Whilst walking to the bus station yesterday I was thinking about what made me feel home at my chosen sister Ilaria’s place in Brooklyn. Was it my host family? Sure it was, no doubt about that. But how would you measure this: feeling home?
Even though there is no need to measure such things like feeling home, there was one thing that came into my mind. One thing was for me an indicator that I definitely felt home at a certain moment. By the way, that moment came very fast. Within an hour or so.
I guess, it sounds ridiculous, but I am sure that many of you will agree with me. To prove my theory I began about this topic in a chat session yesterday afternoon.
I said :’I know now what made me feel home so quickly when I was at your place.’
‘What?’ was her question of course. I first wrote some other balderdash about other things to tease her a little, but at last I gave her the simple answer to her (and your?) question:
The fridge? Yes, the fridge!
Have you ever noticed that you are only able to fetch things out of a fridge, thats not your own, when you feel comfortable with it? Yes? Right, you have to feel home to do so. In other words: fetching things out of other peoples fridges indicates that you feel home at their place and it proves (if no violence is involved) that you are a welcome guest.
I have many friends over here in the Netherlands where I never would open the fridge and serving myself with simple things like coffee milk or something, without asking them or without being told that I may. That is because I wouldn’t feel comfortable with it. What means that I feel not home at their places.
Many of you understand this because of this: the fridge in someones home is a part of their privacy. As a guest you don’t want to do any harm to their privacy. Some people store medication in their fridge. Imagine that you grab a cup of butter out of it and when you put it on the table you immediatley ask: ‘Tell me more about your herpes!’ You see? This are situations you want to avoid.
Even if you say that all this isn’t true, imagine yourself and your feelings in one of the following situations, that occur in most peoples lives.
You’re sitting for the first time at the place of the parents of your new (girl)friend. Your visit took 10 to 15 minutes so far. You drinking coffee and there is no milk on the table. Come on, don’t tell me now that you are marching into the kitchen and going to get the milk out of the fridge. Even if you would do that, you would at least say something like: ‘The milk is in the fridge, right?’ And this is a hidden form of asking for permission. In other words: you don’t feel home at their place and you don’t use the fridge that way.
You have come various times to the place of your (girl)friend and you relationship with her or his parents is very relaxed and you have even learned that you and your father in law have similar interests. You sitting around the table, no milk there and you just walk to the kitchen without asking anything and you come back with milk for everyone. In short: You feel home, so you use the fridge. (Still it’s not recommended to ask the herpes question).
So, if you all agree and prove my theory right, we can talk next time about the coffee machine…
Comments are more than welcome. I hope you are feeling home here a little bit.
Until we meet!