I had an interesting experience today. There is a family in my ward who I had greeted but didn’t know very well (that’s true for most of the family’s in my ward!). Especially without a ward activity I don’t feel like I’ve had a chance to really get to know people. Last week being Easter a number of people asked me to their home for dinner because they wanted to make sure I had some place to go for the holiday. I had a lovely evening with one of those families but another one I said ‘please invite me over another time. I’d love it.’.
So this week I saw the Mom of the family and said ‘would you like to come to dinner tonight? We’d love to have you. It’s totally up to you’.
My immediate reaction was ‘I don’t want to be a bother. I have food at home. I don’t need to bother them.’ but then I reasoned ‘She is inviting me, so why not?’
With a shrug I said ‘sure. That’s so nice. Thank you.’
I offered to bring something, we chatted and then I joined them later for dinner. We had a wonderful meal with her in-laws and the whole family. It’s fun to go to someone’s house because I can have just a little bit of food I don’t normally indulge in because I can’t make a whole batch for myself. For example, she had rolls that were big and fluffy. I could never make a batch of rolls because I would eat too many on multiple days!
In the course of our conversation she said ‘I was pleasantly surprised when you said yes. I think that shows great determination to accept an invitation from a stranger who you don’t know very well’.
What I didn’t tell her is that I’d almost said no but living alone has taught me to take advantage of the social opportunities presented before me and gather with others when you have the chance. Its interesting to me that I would have held off from having a pleasant experience where I wasn’t a bit of a bother out of a fear of breaching some kind of social protocol. Do we fear that the offer is not really sincere? Kind of like when someone asks you how are you doing and you just expect a ‘fine’ in response even if their world is falling apart?
Do we worry that we really will be a bother even if they don’t think we are at the moment of the request? Or are we just too prideful to accept an offer when it is presented?
Why do we hold ourselves aloft from positive experiences because of a mysterious social fear? Have you noticed yourself doing this? Someone offers you help or says ‘I’d like to do _____ sometime’ but you never pursue their request out of an embarrassment or you outright refuse knowing it would be a good experience?
It’s a funny part of human nature that’s for sure. Why do we hold ourselves off from good experiences? Strange. I’m going to try and not do that any more. Take advantage of every good thing that comes my way. I’m not saying you have to accept every invitation offered to you but to not except out of some type of social protocol is ridiculous.
Anyway, just so you know I love getting invited to others homes and hopefully I’m helpful and can return the favor sometime. So all you friends out there invite away. I won’t be offended! 🙂 .
(Big Bang Theory on non-optional social conventions)