After reading a recent post where the OP was upset by the lack of reciprocal invitations from her guests, I have to ask: am I bound for eHell?
A little background:
4 years ago my mother’s job was outsourced to India. Since the layoff my mom has been unable to find a new source of employment. I gave up my apartment and moved home to cover the bills so she wouldn’t lose her house.
I never entertain because my mom is a borderline hoarder. It is a four bedroom house and every room is filled with furniture, jewelry supplies, paperwork, etc…
It isn’t like those tv shows. There’s no spoiling food or feral cats.
But it isn’t an inviting environment. Every surface is covered with piles of old mail, bills, etc… There are only a few places to sit. And when I try to get the mess into some kind of order my mom becomes very upset and yells “Don’t move stuff. I’ll never find anything if you start moving stuff around!”
My friends often invite me over to their houses and apartments for parties, dinners, game nights, etc…
Since I don’t have people over to my place, I will invite friends one at a time, or if they in a relationship one couple at a time, out to dinner or a movie as my treat.
Is this not sufficient?
Am I being a moocher by going to their parties when I know I will not be throwing a party of my own any time in the foreseeable future? 1106-12
I think we need to define what “hospitable reciprocity” means. It is not necessarily an apples to apples comparison such as friends alternating hosting parties. There are circumstances where people cannot act as a host in their own domiciles and so they invite friends to join them at a restaurant or some other event like a concert at their expense. Sometimes reciprocity can be expressed by other acts of kindness such as cards, surprise treats, a helping hand when you need it, a dropped off meal when someone is sick, etc. There is some demonstration of a willingness to invest in the relationship.
Moochers, on the other hand, never seem to invest any part of themselves for the purpose of developing the relationship. It’s take, take, take all the way. The relationship is excruciatingly one sided. I describe it as I am the horse pulling the wagon or sleigh while the passengers are having a great time. There are passengers who have no concept of helping to pull the hospitality load every once in a while. Nope, as long as they are having fun, you are of some value to them. But your true value to them is solely predicated upon how much fun you provide for them. Stop the party fun and the dinners and there is no incentive to have a relationship with you.
So, no, be assured you are not a moocher.