The man who we hired to paint our beach house wants to sleep here while he’s painting. I think this is weird. My husband says it will save us money because he’s from out of town and won’t have to stay in a motel.

I think he should sleep in his car.

“Don’t sleep in our bed,” my husband said into his cellphone but clearly after the painter had hung up. That’s the golden rule for my husband when people use our house (usually our friends and not painters from from down the road) as if someone else sleeping in our bed will put some kind of blanket pox (get it, blanket) on our lives.

If the painter’s not going to sleep in his car, I think he should sleep on the kitchen floor in a sleeping bag that he brings from home. Only kidding. It’s fine. He can sleep in my son’s room where the WWE wrestling posters are still tacked to the bulletin board or in my daughter’s room where her American Girl doll, Josefina, lies in her $100 wooden bed, creeping out visitors and waiting for her hair to be combed.

Time stands still here.

A foosball table sits downstairs. We put laundry on it. Every so often, my husband says we should get rid of it, donate it to the town’s youth center. He’s right but we never quite get around to it.

“You still think you’re going to have them here playing foosball and yelling while we’re upstairs cooking dinner. It’s not going to happen. They grew up.”

Yeah, so what? There are plenty of little artifacts of our lives scattered all over the place. So the foosball table happens to be kind of a big one. It is useful. Without it, where would we put the laundry?

Besides, maybe the painter will want to play.


#27/100: 27th in a series of 100 essays in 100 days


4 Comments on “Hospitality

  1. I hope he does a good job for you! He should knock off some of the price since he gets to stay for free!

  2. All those dolls with ratty uncombed hair …the ghosts of girlhood.

  3. You are far more tolerant than I am! I’m with your first sentiment. Weird that he wants to sleep there:).

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