Monday, September 13, 2010

On Houseguests...

For the past four weeks (nearly) we have had a houseguest. This would not normally be a problem given that the commitment to a houseguest, the hospitality, the inconvenience, the reduction in privacy is finite and (in the normal course of events) expressed in the invitation.

It is in that last word that the problem begins – the present houseguest was uninvited, unbidden, very nearly unwanted, but - as the probligo household is discovering - family ties create obligations and commitments that are far stronger, last longer, and far more binding than an open invitation.

We are learning this as the result of a telephone call from numberoneson( #1son ) one morning, advising rather than asking that he would be moving in that night. It transpires that he confessed in the heat of a marital moment to having it off with another woman. I am not going to preach the probligo’s thoughts on the morality of the event(s). As far as I am concerned his actions and the (inevitable) consequences are his alone. I leave that part to him to get sorted. To make it clear, #1son is unmarried, has two children in the now defunct relationship.

The choices made by both our children have been handled on a very open laissez faire basis. There has never been, other than two instances of “your choice but you wear the consequences”, any pressure brought to bear on either despite some (quite normal) parental misgivings. Advice has always been freely and honestly given, but only when asked for and always on the basis that ”you might not like what you hear”.

All of which is, on reflection, incidental to the fact that the probligo’s household presently includes an unbidden and largely unwanted houseguest.

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