmth and support.
My advice? It’s a nice book and all, but save the $5 and treat your houseguests like family. The other stuff is just fluff that nobody will remember. I would never want someone to stay with me for the week and leave thinking the best thing about the place was my muffin basket or the tiny toiletries under the sink. Just borrow my shampoo. It’s great.