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Visiting is a pleasure; being visited is usually a mixed or ambivalent joy. The visitee, unless he or she is unusually self-confident, probably felt it necessary to clean up the house or at least unhook the dirty socks from the lampshades and swab the sticky patch on the kitchen floor. Food had to be bought and cooked, possibly expensive or quirky food to accommodate the visitor’s latest dietary fad. The sheets on the guest bed had to be changed and clean towels ferreted out. And once ensconced, the visitor may come to seem like occupying troops and possibly permanent. The visitee is helpless: nice people don’t throw guests out into the street because their airspace feels crowded and they’re tired of thinking up entertainments. The visitor can always go home; the visitee is already home, trapped like a rat in a drainpipe.

Barbara Holland (1933-2010) American author
Endangered Pleasures, “Visiting” (1996)
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Added on 25-Jul-22 | Last updated 25-Jul-22
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