A couple of months ago friends invited our family over for a party. We were all really excited about it, so naturally, about forty-eight hours before the big event one of my children started yakking. The puke ran its course in only two episodes, but as you all know, a big family with one puking kid is a ticking time bomb. It's only a matter of time until another one bites the dust.
Not wanting to expose our friends to our puke germs we called to cancel. It's one of those grown-up lessons that we all learn at some point; it's easier to pull the plug yourself then wait around for someone else to tactfully initiate the "we don't really want your puke germs at our party" conversation, which is almost always awkward. But even though we were the ones to blow the whistle, we felt so let down. Our whole family had been looking forward to the evening and sometimes the universe feels unjust when one four year old's puke derails an entire evening of family fun.
But then a day went by, no more puke. And then another twelve hours. No more puke. Only a couple of hours before the party was supposed to start we got a call from the hostess. Look guys, she said. It's been more than 36 hours since your puke incident and that's enough for us. We want you to come.
Are you sure? we cautiously asked. These particular friends are known for their hand sanitizing ways.
We are positive, she assured me. We try really hard to be decisive about these kind of things. Either we're okay with it, or we're not. We don't want to invite you to our home and then spend the evening worrying about germs at every turn, so we've decided to be okay with it. No second thoughts.
I've thought about her explanation multiple times over the past two months. How much awkwardness, tension, and misunderstanding could be eliminated if people would just adhere to that timeless adage, Do your business or get off the pot! Enough with the wishy washy, flip flopping indecision. I didn't realize how often I tend to second guess my actions until my friend's voice got inside my head. Either be okay with it, or don't agree to it in the first place, but don't spend your life secretly worrying that you should have acted differently!
And by the way, no one else got sick!